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Trojans ruin Folsom finale, Buffs fall 47-29

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Colorado was unable to build on the Cal win in a listless performance against USC.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

College football can be a real bitch. One week after a huge win that many fans hoped signaled a turn around of sorts the Colorado Buffaloes were out-classed and run off their home field by the USC Trojans, 47-29. Cold, dry temperatures and a mediocre crowd at Folsom couldn't slow a short-handed USC team playing without it's best player as the Buffaloes offense was stifled at every turn by the opponents defense.

The outcome was a cruel reminder of how far this program has to go just to stay competitive with the meat of the Pac-12 conference and reach a point where they can earn an important win without anything but a flawless performance. Keep in mind, this wasn't a game Colorado wasn't expected to win and with a strong performance against Utah in the finale this season can still be considered a pretty qualified success but it's frustrating to be forced to once again recalibrate ourselves to the sheer magnitude of this rebuild.

Sefo Liufau and the Buffaloes offense looked severely overmatched against a Trojan defense that has seemed to get better with every game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. A few late touchdowns aren't nearly enough to atone for a first half performance that has a strong argument as the worst of the season. After two quarters of play Colorado manage only 43 yards passing on 4 completions and just 30 yards on the ground. Liufau did improve in the second half, highlighted by a beautiful 38-yard touchdown reception by Nelson Spruce in the fourth quarter and two late drives that helped make the score a bit more respectable.

The Buffaloes defense actually had a pretty respectable performance today, all things considered. At the half, even down by a score of 23-0, the Buffs had held the Trojans to a paltry 37 yards rushing and 169 yards passing. But they were put in short situations all game long by the struggling offense, including a fumble in the second quarter by Sefo on the Colorado 25, one play after the defense had forced a USC Trojans turnover on downs.

With a final score that looks a lot closer than the game actually was some fans may consider this outcome against a vastly improved Trojan squad a step in the right direction, but in reality it was another harsh wake up call for these Buffs. Colorado has one more game in 2013, a winnable contest against Utah in Salt Lake City, to end this year on a positive note and send us all into the offseason with a bit more hope.

Team Stat Comparison

USC
COLO
1st Downs 20 18
3rd down efficiency
8-16 3-11
4th down efficiency
0-0 0-1
Total Yards 449 312
Passing 206 188
Comp-Att
20-30 17-33
Yards per pass
6.9 5.7
Rushing 243 124
Rushing Attempts
40 31
Yards per rush
6.1 4.0
Penalties 3-25 3-35
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles lost
1 1
Interceptions thrown
0 1
Possession 33:13 26:40

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