Winners And Losers From USC Trojans Win At Colorado

Ahmad Akkaoui
Folsom Field, Home Of The Colorado Buffaloes. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Folsom Field, Home Of The Colorado Buffaloes. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The USC Trojans were able to show the world they are still alive by easily beating Colorado away from home, 37-14.

One of the big question marks coming into this game was USC’s run defense and if they’d be able to improve from last week’s poor performance.

“Just making sure Coach Orlando got those guys ready to play — which he did,” interim head coach Donte Williams said postgame. “Anybody who has had a chance to talk to him knows he’s a no-nonsense guy, a great motivator, and a great guy with Xs and Os — and he proved that today.”

Junior quarterback Kedon Slovis and junior wide receiver Drake London were once again the most dominant duo on Saturday, and with the running game working — led by senior running back Keaontay Ingram — the offense was incredibly well-balanced.

On the other side of the ball for USC, junior linebacker Drake Jackson had a breakout game with two sacks, a fumble recovery, and four total tackles. Aside from Jackson’s sacks, the Trojans had three more — two by redshirt junior defensive lineman Jacob Lichtenstein and one by sophomore defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu, who also forced a fumble.

Here are the winners and losers from the game.

Winner: Graham Harrell

The Trojans’ offensive coordinator seemed to do much better with the offense this week after a lot of criticism last week. Slovis finished the game with 276 yards and three touchdowns on 19-for-29 passing, plus the running game looked good with 218 rushing yards between the three backs — Ingram with 124 yards on 14 attempts, Vavae Malepeai with 61 yards, and Darwin Barlow with 36 yards, both on 10 attempts each. London had another big game with 130 yards on nine catches and one touchdown — three of those receptions for more than 25 yards each.

“Offensive line did a phenomenal job today,” Ingram said postgame. “Got the backs up to the secondary, and we just gotta be better at making the safety miss, and sometimes not making them miss — run through them. It’ll get them off their toes a little bit. … I feel like we played compatible football today. When the run was there, it was there — when the pass was there, it was there. And playing complementary football, I mean, that showed in the points today so I feel like we did a really good job for that today.”

Loser: Colorado Secondary

The Buffaloes defense just wasn’t good, and the secondary just couldn’t stop the Trojans from doing what they wanted to do. Colorado put London in one-on-one situations on multiple occasions and London was able to excel.

“We knew No. 15 was going to be a threat,” Colorado safety Isaiah Lewis said postgame. “And he was still making plays regardless of how tight our coverage was. So, respect to him.”

Winner: Todd Orlando

The Trojans’ defensive coordinator, like Harrell, received a lot of criticism after last week’s performance, and it looked like the defense was clicking in all ways possible. The pass rush worked well, they limited the running game, and they limited receivers in coverage down the field, except one time. Nonetheless, it’s just one game, and it needs to be done again and again in order for it to be a legitimate change.

“I wouldn’t say a statement — we’re supposed to be doing things like this,” Jackson said postgame. “This is the SC defense and that’s how we’re supposed to come out. So, next week, we’re going to keep doing that.”

The Trojans are now 3-2 overall and 2-2 against Pac-12 opponents. They still have a really tough road ahead of them to get to that top spot in the South division — and next week’s game is going to be really important for them.

USC hosts Utah on Saturday in a 5 p.m. kickoff that will be televised on FOX. Utah will be coming off a bye week.

Folsom Field, Home Of The Colorado Buffaloes. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Folsom Field, Home Of The Colorado Buffaloes. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons