A fantastic first half effort, on both sides of the ball, wasn't enough as the Colorado Buffaloes floundered in the second half without their starting quarterback and fell to the USC Trojans, 27-24.
The Trojans came roaring out of the gate on the opening drive of the game, only needing two plays to reach the Buffaloes red zone but were held to a field goal as the Colorado defense stiffened when it mattered. Following two consecutive drives that resulted in a punt the Buffs got on the board with a 7-play 61 yard drive that resulted in a 4 yard Phillip Lindsay touchdown run.
After the Buffs held USC to a three and out, they were able to drive down to the Trojan 32-yard when an ugly looking sack left Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau limping off the field. He would later be seen on the sideline wearing a cast and would be replaced by redshirt freshman Cade Apsay, who saw action the previous week against Stanford, for the rest of the game.
A Jered Bell interception on the following USC drive gave the Buffaloes the ball on the USC 26 yard and Apsay was able to capitalize with a 9 yard touchdown pass to Nelson Spruce, allowing him to tie the record for career touchdown receptions. The Buffaloes and Trojans would each tack on a field goal to send the game to half time at 17-6.
The second half was a different story as USC was finally able to capitalize on the big plays they had missed in the first half. After punting on the opening drive the Trojans quickly cut the deficit with a 4 yard touchdown pass at the end of a 13-play drive. A Christian Powell fumble on the first Colorado play following the touchdown game USC an opportunity that they didn't waste, scoring on a 2 yard touchdown pass to Taylor McNamara. A 36 yard touchdown pass from Cody Kessler to JuJu Smith-Schuster would give USC their third straight touchdown and a 27-17 lead.
A Nelson Spruce 45-yard punt return and touchdown pass from Cade Apsay to George Frazier would later give the Buffaloes a final drive with an opportunity to win but a fourth down pass to Devin Ross sailed inches over the receivers hands to effectively give the Trojans the win.
Another hard fought loss, another missed opportunity for the Buffaloes. It's getting harder and harder to watch this team get so close to breaking through just to fall short. We know it's coming, this season or next, and we're all just waiting for this team to bust through the wall.
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