Friday Fast Facts – Colorado v. USC

Trivia Question of the Week … If the Buffs can draw 46,053 for the USC game (which is likely), Colorado will remain one of eight schools nationally … to what?

Neill Woelk’s Fast Five Keys for the CU v. USC

From … While the Colorado Buffaloes spent the week being reminded they have never beaten Southern California, they didn’t spend their time worrying about the past.

Rather, Mel Tucker’s Buffs (3-4 overall, 1-3 Pac-12) concentrated on the present — namely what it will take to end their current three-game skid when USC pays a Friday night visit to Folsom Field (7 p.m., ESPN2).

While the Trojans (4-3, 3-1) have been beset by injuries all season, they are still one of the Pac-12’s most talented teams, with depth across the board. They are also coming off a dominating 41-14 win over Arizona, a game in which the defense recorded seven sacks and three takeaways and the offense finished with 448 total yards (247 passing, 201 rushing).

So what must the Buffs do to get their first win over the Trojans and end the losing streak at 13?

1. Establish a running game and stick with it.

2. Get the passing game back on track.

3. Keep USC’s playmakers in check.

4. Restart the takeaway machine.

5. Win the red zone. 

Read full story here

Big Picture

— Colorado and USC have played 13 times, with the Trojans winning every game. “We’re very aware (CU has never beaten USC)”, Mustafa Johnson said this week. “But we haven’t really talked about it because we’re taking it game by game. That’s in the past. We’re in a new season, new game. We’ll see what happens.”

— When USC made its first trip to Boulder, in 1963, the Trojans came as the No. 1 team in the nation. USC got out with a 14-0 victory in a game which featured 313 yards of total offense – by both teams combined. (The Trojans lost to No. 3 Oklahoma, 27-17, the next week, to drop out of the top spot, going on to finish with a 7-3 record. The Buffs, in their first year under new coach Eddie Crowder, went on to finish 2-8, 2-5, for a sixth place finish in the Big Eight);

— Friday’s game will be the eighth night game in the series. The teams haven’t played a day game in Boulder since 2002;

— The uniform combination for this weekend – All black, with black uniforms, black helmets, and black pants;

— Folsom Field turned 95 on Thursday, opening on October 24, 1924;

— Colorado is 708-512-36 all-time (.577). The Buffs are 26th in all-time victories; 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— Steven Montez already holds the record for the most passing yards by a Buff quarterback against USC, with 376 yards in the 38-24 loss to the Trojans in Boulder in 2017;

— Colorado is 9-4-3 all-time in games played on October 25th. If you read this week’s “T.I.P.S.”, you already know the most famous game on this date was CU’s 20-10 win over No. 3 Nebraska in 1986. Other games of note:

— The CU/USC game will be telecast nationally by the ESPN2, with Dave Fleming on the play-by-play; Louis Riddick on color; and Paul Carcaterra on the sidelines. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett handling the commentary.

Mel Tucker’s Podcast

Coach Mel Tucker has a weekly podcast, hosted by KOA’s Mark Johnson. So far, Coach Tucker has interviewed Rick George, Kordell Stewart, Matt Russell, Alfred Williams, Jeremy Bloom, Marwan Hage, Jim Hansen, and Bobby Anderson.

The most recent interview, with former Buff great Daniel Graham, can be found here

Buffs v. Trojans

— USC is only 12-11-1 in “cold weather” games (defined by USC as games where the cold temperature has such an impact on the game as to be mentioned in the media’s game recaps). Temperatures should dip into the 40’s Friday night;

Bar bet winner … The Buffs are wearing all black uniforms in the Blackout game against USC. Who was the opponent the last time CU won a game wearing all black? Answer … N/A. It’s a trick question. Colorado is 0-6 all-time wearing all-black uniforms.

Something has to give Department … USC has given up 14 turnovers so far this year (113th in the nation). Colorado, meanwhile, has not been able to force turnovers against Pac-12 foes. The Buffs forced 10 turnovers in three non-conference games, but have generated only three turnovers in four Pac-12 games.

Injury Report

— The CU injury report …

  • Out for the season … running back Jarek Brousard – knee surgery September 6th; cornerback Chris Miller – torn ACL, season-ending surgery on October 4th; cornerback Mehki Blackmon – shoulder surgery October 8th;
  • Out indefinitely … offensive guard Colby Pursell – has had his gall bladder removed;
  • Day-to-Day … nose tackle Jalen Sami – knee; quarterback Tyler Lytle – shoulder.

Player Notes … 

— With Tarik Luckett seeing action at cornerback against Washington State, a total of 14 true freshmen have seen action for Colorado so far in 2019. That ranks as the second-highest total for CU since 1984 (15 true freshmen saw action in 2011 … Jon Embree’s first season as head coach);

— Senior quarterback Steven Montez remains second on the all-time passing charts in yards (8,564). Montez still has a ways to go to get to No. 1 Sefo Liufau (9,568). Montez already has 37 school records, including the most games (16) with over 300 yards of total offense. With the start against USC, Montez will set the record for the most consecutive starts by a quarterback (32), passing the record set by Gale Weidner (31, 1959-61);

— Junior linebacker Nate Landman leads the Buffs with 85 tackles, almost twice as many as No. 2 on the list (Mikial Onu, with 44);

— Sophomore running back Alex Fontenot had 105 yards rushing against Washington State, his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and his career. Fontenot is up to 611 career rushing yards, 81st on the CU all-time list;

— Colorado had 17 scholarship defensive backs on the roster at the end of the spring. With attrition and injuries … the Buffs are now down to six, including three true freshmen (injured: Mekhi Blackmon; Chris Miller; transfers: Dante Wigley; Ronnie Blackmon; Kevin George; LJ Wallace; Aaron Maddox; has not played: Trey Udoffia; dismissed: Hassan Hypolite; failed to qualify: Trustin Oliver; moved to linebacker: Ray Robinson)

— CU tight ends have 22 catches so far this season. Buff tight ends had 17 catches in the last three seasons combined.

Colorado and USC – historical

Colorado enjoys a certain amount of national historical credibility, and stacks up well against most teams in the Pac-12 in historical statistics.

Against USC? Not so much.

In the 12 categories cataloged by Winsipedia, the Buffs lead the Trojans in exactly … none of them.

Some of USC’s impressive national rankings:

— 1st in NFL draft picks, with 511 (CU is 23rd, with 272);

— 6th in weeks spent in the AP poll, with 769 (CU is 27th, with 304);

— 4th in consensus All-Americans, with 81 (CU is 21st, with 31);

— 4th in conference championships, with 37 (CU is 10th, with 26).

The Trojans also have 843 all-time wins, 10 national championships (USC actually claims 11), seven Heisman trophy winners (one vacated), and 5 No. 1 overall NFL draft picks.

Colorado and USC …  head-to-head

Unless you have been ignoring all news stories about this weekend’s game, you are all-too familiar with the fact that Colorado is 0-13 all-time against USC.

The series dates back to 1927, when the Buffs made a November trip to Southern California, only to head home with a 46-7 defeat.

The next time the two teams played was in 1963, with the Buffs facing off against a Trojan team ranked No. 1 in the country. In Eddie Crowder’s first game as CU’s head coach, the Buffs played well, but the Trojans escaped with a 14-0 victory.

As members of the Pac-12, the Buffs are 0-8 against the Trojans, and, until the 2015 game in Boulder, the series wasn’t particularly close. The average score of the first four games was 48-20, with USC nationally ranked for each game.

In 2015, with the Trojans unranked for the first time against the Buffs (there were no national rankings in 1927), USC escaped, 27-24, in a game which the Buffs led in the second quarter, 17-3. Quarterback Sefo Liufau was injured in the second quarter, however, and, well, that was that.

The only other game in which the Buffs have been within ten points of the Trojans occurred in 2016. Colorado was the ranked team for that game, coming in as the No. 21 team in the nation. Steven Montez, though, struggled, completing 24-of-39 passes for 192 yards in a 21-17 USC victory.

Pac-12 Notes … 

— Three teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the ninth week of the Associated Press poll … No. 11 Oregon; No. 12 Utah; and No. 24 Arizona State. Oregon’s No. 11 ranking is the highest for Ducks since coming in at No. 7 on September 8, 2015;

— In 2016, Pac-12 teams are 5-15 on the road in Friday night games, 2-12 when traveling out-of-state. USC is 0-2 as a Friday night road team; CU is 1-0 as a Friday night home team (v. UCLA last season);

— There are 14 players in the FBS who are averaging over ten tackles per game, and two of them play in the Pac-12. Cal’s Evan Weaver leads the FBS at 15.0 tackles per game, while CU’s Nate Landman is eighth, at 10.6 tackles/game;

— Pac-12 National Leaders after Week Six: Washington State, passing offense (440.7 yards/game); Nu’umato Falo, Colorado, fumbles recovered (3); Anthony Gordon, Washington State, passing yards/game (425.9), completions per game (35.14); and total offense/game (431.1); Jevon Holland, Oregon, punt returns (21.7 average/return).

Trivia Question of the Week … If the Buffs can draw 46,053 for the USC game (which is likely), Colorado will remain one of eight schools nationally … to what?

Answer … Colorado is currently one of eight schools nationally to average over 100% of capacity. Through the first three games (two sellouts), the Buffs have drawn 154,680, or an average of 51,560 per game. That figures out to be 102.7% of Folsom Field’s capacity (50,183).


2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Friday ya Friday night

    Oh, yes, it’s Friday Night
    And the feeling’s right
    Oh, yes, it’s Friday Night
    Oh, what a night

    it’s a Friday night It’s all right, it’s all right And nothing’s gonna stop me now I’m all wired up and I’m on my way It’s the weekend And it’s starting today

    to get the party right Thank god it’s friday night What you gonna do on friday night, friday night, friday night What you gonna do on friday night,

    Well it’s Friday night and the weekend’s here, so let’s start right with lots of beer. I said ;Hey gang let’s hit the booze,

    This is how we do it, it’s Friday night And I feel all right The party’s here on the Folsom grass…So I reach for my 40 and I turn it up Designated driver turn the keys to my truck Hit the shore ’cause ……I’m faded …

    is right I’m bob barker Hold on to the prize ‘Cause it’s Friday night, Friday night come alive Friday night Baby are you sleeping Friday night My heart is still beating It’s alright Curfew’s gunna break my heart,

    and now, i’m gonna get Some Party, people, hey, it’s friday night We’re gonna rock this joint until the morning light Crowd is jumping, hey, it feels all right Forget monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, hey, it’s friday night Party

    to get the party right Thank god it’s friday night What you gonna do on friday night, friday night, friday night What you gonna do on friday night, ahhhh let’s go Rap: It’s friday night and we got it goin

    go, haters goin down for the count I got them diamonds on my neck Got patron in my cup If you want it come and get it Shawty I don’t give a f-ck See it’s Friday night And I just got paid

    Its Friday night and the mood is right its Friday night and the mood is right Its Friday night and the mood is right its Friday night and the mood is right

    It’s Friday night and I just-just-just-just-juuuuuuust got paid (money, money, money, money…) yeah, ohh… Just got paid, Friday night Party hoppin’, feelin right Booties shakin’, all around Pump that jam, while I’m gettin’ down

    like a Friday night, And that smell to getcha feelin’ right, I’ve waited all week for this, The Mighty Buff Game…I don’t wanna miss Somethin’ in the air, And it’s takin’ control, Can you feel it? Can you feel it?


    Note: Not a fan of the ALL black. Those shiny black helmets make em look little. or small. Don’t like that look. Now if by chance they go to the matte black it may look better. but that shinny black is well not good………

    1. Dang VK you almost got me out of my chair to do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight. Get down tonight.
      Go Buffs
      Buff stomp those Trojans

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