Looking for their first win all-time against USC, on Oct. 2, The Colorado Buffaloes football team could not put up a big enough fight, losing 37-14 and falling to 1-4 overall, including 0-2 in Pac-12 play.
It was the same story once again with the offense, as they could only muster 14 points the whole game. Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis looked a bit stronger than in previous weeks, passing for 162 yards on 10 of 17 attempts. While the stat line looks clean, Lewis threw his second interception of the season, on top of being sacked five times.
The rushing game has yet to break out in a big way, netting only 80 yards and one touchdown, a two-yard rush by sophomore Deion Smith. Junior tight end Brady Russell led the team in receiving with 87 yards, while freshman wide receiver Chase Penry caught his first collegiate touchdown.
USC had their way on both sides of the ball today. USC’s Junior quarterback Kedon Slovis lit up the Colorado secondary, passing for 276 yards on 19 completions. Junior wide receiver Drake London racked up 130 yards on nine catches with a touchdown.
USC would jump out to a commanding 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Two field goals from USC’s sophomore placekicker Parker Lewis and two touchdown passes from Slovis would account for the points. Russell touched on how this team stays positive, even after falling into an early hole.
“I don’t think there is a lack of belief at all,” said Russell. “After that first touchdown, after that second touchdown both times, it’s like ‘alright, we’re coming back, we’re making it happen.”
At times, the Colorado offense looked good. CU used a six-play, 48-yard drive to put their first points on the board. A 19 yard run by sophomore running back Jarek Broussard and a 13-yard pass from Lewis to Russell would set up the Smith two-yard run.
“We knew 15 [Drake London] was going to be a threat,” Lewis said. “He was still making plays regardless of what our coverage was, so respect to him. We accepted the challenge, and we knew that they’re going to be throwing the ball so we just wanted to make sure we could play this type of football.”
Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell has stressed, all season, that although this team is young, it’s not an excuse. Dorrell touched on the things that his team needed to improve on.
“It was a number of things, it really was,” Dorrell said. “Brendon still has a lot to learn and he will continue to grow. But right now, there’s so many things that we need to fix on both sides of the ball. I thought defensively, there were some positive things, but you know there are some things that we did leave out there.”
For a defense that was projected to be a top unit in the Pac-12 and with the return of veteran defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson, the defense recorded no sacks and only hit the QB three times. When asked about the baby steps this team is making, Dorrell emphasized the improvements they need to make.
“They scored 37 points, we scored 14,” said Dorrell. “We’re at that point. There is an urgency about being more productive and more demanding about what we’re doing. Not that we haven’t done that already, but the pacifier is going to have to go.”
Over the next two weeks, it will be interesting to see what kind of changes and improvements Dorrell and his coaching staff have for this team. Colorado gets a bye this upcoming week and will be back in Folsom on Oct. 16 when they take on Arizona for parent’s weekend.
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Jason Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.