Colorado fans thought they had seen the best USC quarterbacks had to offer. In 2011, Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley torched Buff defense for a school record six touchdown passes. To prove the 2011 effort was no fluke, Barkley threw for six touchdowns against Colorado again in 2012.

Cody Kessler, seen as a game manager even by the USC faithful, was arguably no Matt Barkley.

Against Colorado, though, he was even better.

Kessler threw for a school-record seven touchdown passes, completing 19-of-26 passes for 319 yards and seven scores in No. 22 USC’s 56-28 rout of Colorado (yes, Buff fans, Kessler had as many touchdown passes as he had incompletions). Kessler’s favorite target was Nelson Agholor, who had six receptions for 128 yards and three scores. Javorius Allen, the Pac-12’s leading rusher, had 15 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown.

For Colorado, Sefo Liufau completed 23-of-35 passes for 143 yards, with two touchdown passes to Nelson Spruce. Liufau also had two costly interceptions in the first quarter, when USC sprinted out to a 28-0 lead, never looking back.


It’s not like we haven’t seen this before.

In a 56-28 rout by USC, Colorado was out-manned, out-coached, and out-talented by a superior opponent.

We thought the Hawkins years were bad … the loss to Montana State, the 58-0 loss to Missouri, the 54-38 embarrassment at Toledo, the absurd collapse against Kansas.

But that was just the appetizer.

Hawkins was bad; Embree was worse.

The Jon Embree experiment was a colossal failure. It started with the “brick game” loss at Hawai’i, and only went downhill from there. Some of the scores during the Embree era read like misprints: 48-7, 52-24, 45-2, 48-14, 42-17, 45-6, 69-14, 42-14, 51-17, 50-6, 70-14, 48-0, 56-31, 38-3. It was so horrible, it didn’t seem real.

Enter Mike MacIntyre.


Production from the CU offensive line a key to Buffs’ hopes … “We have to get the running game going”


P O’Neill and PK Oliver are record-setting four-year starters … some positive records (and some negative)


CU is a 19-point underdog to USC, a team which CU has never beaten … Will the 9th try be the charm? …


CU has never defeated USC (0-8 all-time), and the Buffs were 0-3 against new Trojan coach Steve Sarkisian when he coached at Washington … Uh-oh …