Colorado Daily – USC

October 17th

… CU in a few minutes …

The formula is there.

Boston College and Arizona State gave Colorado the best road map to upsetting USC.

Yes, it is important to have a bend-but-don’t break defensive effort.

Yes, it is imperative to win the special teams battle.

But, if you want to defeat USC, you are going to have to be prolific on offense.

Boston College, in its 37-31 upset of USC, posted a ridiculous 452 yards rushing (about the same total the Trojans have allowed rushing in their other five games combined). Arizona State, meanwhile, in its 38-34 victory, had 510 yards passing.

Either way, the Colorado offense will have to be productive, and it all starts with the Buff offensive line. The USC front seven is perhaps the most talented group the Buffs will face all season.

Which is probably why there are two preview articles posted which focus on CU’s offensive line play:

– At … B.G. Brooks interviews CU offensive line coach and some of the Buff linemen, who are searching for answers to USC All-American defensive lineman Leonard Williams:

“That’s one of the better fronts we’ll go against all year,” CU left tackle Jeromy Irwin said, probably pushing understatement well past its boundary.

USC’s front seven might be the best CU has seen better because of players such as returning All-America candidate Leonard Williams. But it’s also different schematically from what the Buffaloes saw in last season’s encounter in Boulder, which didn’t end so well for CU (USC won 47-29).

The Trojans favored a four down linemen front (4-3) in 2013, but when Irwin and the Buffs offense line up Saturday in the L.A. Coliseum (4 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks) they’ll face a 3-4 “Okie” alignment. But that, of course, is subject to change multiple times over the course of the afternoon.

“Every week we come out and play a different front, so that’s our mindset,” Irwin said. “We’ll just come out prepared like we are against any other team.”

CU O-line coach Gary Bernardi said USC’s change in fronts “won’t be foreign to us,” noting that his troops have seen it from their own defense last spring and in August camp and from opponents this season such as Hawai’i.

“They (USC) do different things out of it,” continued Bernardi, “but it’s a lot of stuff you see most weeks.”

But what the Buffs don’t see most weeks is a player like Williams, a 6-5, 300-pound junior who is arguably the Pac-12’s best D-lineman. Williams is listed on the depth chart as an end, but the USC defensive staff views him as a mobile piece of heavy artillery.

“He plays like an inside end on third down and pass situations, but other times he’s inside,” said CU right guard Daniel Munyer. “You keep an eye on where he’s at. He’s a good player obviously.”

In addition to Williams, USC’s front seven starters include outside linebackers Scott Felix (6-2, 230) or Su’a Cravens (6-1, 225), tackle Delvin Simmons (6-5, 295) or Claude Pelon (6-4, 295), nosetackle Antwaun Woods (6-1, 325), rush end/backer J.R. Tavai (6-2, 250), middle linebacker Hayes Pullard (6-1, 235) and weak linebacker Anthony Sarao (6-0, 220). Pullard is the team’s leading tackler (7.3 a game).

– Meanwhile, at the Daily Camera, Brian Howell focuses in on the Buffs’ offensive line needing to pave the way for a solid CU rushing game:

With a talented quartet of running backs — Christian Powell (274 yards), Tony Jones (193), Michael Adkins (156) and Phillip Lindsay (131) — the Buffs are averaging 156.3 yards per game on the ground. They are on pace for their best rushing season since 2006.

“You always have to get the running game going,” said Powell, a junior. “That’s a good way to help our offense. You give yourself a greater opportunity to have success if you’re not one-dimensional.”

Good news for the Buffs is that, as they come off a bye week, their four running backs are all healthy, for the first time since the season opener against Colorado State.

“It’s good, and I think all of them are better players than they were Week 1,” CU running backs coach Klayton Adams said, “so I’m excited to see the whole thing clicking at once.” …. more at the Daily Camera


October 15th

… CU in a few minutes …

USC to unveil new helmets for Homecoming game against CU

Metallic helmets with chrome face masks
Metallic helmets with chrome face masks















October 14th

Full transcript of Mike MacIntyre’s Tuesday press conference

From (which also has the transcript of quotes from linebacker Sefo Liufau and linebacker Kenneth Olugbode

“It’s a gorgeous day outside, beautiful. USC is a very, very talented football team. (Quarterback) Cody Kessler is a heck of a player. He’s only thrown one interceptions against 11 touchdowns. Then, they call him Buck Allen, number 37 …. He averages about 180 yards a game in total offense. He’s an excellent football player. Then, on defense, their front seven is excellent. They’re a very good football team. They won a great game the other night against Arizona. Watching it on tape, it was a heck of a football game. It’s very impressive what USC is doing. We have a lot of young men from that area, so they’ll be very excited to go back there and play at the Coliseum. So, it’ll be a lot of fun.”

On Addison Gillam’s Status
“He’s doing good. He’s practicing full go the last two days and he’s doing well. He got hit right underneath the chin and they had to stitch it up, but, he’s doing well.”

On USC’s Success In Converting Third Downs
“Yeah, they do a good job with that. Where they make that hay is, they get good first down yardage. So, they’re not always in 2nd-&-10 or 3rd-&-8, they’re getting some good gains in the running game or the quick passing game. So, that’s something that we have to be able take away from them and not let them get as good of first down production as they have been. When you watch and you break down the tape, they had a lot of 3rd-&-4s, more than most. If you do that, then you have a higher percentage of converting. We need to get them in the three to six or seven area and we’ll have a better chance there.”

On Where They Might Have Improved Over The Bye Week
“I felt like we improved. We did a lot of work in the special teams area and I feel like we’ve improved there. Defensively, we got better with our fits and also getting a little more effort to the ball so to speak. We’re thinking a little bit. This saying I got from coach (Bill) Parcells is so true, ‘Knowledge=Confidence=Playing Fast.’ As those kids keep maturing, then you’ll see them playing faster. I think you guys have seen that and you go ‘Wow! Then why sometimes does it look like they’re standing still?’ That’s that whole process coming about. I’ve seen it better this week then I have in any week before. We’ll have to do that to stay up with Buck Allen and (Justin) Davis, the other running back. We’re going to have to swarm to that football.”

On Larry Zimmer , The Voice Of The CU Buffaloes For 41 Seasons, Who Has Been Hospitalized Since Early This Month
“We got a disturbing text this morning from Brigette, his wife. (His wife) Trish and I have been up there twice already. My wife has been up there three times in the last week or so since it all happened. The last week and a half, he was in good spirits but, they took him back into ICU. So, if you’re a praying person, which I am, I would like for you to pray for Larry Zimmer. He’s a phenomenal man for you all that know him. He’s in ICU fighting. So, it’ll be tough on Mark (Johnson) and all those guys doing the game. I know Mark and him are really, really close. I think the world of Larry. We’ll miss him being there and I’d like nothing better than to win it and send it back to him to make him feel better in the ICU, no doubt about that. The other things is, what an icon. To be able to come here and …. He helps Mark out a lot. But, Mark does an unbelievable job, I was just teasing him there. Larry ….. The history he’s had, he’s in the (Colorado Sports) hall of fame. When you meet him, you just see how genuine a person he is. His wife Brigette and him are so close and their kids …. So, I think the world of Larry Zimmer and we’re definitely going to miss him. We can’t wait to get him back here in the press box against UCLA is what I’m pulling for and that’s what I’m telling him.”

On Keeping Wide Receiver Shay Fields Even-Keeled As He Prepares To Face The Team He Originally Committed To Before He Arrived At Colorado
“(I’ll have to do it) a little bit probably but if you know Shay, he’s a very confident. He’ll play really hard, he’ll play really well and he’ll be wanting to …… He knows a lot of those guys, so I’m sure they’ll be a little bit of fire for them after him and him after them. So, I’m looking forward to watching Shay play. But, he does need to stay inside the moment. He doesn’t need to get outside the moment, you’re exactly right. He’s a very confident young man and he plays very well. I look forward to watching him run around that coliseum field for sure. I know he’s excited about doing it.”

On The Kinds Of Challenges The USC Defense Presents
“Their front seven is so big and athletic. Wow, have you all watched the play where #94, I’m drawing a blank on his name but he’s a beast (Leonard Williams), hits the running back and the running back fumbles the ball? (It was) Like a game-changing play in the first quarter. I mean, that’s what they do. They’re just so athletic and so big. He’s 6’5”, at least 310 pounds and he can run faster than (Local sports writer) Kyle Ringo, which is pretty impressive. He’s a really, really excellent player. They’re big like that across the front. The one advantage you would have is: they play those guys a lot. So, hopefully we can keep the ball going and wear them down. We might be able to negate their pass rush that way some. But, they’re very talented.”

On Whether His Team Is Ready For The Challenge That The Remainder Of The Schedule Will Present
“Yes, I believe so. I think we keep improving, we’ve just got to keep fighting, which we’re doing. Our coaching staff is fighting and working hard, and our players are. They’re in tune to it. There wasn’t any practice where I felt like I had to pull teeth to get them going. They came out there ready to go in meetings, which shows they’re really focused and realizing that they are getting better. There’s talented teams all throughout our schedule but, if you look at the top 25, you’ll see that there’s more top 25 teams in the last six (games) right now. That’s why you play in the Pac-12 too, that’s why you’re in it and that’s why our kids are in it. We’ll keep growing up and we’ll keep competing and end up getting it done.”

On Stopping The Talented USC Running Game
“Well, we have to ….. They do some different formations, so we’ve got to make sure we’re in the right gaps. And their line is athletic, so they can’t push you out of the gap and get a crease. The second thing you have to do is, of course you have to tackle them, but there are certain ways I think you have to tackle them. I think with these guys you have to hit them ….. If you hit them up high, they run over you. They’re physical. You have to hit them lower, which we’ve been practicing on, and you have to wrap up. You can’t just try to shoulder them because they’ll just bounce off. That’s something that I’ve seen us improve on out here throughout the year, I really have. You all have seen us at practice with how we work on it. Also, the other thing with that is: that’s the best way to tackle now because you don’t have as many concussions, it’s safer, it’s better and our kids are really getting good at it, especially our secondary guys. They’re going to have some breaks in the secondary. We’ve got to get them down when they get into the secondary because they’re just good enough, they’re going to get back there. So, you have to be able to tackle them.”

On How Much His Defense Has Progressed Since The Start Of The Season In Terms Of Stopping The Run
“Yeah, I think we have progressed. I think we’ve done a good job there, stat-wise too but really you can just see our effectiveness, our understanding of where to fit, our understanding of how our D-Linemen are playing the guys, not getting hooked by the second level, keeping the second level off the (line) backers. They’re really starting to understand that. We’d like for them to understand it earlier, but sometimes they lose their mind a little bit. Now, they’re so young but, they’re gaining that a lot better. They’re really improving in that area.”

On Whether He Is Aware That CU Has Never Beaten USC
“Yes, I am. Kyle (Ringo) asked me the other day about a feather in the hat and I said ‘We need a bunch of feathers in the hat.’ There are probably a lot of people that haven’t beaten USC that haven’t played them a ton. They’re just that type of program. But, our kids are excited about going there and there would be nothing better than to get them for sure.”

On Whether The Team Is Any Closer To Forcing The Amount Of Turnovers He Was Hoping For In The Spring
“I sure hope so. We work on it all the time. We had some last year. We’ve gotten some picks. We need to cause more fumbles. We’ve caused some, but it didn’t always work out our way on different things. Either they fell on it or the call was it wasn’t a fumble. But, we’re getting better at that. Of late, that is happening more often. There’s more balls on the ground of late. So, they’re kind of understanding. Again, that kind of goes back to the kids with understanding where to be, feeling good about when they are in the right position to be able to do that. So, that is improving. (USC) has really strong backs. Hopefully, we can get it out of their hands some. That’s what we need to be able to do.”

On Whether The Fact That USC Played Only 42 Total Players Last Week Is A Shock To Him
“Yeah, I remember my first year at San Jose State, our last game we only took 42 scholarship players to the game because we didn’t have a full allotment of scholarships like they did. So, I think that those guys learn how to play, they like to play. The guys going are knowing that they’re playing, so they’re all focused. But, I do think that’s something that they’re working thru. The ones that they have out there are really good.”



October 13th

Coach MacIntyre: “Our kids do believe they can go play with anybody and beat anybody”

From … MacIntyre called Sunday’s and Monday’s practices “really, really good” and said the Buffs are “excited and ready” for the Trojans (4-2, 3-1). “Our kids do believe they can go play with anybody and beat anybody.”

In three practices last week, the Buffs worked to improve on fundamentals. Also, players who haven’t participated in games this season or are ticketed for redshirts were given more opportunities for work.

MacIntyre said there are “a couple things on special teams and on defense” that need addressing, as well as an emphasis being put on “improving in the red zone.”

“On offense, the short yardage stuff and goal line, we’re getting better at,” he said. “I feel like we have improved in those areas so we’ll go see what happens Saturday.”

… On the offensive side, MacIntyre said USC quarterback Cody Kessler “can make every throw,” but he is especially impressed with USC’s Javorius Allen. He called the sophomore tailback “a heck of a player.”

Allen leads the team in rushing, averaging 130.2 yards a game. This past weekend against Arizona, Allen totaled 26 carries for 205 yards and scored three touchdowns. Allen already has had five 100-yard rushing games this season.

Injury update … On the injury front, MacIntyre said coming out of last week’s three practices “everybody is back and doing okay except for the career ending injuries . . . we’re really healthy, which is good.”

Both tailback/fullback Christian Powell and middle linebacker Addison Gillam have been cleared to return to practice after suffering concussions. Gillam was injured against Oregon State, while Powell suffered his concussion during the Buffs’ game at California on Sept. 27 and sat out the OSU loss.

Colorado homecoming game time set

The Pac-12 Networks, also known as the “home of the CU Buffs” (since CU is relegated every weekend to the lowest tier), will again air the Buffs next weekend.

Colorado’s Homecoming game against UCLA will kickoff at noon, MT on the Pac-12 Networks.

Other Pac-12 games next weekend:

Oregon at California, 8:00 p.m., MT, Friday, October 24th, FOX Sports 1

Oregon State at Stanford ….  1:30 p.m. MT, TV network to be announced Oct. 20
Arizona at Washington State …. 4:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks
USC at Utah …. 8:00 p.m. MT, FOX Sports 1
Arizona State at Washington …. 8:45 p.m. MT, ESPN



October 12th

Football 101: Why Colorado has an uphill climb in the Pac-12

Buff fans knew that it was going to be a difficult climb to the top of the Pac-12 South, but this is getting ridiculous.

The SEC West may have four teams in the latest top ten poll, but the Pac-12 South is no picnic.

This week, the Pac-12 South has four teams in the national top 25: No. 16 Arizona; No. 17 Arizona State; No. 20 Utah; and No. 22 USC. The other team in the Pac-12 South not named Colorado is UCLA. The Bruins, the preseason No. 7 team, fell out of the rankings this week, but still had enough votes to come in at No. 26 nationally.

So, yes, Buff fans, in order to be the No. 5 team in the Pac-12 South, you have to be better than all but 25 teams in the country.

A tough row to hoe for a team which hasn’t been north of .500 since 2005.

First Look: USC stat pack

Top 20 rankings:

– Third down conversion, offense – 18th

– Third down conversion, defense – 20th

– Completion percentage – 6th

– Red zone defense – 11th

– Time of possession – 19th

– Turnovers lost – 4th

Bottom 20 rankings:

– Penalties – 117th

– Penalty yardage – 111th

– Kickoff returns – 100th

– Kickoff return defense – 116th

– Net punting – 105th

– Punt return defense – 116th

– Tackles for loss allowed – 121st


USC “survives” against Arizona

From the Orange County Register … USC quite simply survived.

Arizona’s Casey Skowron missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt with 12 seconds left to preserve USC’s 28-26 victory Saturday night in front of 56,574 fans at Arizona Stadium.

USC survived a furious Arizona rally. A 2-point conversation attempt that would have tied the game. And the final field-goal try, which sailed wide right.

Tailback Buck Allen put the Trojans in position to win.

The redshirt junior tailback ran through, past and over Arizona defenders en route to a career game Saturday night. And boy, did USC need it.

Fresh off a devastating loss and in danger of falling out of the Pac-12 South Division race, the Trojans (4-2, 3-1) rode their determined tailback as far as he could take them.

Allen rushed for a career-best 205 yards and three touchdowns. His output included 34- and 48-yard touchdown runs in the first half and a 32-yard run in the fourth quarter that saw him drag multiple tacklers down the field.

“He was tough to bring down,” Arizona safety Jared Tevis said of Allen. “A couple of times, guys were trying to strip the ball out before even securing the tackle and that’s where they got a couple of big runs.”

… “I said this to the team: ‘God’s got a plan, but we’re not exactly what his plan is for us yet,’ ” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s sure testing our will, our resolve, our leadership, our character. I couldn’t be more proud of our team just to continue to fight.”



4 Replies to “Colorado Daily – USC”

  1. I trust McIntyre when he says the team feels they can beat anyone. If they can pull the upset against USC, they could just get the mojo they need to turn this thing around this(not next)year.

  2. My wife and I touch down at DIA at 9:05 on Saturday the 25th and will be in Boulder (with our son and daughter-in-law) for the High Noon Homecoming kickoff vs. the Bruins. Shoulder to Shoulder Baby!

      1. What a game. Soupy Campbell on the reverse! They kept the scoreboard lit for the whole week. Let’s hope that’s where we are in this current rebuild!

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