USC (3-2 overall, 2-1 Pac-12) will try to give No. 19 Colorado (5-0 overall, 2-0 Pac-12) its first loss of the season when the Trojans welcome the Buffaloes to the Coliseum on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
USC has won all 12 meetings against Colorado. The winner of the game will sit in first place in the Pac-12 South division standings.
Steven Montez scores rushing touchdown for Colorado
Steven Montez bolted 19 yards to give Colorado a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Buffaloes trail the Trojans 31-20.
The Buffaloes got in USC territory with a pair of completions by Montez. The Trojans held them to seven straight incomplete passes, but Colorado made a crucial fourth-down conversion after USC committed a pass interference penalty to reach the 20-yard line.
On 4th-and-5, Montez made the run. Colorado made a two-point conversion attempt that was intercepted by Greg Johnson in the end zone.
Porter Gustin exits game injured in 4th quarter
With minutes left in the game against Colorado, Porter Gustin limped off the field.
Gustin, who was recovering from various injuries, including an ankle injury, favored his left leg as he walked off after a play with less than three minutes remaining. He had four solo tackles — two fora loss — in the game.
The player following Gustin on the depth chart at outside linebacker is Hunter Echols
USC defeats Colorado 31-20
As Matt Fink took a knee in the final second of the game, USC earned a 31-20 victory over Colorado on Saturday night.
The Trojans earned 272 passing yards and 62 rushing yards, but gave up 123 yards in penalties in the win. Michael Pittman Jr. led the receivers with 144 yards in five receptions with two touchdowns, but JT Daniels completed only 50% of his passes.
The win preserves USC’s home winning streak and gives the Trojans the edge over Colorado in the Pac-12 South standings.
Michael Brown extends USC’s lead to 31-14 with field goal
Michael Brown drilled a 38-yard field goal, extending USC’s lead over Colorado to 31-14.
JT Daniels completed all but one of his passes in the seven-play, 28-yard drive. The Trojans gained additional yardage from rushes and a pass interference penalty before the touchdown attempt fell short with an incomplete pass to Amon-ra St. Brown.
The make was Brown’s second of the season since replacing the injured Chase McGrath.
Colorado trails 28-14 after rushing touchdown by Kyle Evans
Kyle Evans powered two yards into the end zone for a rushing touchdown, leaving Colorado trailing USC 28-14 in the fourth quarter.
The 16-play, 65-yard drive at 6:57 off the clock, as Colorado pressed into the red zone then was pushed back by a penalty. Quarterback Steven Montez completed three of his seven pass attempts in the drive, and most of the yardage was gained on the ground.
Colorado has 76 rushing yards and 144 passing yards, and 36 rushing attempts to 22 receptions.
Ajene Harris gives USC 28-7 lead with pick-six
Ajene Harris scooped a tipped pass inside Colorado’s 10-yard line and bolted to the left corner of the end zone, scoring a touchdown to give USC a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.
A 9-yard sack and a 3-yard loss on a Colorado rushing attempt put the Buffaloes deep in their own territory, setting up the quick touchdown return. The play was Harris’ sixth career interception; the third pick-six of his career tied a school record.
It was USC’s second interception of the season. The first came against Arizona.
Palaie Gaoteote exits game with head injury
USC linebacker Palaie Gaoteote exited the game in the third quarter against Colorado after sustaining a head injury.
Gaoteote barreled toward running back Laviska Shenault for a head-first tackle that became a helmet-to-helmet collision. Shenault appeared alright after the play, but Gaoteote lay on the field after the hit. He was assisted by trainers and walked off the field
Gaoteote was the back-up to Cameron Smith, the defense’s linebacker leader who was out against Colorado. The next player on the depth chart is redshirt senior Reuben Peters.
The play was not sent to review for targeting.
USC leads Colorado 21-7 at halftime
Following a scoring surge in the second quarter, USC jogged off the field at halftime holding a 21-7 lead over Colorado.
After earning 43 passing yards with two interceptions in the first quarter, JT Daniels had 255 passing yards with three touchdowns at the half. Aside from a 49-yard touchdown run by Laviska Shenault, the Trojan defense clamped down on the Buffaloes, allowing 51 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards in the half.
While receivers excelled, USC’s running backs have been dormant, with zero net rushing yards for the Trojans at the half.
Michael Pittman Jr. makes second touchdown reception for USC
Michael Pittman Jr. made a 9-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter, extending USC’s lead over Colorado to 21-7.
The Trojans got in position with a 39-yard reception by Pittman, who made a 65-yard touchdown play the drive before. The drive gained 55 yards in four plays. Pittman has five receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Trojan receivers.
After throwing two interceptions in the first quarter, JT Daniels has turned around his performance, with 255 passing yards and three touchdowns. He completed three of his four passes on the Trojans’ scoring drive.
JT Daniels and Michael Pittman Jr. connect for 65-yard touchdown play
JT Daniels threw a long pass down the field to Michael Pittman Jr., who darted uncontested to the end zone, giving USC a 14-7 lead late in the first half.
The play was the longest of the night, finishing a two-play touchdown drive that took less than a minute. Daniels completed the play on 2nd-and-14.
Daniels has completed 12 of 22 pass attempts with two interceptions and two touchdowns, earning 200 passing yards. The reception was Pittman’s third to give him 96 receiving yards.
Tyler Vaughns makes 27-yard touchdown reception to tie with Colorado at 7
JT Daniels lofted the ball deep to the right toward Tyler Vaughns — a pass Vaughns caught as he dashed into the end zone, tying the game 7.
The drive gained momentum with Daniels’ 19-yard pass to Michael Pittman Jr., but it was Vaughns who finished. He turned a reception into a 28-yard gain, then made the touchdown catch on the next play.
Vaughns made three receptions for 69 yards, leading the Trojan receivers to average 23 yards per catch. Daniels has completed 10 of his 20 pass attempts; the touchdown pass came after he threw two picks in the first quarter.
Laviska Shenault completes 49-yard touchdown run to give Colorado 7-0 lead
Laviska Shenault broke free of USC’s defense, bolting 49 yards for a touchdown run to give Colorado a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
The three-play, 58-yard scoring drive took less than a minute. Shenault’s run came on third-and-one after a pair of rushes by Travon McMillian.
Aside from the explosive play, USC’s defense has effectively contained the Buffaloes. Shenault’s 3.7 yards per carry is the highest rushing yard average by any of Colorado’s running backs, and the Trojans have allowed only 20 passing yards.
JT Daniels throws second interception late in 1st quarter
JT Daniels threw his second interception late in the first quarter to Colorado safety Evan Worthington.
After five straight drives between USC and Colorado ending in punts, the Trojans began their offensive drive with a 9-yard reception by Amon-ra St. Brown and a 4-yard rush by Aca’Cedric Ware.
Then, Daniels threw his second pick of the quarter — his fifth of the season. It marks the second time this season that Daniels has thrown multiple interceptions in a game. He threw two against Stanford on Sept. 8.
The game against Stanford is the only other matchup this season where USC failed to score in the first quarter.
JT Daniels first pass against Colorado intercepted by Drew Lewis
JT Daniels threw an interception, picked off by Colorado outside linebacker Drew Lewis at USC’s 40-yard line.
It was Daniels’ first pass of the game.
Daniels aimed the pass at Velus Jones, down the sideline in heavy coverage. It was USC’s first possession after Jones’ opening kickoff return, and Daniels’ fourth interception of the season.
The Trojan defense shut down Colorado’s ensuing drive, forcing the Buffaloes to punt, returning possession to USC’s offense.