USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes Picks and Game Preview -- 10/02/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 2 p.m. ET, October 2, 2021
Venue: Folsom Field, Boulder, CO
Where to watch: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: USC -8.5
BetMGM:  USC -8
Caesars: USC -8.5

Season record
USC: 2-2 (1-2 Pac-12)
Colorado: 1-3 (0-1 Pac-12)

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USC - Colorado preview and analysis

Recent form
USC: lost 45-27 vs. Oregon State on Sept. 25
Colorado: lost 35-13 at Arizona State on Sept. 25

This would be a matchup better suited for Pac-12 After Dark because both teams are not it right now.

The USC Trojans' abysmal season continues on Saturday against the Colorado Buffaloes, a team that is having as bad of a time as USC is if that's even possible.

USC is coming in off an 18-point home loss to the Oregon State Beavers. It doesn't even seem shocking anymore that they would lose in the Coliseum on a regular basis. Crowds don't show up anymore. There's no exciting need for change, even more now that Clay Helton has been fired.

Quarterback Kedon Slovis, in his return from injury, threw three interceptions despite tossing for 355 yards. Considering Jaxson Dart was also hurt and won't be back for a while, it seemed like a last resort option for USC. Alas, the Trojans were outscored 24-10 in the second half behind Chance Nolan's four touchdown passes.

But keep in mind, it's not all bad for just the road team. The home team is not any better. The Buffaloes have lost three straight after the season-opening win against the Northern Colorado Bears. In what should've been an attempt to build off that 10-7 loss against the Texas A&M Aggies has turned into a disaster. Colorado has scored 13 points combined the last two games, multiple-score losses to th Minnesota Golden Gophers and Arizona State Sun Devils.

Conference play has gotten off to a rousing start with Colorado. The Buffs were not just held to 13 points, but also 250 total yards while ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels combined for 311 yards and two touchdowns. Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis, meanwhile, had only 67 yards on 7 of 17 passing.

The last time USC faced Colorado, Slovis threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns in a come-from-behind four-point win over Colorado. USC is 14-0 all-time against Colorado, so expect more of the same in this kind of capacity.


It's gotten to the point where it wouldn't be surprising if Colorado beat USC. It's been that kind of year for the Trojans. However, Colorado is a mess, especially offensively. There have been rough times with USC, but not rough enough for that defense to do some serious damage on Colorado's abysmal offense. Colorado has been held to 10 points per game and 191 YPG over the last three weeks. Expect that defense to hold firm. USC by 17

Betting trends

USC is 2-3 against the spread in Boulder since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011. 

USC has covered five of its last six as a road favorite.

Colorado is 5-1 ATS in its last six as a home dog.

Players to watch

USC: Drake London has become the only good thing about the USC offense. He had 10 receptions for 165 yards last week.

Colorado: Running back Alex Fontenot had 65 yards and a touchdown last week.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Kedon Slovis -- 842 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Keaontay Ingram -- 226 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Drake London -- 540 yards, 3 TD

Passing: Brendon Lewis -- 313 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jarek Broussard -- 188 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Daniel Arias -- 45 yards

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this USC - Colorado prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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