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Place: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Southern California hasn’t lost in six tries against Colorado and it would be a shock if that trend doesn’t continue Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The No. 9 Trojans, who debuted at No. 10 in the BCS standings, have won three straight and play four of their final six regular-season games at home.
USC won at Washington 24-14 last week despite not scoring in the second half, but shouldn’t have trouble putting up points against the Buffaloes, who allow 41.3 per game – 117th of 120 FBS teams.
Since Colorado announced its new conference affiliation with the Pac-12, the Buffaloes have been outscored 214-34 in four trips to California since 2010.
Colorado Buffaloes (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12): The Buffaloes, who play at No. 2 Oregon next week, have been outscored 93-31 in back-to-back home losses to Arizona State and UCLA and continue to struggle mightily in coach Jon Embree’s second season.
Colorado is last in the Pac-12 in scoring (20.8), scoring defense (41.3), total defense (494.2 yards) and pass defense (312.7), and are no better than ninth in the other major categories.
Junior quarterback Jordan Webb has taken a beating with 25 sacks, including five against Arizona State. Nick Kasa, who was named to the midseason watch list for the John Mackey Award (nation’s best tight end), leads the team with three touchdown receptions.
USC Trojans (5-1, 3-1): The Trojans served notice that they aren’t a one-dimensional team after their middle-of-the-road rushing attack gained 204 yards against Washington.
Silas Redd, a transfer from Penn State, led the way with 155 yards. The Trojans have an excellent chance to keep their ground momentum going against the No. 83 rushing defense, which is yielding 181.5 yards per contest.
Senior quarterback Matt Barkley, who could be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft, was only 10-of-20 for 167 yards with a touchdown and an interception last week, but has completed 62.7 of his passes with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. USC has the No. 3 defense in the Pac-12 at 18.5 points per game.
1. Barkley, who threw a school-record six touchdown passes in USC’s 42-17 victory at Colorado last season, needs four to break Matt Leinart’s conference record of 99 set in 2005. He is also 1,290 yards from breaking Carson Palmer’s school record of 11,818 passing yards.
2. Trojans WR Robert Woods needs five catches to break Dwayne Jarrett’s school record of 216 receptions set in 2006.
3. Trojans DE Morgan Breslin is second in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss with 12, tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with 7.0 sacks and leads a defense in the top 25 nationally in tackles for loss, sacks, rushing defense and total defense.
Vegas prediction: USC 56, Colorado 7