Friday Fast Facts – USC Week

… Your weekly “T.I.P.S”, previews for this weekend’s games, discussing Talent, Intangibles, Preparation and Statistics, have been posted. The written preview and predictions for the CU/USC game can be found here, while the CU at the Game Podcast preview for the game (which includes additions to the “CU Recruiting Clasas of 2023“) can be found here …


Big Picture … 

You can go home again … CU wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig, who will serve as an honorary captain for the USC game, will be playing close to home. “I’ll be playing 20 minutes or 15 minutes from my house”, Lemonious-Craig told the Daily Camera. “I’m excited to go home, play in front of my family and friends and go out there with a potential chance to get a W. … At the end of the day, it’s another game and I’m going to treat it like every game with my preparation and everything. But it’ll be interesting. It’ll be fun.”

Old home week (again) … After watching CU defector Christian Gonzalez intercept two passes on behalf of his new team last week, the Buffs again have to face talented players who left the CU program. Safety Mekhi Blackmon and wide receiver Brenden Rice have both been in the starting lineup for much of the season for the Trojans. Blackmon has 39 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups, while Rice has caught 23 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown;

Chase Penry will play against USC … Since about the middle of the season, sophomore receiver Chase Penry has been slated to redshirt. That’s still the plan, but the Cherry Creek High School graduate can play in one more game and still keep his redshirt. The Buffs are planning to use his him on Friday against the Trojans (see list of players with eligible redshirt years below);

Lincoln Riley in Pretty Good Company … Lincoln Riley is the first USC head coach to start his career 8-1 since John Robinson started 8-1 in 1976. Riley is also the first Trojan head coach other than Pete Carroll to start any season 8-1 or better since Larry Smith went 10-0 in 1988;

Tough Schedule … After the midway point of the season, cumulative stats take on more meaning. CU’s nine opponents to date are a combined 52-29 with the three remaining foes currently 22-5;

Caleb Williams Not Picky … Since the 2004 football season, no quarterback has thrown more touchdowns through their first nine games while also throwing one or fewer interceptions than USC’s Caleb Williams, who comes into the CU game with 28 touchdown passes … and one interception. Through their first nine games, Justin Fields of Ohio State had 27 TDs and 1 INT in 2019, and Tua Tagovailoa had 27 TDs and 1 INT for Alabama in 2018;

The ESPN Power Index gives USC a 98.0% chance of winning, leaving CU with 2.0% chance at an upset. In CU’s last game, Oregon was given a 95.6% chance of winning;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the FS1 (Friday, 7:30 p.m., MT), with Alex Faust on the play-by-play and Petros Papadakis with the commentary (Papadakis a former USC player who has a radio show in Los Angeles. He will have a USC slant, but he has funny stories, which might lighten the mood if the game gets out of hand early).  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 19th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his seventh year as the full-time analyst.


Statistically speaking … 

Any Good News for Buff fans? … Stats in which USC is ranked 100th or worse:

  • Ummm … I couldn’t find any. Sorry

—  How bad is the CU offense? … Colorado is ranked 109th or worse in every major category on offense (out of 131 teams nationally). The Buffs are 109th in rushing offense; 110th in passing offense; 122nd in total offense; and 129th in scoring offense. For the Buff offense to climb even as high as 100th nationally in scoring next week, the Buffs would have to score 90 points against USC;

How bad is the CU defense? … The Buff defense has a long road back to respectability. The Buffs are back to being second-to-last in the nation in rushing defense (130th this week), and still remain in the bottom five in total defense (128th) and scoring defense (130th) … and the Buffs are going against a USC team which is ninth nationally in total offense (495.9 yards/game) and seventh in the nation in scoring offense (41.0 points/game);

— Bar bet winner … The last time Colorado played USC in the Coliseum, the Trojans were led by a freshman phenom quarterback. That quarterback has gone on to earn a national championship ring, and is currently the quarterback for a Big 12 team. Name that quarterback.

The answer isJ.T. Daniels. In the 2018 CU/USC game (the Buffs missed their road game against USC in 2020 due to the pandemic) Daniels passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Trojans to a 31-20 victory over No. 19 Colorado (yes, 19th-ranked Colorado). After the 2019 season, Daniels transferred to Georgia, where he was the backup quarterback when the Bulldogs won the national championship last season. This season, Daniels is the quarterback for the 3-6 West Virginia Mountaineers.

Bar bet winner No. 2 … USC is the only FBS school never have ______ on their jerseys.

The answer is … Surnames. USC claims to be the only FBS school never to have had surnames on the back of its jerseys.


CU Player Notes … 

To Red-Shirt, or Not To Red-Shirt? … The following Buffs have played in more than four games this year, so they are not eligible for a redshirt: Aubrey Smith, Eoghan Kerry, Jordyn Tyson, Jason Oliver, Simeon Harris, Aaron Austin, Van Wells

The following Buffs can still redshirt, and the number of games they’ve played in so far are listed in parentheses: Owen McCown (4), Anthony Hankerson (4), Isaac Hurtado (4), Chase Penry (3), Zach Courtney (2), Joshua Wiggins (1), Kaden Ludwick (0), Shakaun Bowser (0), Grant Page (0), Victor Venn (0), Carter Edwards (0), Keyshon Mills (0), Travis Gray (0), Xavier Smith (0), Oakie Salave’a (0)

These two players have already gone in for season-ending surgery and will definitely redshirt: Chase Sowell (4) & Dylan Dixson (3);

Jordyn Tyson sets a school record … 51.26. That’s the average distance of the five touchdowns that wide receiver Jordyn Tyson has scored thus far in his CU career. The five have covered 258 yards, four touchdown receptions of 23, 8, 58, and 81 yards, and one punt return of 88 yards. With Tyson now out for the season, this will become the new single season record. The previous CU season record was held by wide receiver Mike Pritchard (48.8, 11 TDs/537 yards in 1990), with the career mark by the late Charles E. Johnson (43.3, 17 TDs/736 yards, 1990-93). Hopefully, Tyson’s career at CU – and his scoring of touchdowns wearing the black-and-gold – hasn’t come to an end;

Gaining Experience … During the first half of the season, CU has had 42 different players start at least one game (23 on offense; 19 on defense). That number ranks third in the nation, behind only New Mexico (47) and Texas A&M (43). The most recent were senior defensive end Justin Jackson and freshman nickel back Simeon Harris, who earned their first starts in the Arizona State game;

Spreading it Around … A total of 19 CU players have caught a pass this fall, tying a school record. Fifteen of the players have caught at least two passes, with seven having more than ten led by Jordyn Tyson, with 22, Daniel Arias, with 19, Montana Lemonious-Craig, with 19,  R.J. Sneed, with 16, Brady Russell with 13, Maurice Bell, with 11, and Deion Smith, with 10.


Colorado & USC

— USC has an 15-0 advantage in the all-time series against Colorado … Yup. That about sums it up;

— The streak … The 15 straight losses to USC are the most against any team to start a series in CU history. In fact, Colorado has only had one stretch of losses which was longer, the 18-game losing streak to Nebraska (1968-85).

— 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);

— Before last year’s 37-14 loss (which sounds almost quaint, considering some of CU’s scores this fall), CU had made a game of it of late against USC, with the previous five losses coming by a combined total of 36 points … with three of those losses by four points or less.


The Last Time … 

October 2, 2021 … USC 37, Colorado 14

Game StoryUSC methodically pulled away from Colorado, racing out to a 20-0 first half lead and never being seriously threatened thereafter, posting a 37-14 win in Boulder. In raising its all-time record against the Buffs to 15-0, the Trojans had 494 yards of total offense, with quarterback Kedon Slovis hitting 19-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. All-American candidate Drake London had nine receptions for 130 yards and a score, with eight of the receptions coming in the first half when the Trojan offense made a statement.

The Colorado offense, playing at historically poor levels, was held to 234 yards of total offense. Quarterback Brendon Lewis completed 10-of-17 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown pass to Chase Penry. Lewis also had a fumble and an interception, and was slow to pull the trigger on numerous passes, being sacked five times by a defense which had only three sacks in the first four games of the season. Tight end Brady Russell had three catches for 87 yards, including a 65-yarder, giving the Buff passing “attack” its first completion over 20 yards on the season.

“We can’t be talking about baby steps anymore,” Karl Dorrell, who fell below .500 for the first time as CU’s head coach (5-6), said. “We scored two touchdowns and that’s not enough. There’s an urgency about being more productive and more demanding about what we’re doing. The pacifier is going to have to go … We’ve got to grow up fast. There’s only so long you can take those incremental steps. We’re at that point right now. This season is in the balance.”

Continue reading story here

Essay for the Game … “Fifteenth Verse, Same as the First”can be found here


The Last Time in Los Angeles …

October 13, 2018 … USC 31, No. 19 Colorado 20

— Game Story … USC freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Trojans to a 31-20 victory over No. 19 Colorado. Daniels hit wide receiver Michael Pittman for two of those scores late in the second quarter, taking a 7-7 game and making it a 21-7 halftime lead for the Trojans.

CU all-everything wide receiver Laviska Shenault led the Buffs in both rushing and receiving. Shenault had nine receptions for 72 yards, but was held without a receiving touchdown for the first time all season. Shenault also had two carries for 46 yards, including a 49-yard scamper for a touchdown early in the second quarter, giving the Buffs a 7-0 advantage, the only CU lead of the game.

Steven Montez hit on 25-of-46 passes, well below his season average of over 75% completions. Montez had 168 yards passing, adding a 19-yard touchdown run late in the contest. Montez also threw a pick-six early in the third quarter, making it a 28-7 USC advantage.

… Continue reading game story here …

Essay for the Game … “Un-Lucky 13 ” … can be found here


Colorado and USC – historical

Colorado enjoys a certain amount of national historical credibility, and stacks up well against most teams in the Pac-12 when you take the time to review 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:

— 2nd in NFL draft picks, with 520, just behind Notre Dame, which has 522 (CU is 25th, with 276);

— 6th in weeks spent in the AP poll, with 798 (CU is 31st, with 305);

— 5th in consensus All-Americans, with 82 (CU is 24th, with 31);

— 5th in conference championships, with 37 (CU is 11th, with 26).

The Trojans also have 864 all-time wins, 11 national championships, seven Heisman trophy winners (one vacated), and 5 No. 1 overall NFL draft picks.


Pac-12 Notes … 

— A total of five Pac-12 teams made the Top 25 in the second College Football Playoff rankings announced this week. No. 6 Oregon, No. 8 USC, No. 12 UCLA and No. 13 Utah give the league four teams in the top 13 for the second-straight week, and No. 25 Washington is making its first appearance in the CFP rankings since 2020;

— The Pac-12 has six bowl-eligible teams: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington. Only Washington State, at 5-4, still has a realistic chance at qualifying. CU is the only team eliminated from bowl possibilities, with Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Stanford all coming into this weekend with 3-6 records, needing to win out to qualify for a bowl;

From …

Pac-12 lines … The home team is favored in all six Pac-12 games this weekend, and all of the lines are more than a touchdown … And every one of the lines has gotten higher since Sunday … 

Friday, November 11th

  • Colorado at No. 8 USC … 7:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … USC is a 34.5-point home favorite (up from 31.0-points on Sunday)

Saturday, November 12th

  • Arizona State at Washington State … 1:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington State is an 8.5-point home favorite
  • No. 24 Washington at No. 6 Oregon … 5:00 p.m., MT, Fox … Oregon is a 13.5-point home favorite (up from 11.5-points on Sunday)
  • California at Oregon State … 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Oregon State is a 13.5-point home favorite (up from 10.5-points on Sunday)
  • Stanford at No. 13 Utah … 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN … Utah is a 24.5-point home favorite (up from 24.0-points on Sunday)
  • Arizona at No. 9 UCLA … 8:30 p.m., MT, Fox … UCLA is an 19.5-point home favorite (up from 14.5-points on Sunday)


3 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts – USC”

  1. my stomach got upset just reading that.
    next july 4th, roll your obviously obese rear end over to NYC and challenge that guy that wins the hot dog eating contest every year

    1. Svelte 180

      don’t like hot dogs

      you didn’t serve so you can’t play

      once a year

      it’s a blast
      3 buds
      and we roll

      the wives don’t like it
      you must be one

      go buffies

  2. Yo Stuart. FFF my Fav…………
    Today I am busy.
    It’s Veterans Day

    Therefore I gotta get out and hit the “Free Food Deals (FFD)

    FFD with FFF

    There are like 250 companies that give Veterans, like Me, free meals. Lasts most of the day

    Ya gotta have a plan
    I’m gonna hit 16 of em.
    Leaving shortly

    Starting at 6 am.
    then 14 more all the way to
    Ending at 7:30 pm
    BJ’s Brewhouse

    In addition to a great plan ya have to pace yourself. Don’t get greedy early. That will stop you in your tracks. (Experience from years ago)

    I’m not gonna list em all but it works out like this
    4 Breakfasts
    6 brunch/lunches
    6 Dinners/suppers

    So wish me luck.
    I am good at this so I expect success.

    Go Me (VKB) GET IT ALL

    Note: Yup there is alcohol involved. Only a few are they freebies. (So I have two. Officers are allowed to do this.) The where they aren’t free I put the drink on my wife’s credit card

    Note 2: I always pack a necessity bag. (Antacids, Milk, crackers plastic bags ,etc etc) See ya don’t want you vehicle to become a vomitorium.

    Note 3: Sipping some Silver Oak helps the passing of the day.

    Note 4: I take pics of every meal before indulging so I can prove it to the Kids. Damn Libs don’t get it

    Note 5: Confession! I am gonna hit Perkins twice. Two locations.

    Note 6: My wife hates it when I bring “to go” bags home. So I gotta eat it all or sneak em in for Saturday snacks. Leftovers…………yummmmm

    Note 7: Miss Moneypenny, now that your location is known, I am gonna as an offshoot hit 10 Seven-Elevens and get the free “Quarter=Pound Big Bite 100 % all-beef hotdog.” Load them up with the condiments and then priority mail here they come. I’ll seal em up good. hehehe
    Sounds appropriate.
    Making me chuckle.

    Note 8: The big question!! What will upset my stomach first? The food or the game. See ya


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