USC vs Colorado: Clay Helton Previews Match Up With Buffaloes


Head coach Clay Helton broke down the match up between USC vs Colorado on Tuesday, noting the Buffaloes impressive receivers and cornerbacks.

USC kicked off preparations for their Week 6 match up with Colorado at the Coliseum at Howard Jones Field on Tuesday.

Head coach Clay Helton spoke to the media after practice about his observations from film study on the Buffaloes, including a balance offense to defend and a matured defense which has turned the corner this season.

Here’s what Helton had to say about USC’s next opponent:

On Colorado’s Improvement…

I’ve had the last two days to watch tape on all phases and have come away extremely impressed. I think Coach MacIntyre is doing a wonderful job at Colorado. One, bringing good players in and then two, developing them.

We saw it last year. We saw it game after game, them lose close games. Even in our game we walked away from that victory saying, “Wow, when this team matures, he’s going to have something special here.”

Low and behold it’s a year later and they’re doing wonderful things.

On Colorado’s Offensive Scheme…

Offensively, [they’re] extremely balanced over the first half of the season. Talking about a 200-yard rush team per game, 300 yards passing per game and putting up 43 points.

On Colorado’s Quarterbacks…

I think the quarterbacks have done a wonderful job. Obviously they’ve had to play two [Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez] because of injury, but both kids have been great decision-makers, [with] 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. I’ve been really impressed.

They’re a little bit different than we faced last week, where Manny [Wilkins] was a terrific athlete that was going to rush the ball 13-15 times, these guys don’t. They may get four to six carries in the game and can move the chains, but they’re there to throw the ball and make great decisions.

Both are very similar so no matter which one plays, we feel like we can use the same gameplan.

On Colorado’s Wide Receivers…

Two guys that have really been scary coming out of it are [Shay] Fields and [Devin] Ross, the two receivers. I’ve been extremely impressed.

They’re the hardest guys to cover, the guys that can be the deep-ball threat and be the RPO guy out in space and make yards after catch. That’s a dangerous animal and they don’t have one of them, they have two of them in Fields and Ross.

On Colorado’s Defense…

Defensively, [they’re] a really mature bunch. Eight seniors on this defense. Ten returning starters on the defense. I think Coach Leavitt is doing a wonderful job in that 3-4 scheme.

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They’ve got some big men upfront, Jordan [Carrell], Josh [Tupou] and Samson [Kafovalu], all 300-pounders really holding the point of attack and doing a great job.

On Colorado’s Cornerbacks…

They’re 13th in the country on defense right now and ninth in passing. I think one of the reasons is, when you look at their two corners with [Ahkello] Whitherspoon and [Chidobe] Awuzie, they do a tremendous job of speed and size. These guys have great length, 6-foot and 6-foot-3. Really been impressed.

On Special Teams…

The thing that’s a big challenge for us going into this week is special teams. You watch the one loss that they had at Michigan and that was a really, really close game and special teams separated Michigan from this team so [it’s a] big challenge to Coach Baxter and the special teams.