Thursday, October 18, 2012
Five storylines: USC vs. Colorado
By Garry Paskwietz
1. USC returns home: After playing four of their past five games on the road, the Trojans return Saturday to the Coliseum for an afternoon game in front of a sold-out crowd. The opponent isn’t expected to offer the stiffest challenge, as the Buffaloes are 1-5 on the season and are ranked in the bottom 20 nationally in both total offense and total defense.
Matt Barkley needs three touchdown passes against Colorado to surpass former Trojan Matt Leinart for the most in Pac-12 history.
2. Trojans into the record books: USC quarterback Matt Barkley is three touchdowns away from setting a Pac-12 career mark for touchdown passes (surpassing Matt Leinart). USC receiver Robert Woods needs 4 catches to establish a USC career receptions mark (moving past Dwayne Jarrett). The Buffs rank last in the conference in pass defense, so the odds are good that the USC players will set those marks in front of the home crowd.
3. Colorado tight end Nick Kasa vs USC linebackers: Kasa measures in at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, and that will be a decided size advantage against the smaller and quicker Trojans linebackers. Kasa has caught a touchdown pass in each of the past three games, and he will be one of the primary hopes for the Buffs to score some points.
4. Will Colorado be another launching pad to a strong USC finish?: In 2011, the Trojans beat the Buffaloes, 42-17, on a cold Friday night in Boulder, Colo. The game helped propel USC to an impressive finish on the season, as it didn’t lose again and outscored the opponents 170-69 in those final four games.
5. Blind-side rotation: The USC left tackle spot has been open for competition in recent weeks between incumbent starter Aundrey Walker and true freshman Max Tuerk. Lane Kiffin said this week that he anticipates both players seeing time against Colorado.