September 30th – Boulder          No. 8 USC 48, Colorado 41

Colorado rallied from a 48-21 third quarter deficit to make it a game, but nonetheless lost to USC for the 17th-straight time, falling 48-41 before a sellout crowd of 54.032. Shedeur Sanders threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns, while running for another, but it was not enough to keep up with USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who threw for six touchdowns and 403 yards. For the game, the Buffs actually out-gained the Trojans, with 564 total yards to 498 for USC, but the first half once again was the Buffs’ failing, with USC taking a 34-14 lead into the break.

Freshman wide receiver Omarion Miller, who had no receptions on the season coming into the game, collected seven passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Horn, Jr. contributed two touchdowns and 84 yards with his seven catches, while tight end Michael Harrison had six catches for 44 yards and a 21-yard touchdown. The Buff rushing “attack”, which had only 223 total yards in the first four games of the season, came alive with 193 yards on 45 carries. Running back Anthony Hankerson led the Buffs with 16 carries for 74 yards, posting a two-yard touchdown run.

“Wonderful game. They played their hearts out,” said Coach Prime. “I addressed the team and told them I love each of them, coaches included, because they were resilient. They did not give up and they had multiple, multiple opportunities to give up. They fought to the end. We sustained injuries, meaning the next man up came in and did their thing”.

Despite the second straight defeat, and despite having a defense which had given up 90 points in its last two games, Coach Prime was defiant. “If you can’t see what’s coming with CU football, you’ve lost your mind”, Sanders said. “You’re just a flat out hater. If you can’t see what’s going on and what’s going to transpire over the next several months. Something’s wrong with you.”


Game story … Colorado won the coin toss .. and may have made a mistake by deferring to the second half.

For the second consecutive week playing against a top ten team, the Buff defense gave up a quick touchdown to the opposing offense. It took the USC offense only six plays to cover 75 yards to take the steam out of the sellout crowd at Folsom.  Trojan running back MarShawn Lloyd completed the drive with a 27-yard run. Less than three minutes into the game, the Buffs were already behind, 7-0.

The Colorado offense responded to the challenge … by going three-and-out.

With a chance to take over the game early, the Trojans were forced to punt. Two overthrows by Caleb Williams and a bad snap on third-and-ten helped, but the Buffs got the ball back still down only one score.

Taking over at their 10 yard line, the Buffs took off on their longest drive of the day, at least in terms of plays. An 11-yard run by Shedeur Sanders got the drive off to a good start, but that proved to be the longest play in the drive. CU converted three third downs along the way, but the 16-play drive still came up empty, with kicker Jace Feely missing a 41-yard field goal.

Well rested after CU’s six-minute drive, the Trojans needed only three plays to score. On third-and-four at the USC 29, Caleb Williams scrambled long enough to allow his receivers to get open. Williams hit a wide open Tahj Washington deep in CU territory, with Williams going in untouched to compete the 71-yard scoring play. In less than a minute of possession time, USC now had a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.

But the Trojans were far from done.

On third down of CU’s next possession, Buff quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw an interception, with the USC offense taking over at the CU 22-yard line. Four plays later, the Trojans were in the end zone once again. On the first play of the second quarter, Williams hit Dorian Singer for eight yards and a touchdown. Just 15 minutes and five seconds into the game, it was looking like a rout. USC 21, Colorado 0.

The Colorado offense, held under 100 yards in the first quarter, finally woke up. Facing a three-touchdown deficit, the Buffs got underway with an Anthony Hankerson run of 18 yards, putting the ball out near midfield. An eight-yard run by running back Dylan Edwards on third-and-one kept the drive alive, with Shedeur Sanders hitting Jimmy Horn Jr., for a 30-yard score on the next play. USC 21, Colorado 7., with 13 minutes left in the half.

A huge sack of Caleb Williams by Omarion Cooper for a loss of eight yards forced a punt on USC’s next possession, but the Buff offense was not up to the challenge, going three-and-out. The quick possession was bad enough, but the Mark Vassett punt was partially blocked, giving the ball back to the Trojans … at the Buff 23-yard line.

As had been the case with the Sanders interception, the Trojans quickly took advantage of the Buffs’ miscue. Two plays after the blocked punt, USC was on the board again, with Williams hitting wide receiver Mario Williams for a 24-yard touchdown. Midway through the second quarter, the rout was in full swing, with USC up 27-7 after the point after attempt was muffed.

When the Buffs punted after gaining only one first down, the Trojans went in for the kill. Without facing so much as a third down, USC went 73 yards in seven plays to take a 34-7 lead. Williams threw his fourth touchdown pass of the first half, connecting with former Buff Brenden Rice for a 26-yard touchdown.

Rather than fold, the Buffs responded in the final three minutes of the half. A ten-yard completion from Sanders to Jimmy Horn, Jr. for ten yards and an 11-yard completion to Anthony Hankerson put the ball at midfield with just over a minute to play. An eight-yard run by Dylan Edwards on third-and-two at the USC 42-yard line kept the drive alive, with a 25-yard Shedeur Sanders touchdown run with 21 seconds remaining giving Buff fans something to cheer about before the break.

Halftime score: No. 8 USC 34, Colorado 14

Deferring to the second half once again came into question when the Buffs quickly punted the ball away to start the third quarter. But the Trojans, thanks to an illegal block giving the USC offense a second-and-20, posted their first three-and-out of the afternoon.

When the Buff offense also went three-and-out, the Trojans looked to send some of the Buff crowd home early. A seven-play, 55-yard drive was capped by Caleb Williams hitting Brenden Rice for six yard score. Rice’s second touchdown of the game made it a 41-14 game midway through the third quarter. A week after watching the Buffs take a 42-6 loss on the road against No. 8 Oregon, the stands started to thin … but just a little.

Then a funny thing happened … instead of folding, and leaving the Buff Nation with a second straight blowout loss, the Buffs fought back.

On the first play of CU’s next drive, Shedeur Sanders connected with wide receiver Omarion Cooper for 65 yards, giving the Buffs a first d0wn at the USC ten-yard line. Three plays later, Anthony Hankerson took it in from two yards out, making it a 41-21 game with 5:50 left in the third quarter.

Thoughts of a comeback were seeming quashed a few minutes later, with the USC offense responding with a touchdown drive of its own. A Cormani McClain interception was called off due to a pass interference call, giving the Trojans new life. Later in the drive, Caleb Williams posted his sixth touchdown pass of the game, completing a three yard pass to Jude Wolfe to make it a 48-21 game with 2:14 to play in the third quarter.

From thereon … it was all Buffs … almost.

Three plays into CU’s next drive, Shedeur Sanders connected with Omarion Miller once again, with this completion going for 44 yards down to the USC 21-yard line. On the very next play, Sanders hit tight end Michael Harrison for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 48-27 with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.

One play later … the Buffs had new life. Trojan quarterback Caleb Williams, who hadn’t thrown an interception all season, threw an ill-advised pass, with Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig giving the Buff offense the ball back at CU 39-yard line.

With momentum on the CU side of the field, the Buffs moved quickly to take advantage. The drive started with an eight-yard Anthony Hankerson run and a nine-yard completion to Xavier Weaver. As the third quarter came to a close, the Buffs were at the USC 40-yard line, and looked to make a game of it.

On third-and-three at the USC 31-yard line, Sanders found Jimmy Horn Jr. for 17 yards and a new set of downs. Later, facing a fourth-and-five at the USC nine, Sanders hit Omarion Cooper in the end zone for a touchdown. Suddenly, with 11:55 still left to play, it was a game again, at 48-34.

When the Buff defense held four plays later, the sellout crowd of 54,032 was in full voice. A 28-yard completion from Sanders to Omarion Miller gave the Buffs a first down near midfield, but the CU offense would go no further. On fourth-and-five at the USC 47, Shedeur Sanders was sacked, giving the Trojans the ball back at the CU 44-yard line.

USC made a quick move into the CU red zone, but the Buffs held. On third-and-nine at the CU 17, Caleb Williams was sacked by Derrick McLendon and Amari McNeill for a loss of five yards. The loss proved important, as USC kicker Denis Lynch came on and barely missed a 38-yard field goal attempt on the next play, leaving it a two-score game with 5:58 still to play.

The Colorado offense then set off on a deliberate – much too deliberate, as it turned out – touchdown drive. The ten-play drive included passes from Sanders to Omarion Cooper covering 14, 15  and 21 yards, but runs in between took up too much of the game clock. When Sanders hit Jimmy Horn Jr. for 16 yards and a touchdown, it was a 48-41 game, but only 1:43 remained on the fourth quarter clock.

When USC fell on the ensuing onside kick, there was nothing left for the Buffs to do but watch Caleb Williams kneel three times, running out the remaining time.

Final score: No. 8 USC 48, Colorado 41

“We challenged them tremendously at halftime”, Coach Prime said of the Buff comeback from 48-21 to make it 48-41. “You know, everybody says they want the light until they get in the light. Now, when you get in the light, the thing about the light is it echoes your blemishes. So we challenge them to come out here … All they have to do is believe and regardless of the color of the uniforms on the opposing team, they just have to believe and that’s something that they’re doing. Week in and week out. It’s growing.”

Like his father, though, quarterback Shedeur Sanders wasn’t about to take the comeback as a moral victory. “Nothing, we just lost”, Sanders said about any positives coming from the game. “Just because it is a big team doesn’t mean we tip our cap and it’s time to get blown out now. A loss is a loss, we are humans and all put our pants on the same way. It’s just understanding this is a problem and we gotta get to the solution and find a way to get to solution and start off fast.”

Game Notes

— The loss left CU with an 0-17 record against USC, by far the worst record the Colorado program has against any other program;

— Attendance for the game was 54,032, the sixth-largest in school history, and the most at Folsom since 2003 against Oklahoma;

— Omarion Miller had seven receptions for 196 yards and a touchdown. The total was the eighth-most in school history, and set a freshman record, besting the 141 Paul Richardson had against Kansas in 2010;

— In the first five games of the Coach Prime era, the Buffs at least 40 points three times. From Week Four of the 2018 season through the end of the 2022 season (a stretch of 51 games), the Buffs hit the 40-point mark twice;

— With four touchdown passes against USC, Shedeur Sanders raised his season total to 15 scoring passes through five games. That number was already tied for the 13th-best single season total in Colorado history and more than halfway to breaking the CU single season record of 28;

— Colorado had 564 yards of total offense against USC. That total was the highest since 2028 (season opener against Colorado State) … the most in a Pac-12 game since 2016 (v. Washington State), and the 5th-most in a conference game in the past 20.



34 Replies to “No. 8 USC 48, Colorado 41”

  1. Shedeur will be back next year with hunter, I hope Comari stays and doesn’t leave and get to see more of him with Miller both legit, but get where Prime stands. Shilo will be back and that portal will happen.

    I think we can finish strong…

    My predictions,

    ASU close depending on players I’ll give it a win by 3.

    Stanford should be a lock, they did ok with Oregon but I’ll give it a win by 14.

    UCLA, I’ll be there for, and I’m curious about this, but think the run will kill us and I give it to UCLA by 7. I hope I’m wrong.

    Then Oregon St, I know y’all will show up and think this will be a signature win, OSU “D” is tough. I’m going upset on this. CU in a close maybe another 98 yard drive, but I like CU in this. CU win. Bowl Eligible!

    Arizona I’m taking win, but again close after an upset of OSU

    WSU is a great team on both sides. I’ll caulk this up as an L.

    And last Utah, not the last game with them cause we will see them in the Big 12, but their D is as tough as we will ever see, and having their QB back in Utah have to give this to the UTES. Hope I’m wrong!!

    Projected end of season… 7-5.

    Let me know what you think and what your projections might be.

    Go buffs. It’s been fun. At least as a Georgia boy I got to see my buffs in Boulder for the first time to see them beat the cornholes.

  2. I am truly proud to be a Buff fan this morning. This team fought all the way to the end of the game.

    I am not sure about the play calling on the last TD drive though. With no timeouts, you have got to work the outside more. Running up the gut meant every play took about 30 secs off the clock. Save time and give yourself a real chance to get the ball back (onside kicks are not a real chance in my book).

    The last two games were always going to be really hard to win. But above it all, after getting tromped on last week, the team showed up this week. Unfortunately, both Oregon and USC are running off to the Big 10 so we won’t be able to take those games back in the near future. I wish we had the chance to spank that duck coach and get a win against USC. They won’t want any part of this team in the future.

    For the first time in 20 years, I think the future for this team really does look bright and I am excited for it.

    SKO BUFFS!!!

  3. When you look at the pac 12 standings today, they look like they always do.
    Buffs sitting right were the bookies said they would end up (3 to 3.5 wins)

    We coming and all that other stuff Coach Prime says.

    Bowl game get just3 more. Raspberry Swirl O should do it.

    This is the extended prime family show cause you don’t see many others

  4. Clealy the holes are everywhere.

    don’t care.

    3 and 2 and breaking out of shell.

    3 more..

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Gotta say the 2 pac 12 rejects look formidable.

  5. They were playing the whole time for the onside kick.
    Yes time management , but they had no timeouts left and their best option was hope for the onside.
    Two minutes ur still not getting it back.
    No problem that.
    Let’s get a bowl. ASU won’t be easy either.
    Hope we get some guys back. Hard two games and actually looked like some dudes got banged up in this one as well.

    1. I had no problem with clock management, and running in the 4th. They had to keep SC honest with the MLB and now allowing SC to line up in ridicules splits. When SS broke the run, they had to change what they did. The killer play was the 9 yard completion, where they leveled SS and could not get back to the line fast. Another yard, the clocks stop as a 1st down, and CU is still in business. SC covered the onside decent, and the os kick was not bad.

  6. This was ALWAYS going to take a touchdown and an onside kick at 5 1/2 minutes. You could NOT give the ball back. Running the ball into good boxes was the right call. If one of those runs had broke for 10 or 20 it would have been fine. In addition, our middle passing game is predicated on the linebackers stuck in their run fits for a second. That last touch down might not be possible if the linebacker drops into coverage in the snap.

  7. I think it’s fair to talk about some key Buffs mistakes that cost touchdowns.

    The blocked punt was weird. I thought they were sniffing out a possible fake and when Vasset could see there was no space to run he punted. But that cost a touchdown. Then the Sanders interception gave USC great field position and also cost a touchdown. 14 points right there. A good lesson for the team how singular plays can cost a game. Hoping the upcoming games are more success and less lessons to learn.

    The last mistake was the poor play calling and clock management on the final Buffs drive.

    So our Buffs are 3-2, which is where most of us figured they would be 2 weeks ago. I’m happy they came to life in the second half and made a game of it. Great to see the freshman step up. Great to see some commitment to a running game (still wondering when McCaskill and Smoke are going to play significant reps). Hilarious so see Terrell Owens in black and gold tie-die being the CU cheerleader on the sidelines. Looking forward to the next 3 games to see how the buffs handle opponents they should probably beat.

    1. That makes since if he ran out for a fake, but with that logical thinking now I can only assume, if that’s the case, Deion or the staff were still thinking about the Oregon game and that would be problematic.
      You know ur not good enough yet to deal with USC, but managed correctly you can win.
      That was inside the 10?? I would hope that wasn’t the call, but never thought about it.
      Good post.

    1. Buffs dearly need some blue collar tight ends. A blue-chip or legit transfer would be nice. Harrison is great as a pass catcher or to put out in the slot, but Buffs need two more legit guys. Sorry that Pass has been hurt, Fauria too for much of his career. IMO, Brewster is a great TE coach, but it is a position that requires a special player (hard to find = low supply), and still a ton of treaching.

  8. Y’all know there are three phases to the game?
    Nobody cares about those special teams, but we got destroyed!
    USC also had one sit at the 10 and it was a short punt we let go, and then that’s when Sedueur threw a pick and they scored.
    Blocked wtf punt and missed field goal.
    Yea many more problems but everyone is I don’t care about specials teams.
    Three phases Colorado.

  9. IMO, team showed signs of starting to gel in second half after first half miscues. Though I would have loved to see a win, I’m a proud Buff and feel today’s team showed growth. Looking forward to more starting next weekend! Go Buffs!!

  10. Oh my. Our special teams should be renamed below average sucky teams. New misadventures every week… Cost us big time this week.

  11. When was the last time you saw him make that punt??
    That was horrible and easy 7 right there.
    Also field goal miss from 41
    10 points given.
    Get it not all special teams, but that was bad! And has been

  12. Everyone’s got an opinion, right?

    Funny the variance here, so far.

    Great game. Tough loss. The team made a few too many mistakes in the first half, but what a great effort to come back and almost shock the world, again, with an upset.

    It’s amazing what a vanilla offense can do with a little better execution and a little worse opposing defense.

    Last seven games will be epic. Been a long time since we’ve been 3-2. And guess what? The 300 lb dudes who run a 4.8 40 are comin’. Best believe.

    Go Buffs

    1. Looked more like Raspberry swirl which was a nice change from vanilla. Now some whipped cream and a cherry and you got something.

      Go Buffs

      1. Was the same offense. Better execution and uo played flawlessly, which is rare. If you want to get specific to point out the difference in the offense, I am ready to hear it.

        Go Buffs

      2. Prime said the OC called a great game. I like that. Part of the success. Didn’t hear that after ou.

        Go Buffs.

        1. “Everybody runs power, everybody runs zone. That’s what it is. It’s about just the players executing it, so I feel like today we had a better mindset and understanding, OK, we’ve got to execute these plays for them to be able to work and that’s what we did.” Shedeur sanders

          No secrets plays or surprises. Just better execution and a slightly weaker defense helped too.

          Next eight games are gonna be epic.

          Go Buffs

  13. I am so proud of the way our team stood in there after taking USC’s best punch. We came back and showed how much fight this team has. I don’t like to see The Buffs lose but my goodness they played hard to the end.

  14. Crappy officiating just might have cost the Buffs the game. Hate to be a whining homer, but some very questionable calls and no calls in this game. Proud of the Buffs for playing tough and making it an exciting game!

  15. Has anyone listen to the questions after with Deion.
    Nobody asked about special teams!!!!!
    Wtf was that!!!
    Worst punt blocked and missed field goal.
    You Colorado folks need to ask real questions.
    Not one. The punter lost that game and special teams lost that game: but y’all won’t ask the question.

      1. I would not say it cost them the game, but B-12 officiating has been crap for decades. With the the Pac’s disintegration hopefully most of these guys go to division 2. Thing is watching the SEC, the Big12 and (the B1G to a lesser degree), the Refs let the teams play. PAC officiating has always been ticky-tack…

    1. Sorry but I don’t agree that the punter lost the game. Yes that was a bone head play. There were a number things we could have done better. It was a team loss. Coaches and players. But we showed some fight.

    2. Post this one twice. My comment here was agree, this was on the punter. Feeley’s miss was bad, but it was from 43, not 35.

  16. Who was the OC on the last drive, Nathaniel Hackett?!!!
    Absolutely infuriating watching those run plays with no Timeouts.
    But how about those youngsters, Omarion & Cormani, helluva future!!!

      1. So Shedeur has Nathaniel Hackettism, or he’s being a good leader and putting the onus of himself. I’m not putting it in on the last few minutes as most of the first half was a shit show. But no timeouts down 2 scores you have to know time is more valuable.

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