One of the more interesting games on the Week 13 college football slate comes from the Pac-12 when the No. 23 USC Trojans take on the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Trojans are finally ranked after a four-game winning streak that was capped off with an upset victory over then-No. 4 Stanford last week. USC sits at 8-3 on the year, but one has to wonder if Ed Orgeron's team will suffer a letdown after a big win like Stanford did a week ago.
For Colorado, the game is just as important. The Buffaloes are 4-6 and must win their final two games of the season to become bowl eligible. Last week was a win over lowly one-win California, and Colorado has to build on the positive momentum here when the Trojans come to town.
Here is everything fans need to know about the contest.
When: Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo.
Television: Pac-12 Network
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: N/A
- Spread: USC (-22.5)
Trojans Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Zach Banner||OL||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||hip|
|Gerald Bowman||S||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||shoulder|
|Morgan Breslin||LB||11/11/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||hip|
|Anthony Brown||CB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Colorado||Questionable||knee|
|Justin Davis||RB||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||ankle|
|Lamar Dawson||LB||10/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Steven Mitchell||WR||08/08/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|D.J. Morgan||RB||11/01/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Silas Redd||RB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Colorado||Questionable||knee|
|Taylor Ross||RB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Colorado||Questionable||leg|
|Devian Shelton||CB||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||foot|
|Jordan Simmons||G||10/23/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||leg|
|Shane Sullivan||TE||10/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Greg Townsend Jr||DL||09/27/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
Buffaloes Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Justin Castor||K||08/30/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||hip|
|Timothy Coleman Jr.||DL||09/24/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Terrence Crowder||RB||09/26/2013||is suspended indefinitely||Suspended||disciplinary|
|Josh Ford||RB||08/25/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||ankle|
|Woodson Greer III||LB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||neck|
|Clay Jones||FB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||neck|
|Marc Mustoe||OL||10/21/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||leg|
|Parker Orms||S||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||neck|
|Terrel Smith||S||09/01/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||shoulder|
|Jeff Thomas||WR||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||hamstring|
|Alex Wood||TE||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against USC||Questionable||concussion|
Can USC Keep Rolling?
Before the late field goal to down Stanford, USC had defeated three opponents by 16 or more points. Much of the success can be attributed to a strong run game led by sophomore running back Javorius Allen, who has come on in the team's last three games:
USC RB Javorius Allen's rise to stardom has been shocking, but Buck life's story is even more remarkable. His story: http://t.co/K4TGKnUtqf— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) November 15, 2013
Quarterback Cody Kessler has been hot in the same three-game stretch with a completion percentage above 75 in all. That said, it is the running game that should concern the Buffaloes on Saturday.
The Buffaloes rank dead last in terms of Pac-12 run defense and No. 117 in the nation in scoring defense thanks to a unit that allows 38.8 points per game.
As long as the Trojans hit the road with a sense of purpose and don't overlook the Buffaloes with a contest against No. 14 UCLA up next, all signs point to success for USC.
Which teams wins?
The comparison to Stanford in terms of a letdown game is not exactly fair. Sure, USC is coming off an emotional upset as was Stanford last week, but Colorado is no USC.
Here's the thing—the Trojans have always been a great team this year. They were just a great team in need of guidance.
Hence why Orgeron took over for Lane Kiffin and the team has recently won four straight and crept back into the Top 25.
USC is on a warpath. The Buffaloes simply don't have enough firepower to keep up. The Trojans win handily en route to a showdown with the Bruins.
Final Score: Trojans 42, Buffaloes 20