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Breaking down the Colorado Buffaloes - USC Trojans game

We discuss every angle of the matchup.

Colorado v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) are back from their disaster in the desert and still seeking that elusive sixth win as they host the USC Trojans (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) Saturday on Senior Day. The Buffs are 0-11 all-time versus USC in a series that dates to 1927. Joining me via SLACK to breakdown this matchup are Ralphie Report contributors Jeff Hauser, Jack Barsch and Sam Metivier.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:02 PM]

Ok guys, big matchup this weekend against a team the Buffaloes have never beaten. Let's breakdown this contest against USC starting with your keys to the game.

Jeff Hauser [10:06 PM]

The Buffs defense needs to show up in the last two games. Steven Montez and the offense has improved and kept up with demands, but its put up or shut down time. Especially with Bowl hopes on the line.

Jack Barsch [10:06 PM]

CU has to stop the run. I am not hopeful.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:10 PM]

Obviously the Buffs are facing two talented players in USC quarterback Sam Darnold and tailback Ronald Jones. Who are you more concerned about?

Sam Metivier [10:10 PM]

God, and if he has mercy.

Jeff Hauser [10:11 PM]

I agree with Jack. The defensive front has looked terrible in stopping the run. If by some miracle that can happen, it will open up Sam Darnold to pick on the combo of Udoffia & Wigley. Either way, I like CU's chances with a slightly experienced secondary over allowing USC's rushing attack to "fire up the barbeque."

Jack Barsch [10:11 PM]

Ronald Jones, easy. Sam Darnold is talented, but he may actually gift the CU defense a few turnovers. Ronald Jones is mean, fast, and crazy athletic. He has eaten alive almost every defense he's faced when he's healthy.

Jeff Hauser [10:12 PM]

Jones hands down. Darnold is tough, but tends to make mistakes in the clutch. I hate to say this, but Jones might have 200+ yards when all is said and done.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:13 PM]

How does CU prevent Jones from running wild?

Sam Metivier [10:13 PM]

It doesn't appear that they have the ability to ever slow down Jones.

Jack Barsch [10:14 PM]

STACK THE BOX AND PLAY LIKE MAD.

Sam Metivier [10:14 PM]

The best CU can hope for is USC inexplicably abandoning the run.

Jack Barsch [10:14 PM]

Clay Helton has done that before.

Sam Metivier [10:15 PM]

Hopefully he'll do it again.

Jeff Hauser [10:16 PM]

Honestly, an injury. In the head-to-head, Colorado will be outmatched and USC's game plan will be a heavy dose of running.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:16 PM]

Best defense might just be CU's offense. Need to pound the ball on the ground with Phillip Lindsay. Get up early in the game and keep USC's offense off the field. That's no easy task against USC's front seven. Do you think the Buffs can control the clock?

Jeff Hauser [10:19 PM]

I think it possible, but it works both ways. The Buffs need some form of defense to keep the offense off the field.

Sam Metivier [10:20 PM]

It's not that they can't, it's that they won't. Something tells me they're going to pass much more than they should.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:20 PM]

What is USC's weakness?

Jeff Hauser [10:21 PM]

The best way to look at this game is Notre Dame's victory was led by taking care of the ball and forcing Darnold to look for options on 3rd down.

Sam Metivier [10:22 PM]

Darnold can be had. He makes enough mistakes that if CU capitalizes, they can make some noise.

Jack Barsch [10:23 PM]

USC's front seven is beat to hell right now. CU will somehow need to win the line of scrimmage and pound the rock.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:24 PM]

With it being Senior Day at Folsom Field, give me one senior - not named Phillip Lindsay - that you expect to have a good game?

Sam Metivier [10:26 PM]

Give me Leo Jackson and Bryce Bobo. Jackson can be someone who can step up and make some plays against the run. Bobo can make a huge play to give CU some life.

Jack Barsch [10:28 PM]

George Frazier will pancake at least 5 people.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:29 PM]

Would love to see 'Big Play' Shay break one or two, but I think Derek McCartney goes out in style with a couple of sacks. Ok, final predictions. Does CU finally get in the win column against USC?

Sam Metivier [10:30 PM]

Probably not. I'm guessing it will be USC 41, CU 27.

Anthony Kazmierczak [10:32 PM]

Senior Day, lot of emotions, bowl eligibility on the line. CU somehow gets by the Trojans 24-21.

Jack Barsch [10:34 PM]

I'm hoping for a snow bowl, let's get funky with it, 10-7 Buffs.

Jeff Hauser [10:37 PM]

35-34 Buffs in a classic.