A banged up USC football team went on the road to face Colorado and escaped with an exciting 35-31 come-from-behind victory.
USC football went into Boulder on Friday night, injured and ripe for the upset.
After a horrendous first half, it seemed like the Trojans were going to go ahead and give the Buffaloes their first win against them, ever, despite the score only being 17-14. After several big plays by Colorado’s offense in the third quarter, it felt for sure that USC was going to blow their shot at a Pac-12 title.
Instead, the resilient Trojans continued to fight and dug out a 35-31 victory, their first win on the road in 2019.
Here are the studs and duds from USC’s performance.
Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown
USC has three wide receivers that would be able to start on any team in the country, and on Friday night Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown showed how talented they are.
Vaughns finished the game with eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. He has been quietly consistent all year long for USC and continued his high-level play in Colorado. He also made one of the catches of the night, snagging the back end of the football on a back-shoulder throw. He then perfectly pirouetted down the sideline, staying in bounds, to get into the endzone and keep USC in the game.
St. Brown took his versatility to the next level by taking some snaps at running back. He finished the game with five carries for 50 yards and a touchdown, but also totaled five catches for 55 yards through the air.
These two have been studs the majority of the year and showed up for USC again.
Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman had an absolute monster of a game, which warrants him his own slot as a stud. He finishing with seven catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns, with most of his receiving yards coming in the money quarter when USC needed him most.
Michael Pittman has been an incredible player for USC for the last three seasons and seeing him develop from a physical blocking/possession receiver to a flat out No. 1 who can take the top off a defense, make the big catch across the middle and get the critical YAC in the fourth quarter has been amazing to watch. When USC needed their stars to be bright, Pittman went supernova.
The Offensive Line
The offensive line deserves a quick shout out for their play tonight. Were they perfect? No, but they handled an aggressive front who was throwing the kitchen sink at them all game. The only thing that gave them trouble was the blitzing corner from the short side of the field. And even then, they did a good job picking up some of those blitzes up and allowing Kedon Slovis to hold onto the ball so that the USC receivers could get open downfield. They also did a pretty darn good job blocking for St. Brown and Kenan Christon. They’re the unit that gets criticized the most and they deserved to be praised when they play well.