USC vs. Colorado 2013 Gameday Preview: Line Ups and Links


Sep 7, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; General view of the Dal Ward athletic building before the start of the game against the Central Arkansas Bears at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes

Folsom Field | Boulder, Colorado

6:30 PM Pacific | Pac-12 Network

All-time Series: USC leads 7-0

Last meeting: USC 50, Colorado 6 in 2012 in Los Angeles

In the final road game of the season for the Men of Troy, USC battles the Colorado Buffaloes at what could be a snowy Folsom Field.

The Trojans are coming off an upset victory over Stanford and with a win would set themselves up for a showdown with UCLA for the Pac-12 South title. Considering where they came from, firing Lane Kiffin after five games and struggling through a devastating injury wave, the Trojans have recovered brilliantly and are two steps away from securing Ed Orgeron’s place in Troy’s lore.

The Buffaloes have struggled in the Pac-12 but celebrated their first conference win last week against Cal. They have four wins on the season, two of which came against FCS opposition. However, they have a winning record at home and could be in position to spring a trap of Homeric proportions.

Gameday Links:

When Colorado has the ball…

True freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau leads the offense, but junior wide out Paul Richardson is the one who makes it move. The Buffaloes will try to exploit the weak spots in the USC defense, namely the secondary. With one of the more successful offensive lines in the conference, they will also have to rely on neutralizing the stout USC pass rush in order to see any production on offense.

For USC, the key is letting their superior talent win the day while staying relatively injury free. That means injured stars like Leonard Williams could see limited time if the score allows it. As part of that strategy, back ups like Jabari Ruffin and Quinton Powell will once again be called up on step up as they did against Cal two weeks ago.

Colorado Projected Starting Offense:

WR(Z) 22 Nelson SpruceWR(X) 6 Paul RichardsonWR(H) 3 D.D. GoodsonLT 75 Jack Harris.LG 54 Kaiwi CrabbC 55 Gus HandlerRG 52 Daniel MunyerRT 77 Stephane NembotTE 99 Scott FernandezQB 13 Sefo LiufauTB 46 Christian PowellFB 46 Christian Powell

USC Projected Starting Defense:

OLB 42 Devon KennardDE 94 Leonard WilliamsNT 99 Antwaun WoodsDE 90 George UkoOLB 58 J.R. Tavai .MLB 10 Hayes PullardWLB 56 Anthony SaraoCB 6 Josh ShawFS 24 Demetrius WrightSS 21 Su’a CravensCB 13 Kevon Seymour

When USC has the ball…

Much like on defense, the Trojans will be focused on getting out of the game with limited injury. Marqise Lee and Silas Redd will reportedly be absent, so look for Nelson Agholor and Buck Allen to once more become the focus off the offense. Cody Kessler will also be looking to build on his performance against Stanford, which earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

On the other side, Colorado will need to forget that they give up the second most yards in the Pac-12 on average. Instead they’ll need to focus on creating havoc and forcing the Trojans into mistakes. Forcing turnovers will be key for the Buffalo defense. Junior DBs Greg Henderson and Jered Bell could be difference makers with seven interceptions combined on the season.

USC Projected Starting Offense:

WR 15 Nelson AgholorWR 84 Darreus RogersLT 72 Chad WheelerLG 75 Max TuerkC 66 Marcus MartinRG 70 Aundrey WalkerRT 77 Kevin GrafTE 86 Xavier Grimbleor 82 Randall TelferQB 6 Cody KesslerFB 38 Jahleel Pinneror 31 Soma VainukuTB 37 Javorius Allen

Colorado Projected Starting Defense:

DE 56 Juda ParkerDT 55 Josh TupouDT 57 Justin SolisDE 96 Chidera Uzo-DiribeMLB 44 Addison GillamWLB 1 Derrick WebbSLB 43 Brady DaighLCB 2 Kenneth CrawleyFS 21 Jered BellSS 13 Parker OrmsRCB 20 Greg HendersonNB 4 Chidobe Awuzie