USC continued to climb up the College Football Playoff Rankings -- ever so slightly -- with the Trojans coming in at No. 8 during Tuesday's release. They will try to keep those playoff hopes alive while continuing to climb the ranks on Friday with a victory over Colorado. The Buffaloes are 11th in the Pac-12 standings, and now they have to travel to Los Angeles for a tough matchup with the Trojans.
USC may be 8-1 on the season, but not all of those wins have come easily. In the last two weeks, the Trojans defeated Arizona and California, but each of those victories came by just one score. Quarterback Caleb Williams looks like a Heisman Trophy contender, and he is leading an explosive offense, but the defense has been a bit of a concern. In the last three games, the Trojans have allowed a total of 115 points and 1,574 yards of offense. That may not bite them this week, but defensive coordinator Alex Grinch must find some answers before a Week 12 battle against UCLA.
It has been a long season in Boulder. Colorado is 1-8 with its only win coming in a low-scoring affair against California. The Buffaloes are one of the five worst teams in the FBS when it comes to points per game (15.6) and points allowed per game (40.2). It's hard to see things turning around against this USC team. If there is a sliver of hope for Colorado, it's the aforementioned Trojans defense. The question is whether quarterback J.T. Shrout can take advantage of it and keep this one close going into the fourth quarter.
How to watch USC vs. Colorado live
Date: Friday, Nov. 11 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: LA Memorial Coliseum -- Los Angeles
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
USC vs. Colorado: Need to know
Caleb Williams is red hot: Williams has been playing well all season, but he has taken it up a notch of late. Williams has been absolutely dominant in USC's last three games. In that span, Williams has averaged 384 yards passing while throwing for 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions. With just a few weeks remaining in the regular season, Williams has firmly established himself as a contender for the Heisman Trophy, and he seems poised for another big game this weekend.
USC's defense is not: As good as USC is on the offensive side of the football, it always has the potential to give points right back to the opponent when the defense takes the field. Lincoln Riley and his coaching staff tried to upgrade that side of the ball instantly with some transfer portal additions in the offseason, but that hasn't necessarily worked out. More specifically, the Trojans can be had through the air. They are allowing 267.0 passing yards per game, which ranks 10th in the conference. Cal's Jack Plummer just carved up USC for 406 yards passing and three touchdowns.
USC perfect against Colorado: The Trojans and Buffaloes have met 15 times throughout the series history, which dates back to 1927, and USC has won every time. Colorado has come close to getting on the board in recent years, but it has always fallen at least a few points short. Given the current trajectory of the two programs, it doesn't seem like the Buffaloes will break through this year, but you can never say never in college football.
USC vs. Colorado prediction, picks
USC is a massive 34-point favorite against Colorado, but it's tough to trust either side right now. The Trojans have let inferior opponents hang around in each of their last two games, and the Buffaloes are one of the worst teams in the country. Instead, a play on the total seems more appealing. USC is capable of hanging a massive number on this Colorado defense, and the Trojans' defense has looked fairly anemic of late. Even as bad as Colorado's offense has been in 2022, it could still find the end zone a couple of times. Prediction: Over 66
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