With an unbeaten Colorado team coming to town, give 3 keys to victory for the Trojans
1. Score some points. Colorado puts up 39 points per game so far in the 2018 season so it stands to reason the Trojans are going to need to get into the end zone a few times in order to come away with the win. One of the points of emphasis Clay Helton made to the team during the bye week was the fact that they have started strong offensively in several games but need to close games better. This could be one of those games.
2. Find a way to slow the Buffs passing attack. The last time the Trojans were in the Coliseum they faced a highly efficient QB, and needed a blocked field goal late to escape with the win. Colorado QB Steven Montez is even more efficient than the WSU QB so it will be another strong test for the USC secondary, not to mention that it would be a good time for the USC pass rush to have a big game. Of particular interest in the secondary is to see how Clancy Pendergast plans to cover Laviska Shenault, who is putting up huge numbers this year.
3. Recognize the moment. We talked before the season about how the schedule divided into two parts, the first 5 games, the bye week, and then the final 7 games. The first 5 ended with the Trojans at 3-2 and now the 2nd half begins with the goal of a Pac-12 title still in sight but there’s no easing into things as Colorado has the same goal as the Trojans, and that goal will be a lot more realistic for the team that comes out on top in this game.
1. The Trojans will need a big pass rush against Colorado’s experienced quarterback Steven Montez so that he doesn’t expose the Trojans’ secondary and get into a rhythm. If Montez gets off early, it could allow Colorado to settle into their offense and neutralize the Trojans homefield advantage by keeping the Coliseum faithful from getting off.
2. The Trojans’ secondary will need to be alert at all times and play nearly flawlessly against the Buffaloes’ major threat, sophomore wide receiver Laviska Shenault, who the Buffs like to refer to as their version of Reggie Bush. Shenault has been very impressive this season and is a true home run hitter. There can’t be any Trojans secondary miscommunications, blown coverages, or missed tackles.
3. The Trojans’ offense will be challenged by a tough Colorado defense. The Trojans’ offensive line will need to impose its will on the Buffaloes’ defensive front and make sure it protects JT Daniels and as well as providing running lanes for the talented cardinal and gold running backs. Perhaps just as important will be the Trojans as a team will need to keep the penalties to a reasonable minimum by playing disciplined. There wil be no room to help an already confident Colorado team.
1) This game against the Colorado Buffalo will be a real test for the USC defense. The front (7) of the Trojans will have to control QB Steven Montez who is having an outstanding season, especially throwing the ball. USC will have to mix up their defenses and be effective with their pressure on Montez to keep him from having a big game.
2) The Trojan offensive line is going to have to play a complete game. Colorado features top defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson (5 sacks), so the pass protection will have to be on point in this match up.
3) The Trojans can’t beat themselves in this game with untimely penalties and turnovers. Mistakes will be costly against Colorado, as they have shown they can take advantage of teams that give them extra possessions on offense.