In their second consecutive contest against a top-10 opponent, Colorado (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) fared much better than last week. However, a frantic second-half rally came up short, as they fell to No. 8 USC (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) 48-41 on Saturday in Boulder. The Buffs got off to another slow start in this one, something that is becoming a theme through five games this season. The offense started stalling over the first few series, and the defense offered little resistance to Caleb Williams and the high-powered USC attack. On the first play of the second quarter, Williams found Dorian Singer for a touchdown to give the Trojans a quick 21-0 lead.
Photo Cred: Yahoo Sports
“Wonderful game, played our hearts out,” said Deion Sanders postgame. “I just addressed the team and told them that I love each and every one of them, coaches included, because they were resilient. They did not give up when they had multiple opportunities to give up. They fought ‘til the end.”
The Buffs offense woke up in the second frame, putting together a pair of touchdown drives to stay afloat going into halftime, although they were still trailing 34-14. In the second half, the defense followed suit, and the Buffs were in business. In that second half, CU started to really click, and Shedeur Sanders found a new target. True freshman Omarion Miller, who had not recorded a catch over the first four games, reeled in seven catches for 196 yards and a touchdown after the intermission. This broke Paul Richardson’s freshman record for yards in a game.
Miller was a star throughout the second half, winning in every way possible. He got open underneath with great routes, made plays down the field, and flashed his athleticism by getting huge gains after the catch. Sanders continued to look his way in big moments during the second half, including a big red zone touchdown on fourth-and-5.
“It was crazy,” Miller said postgame. “I dreamt of playing like that last night.”
The Buffs had to use their timeouts early in the second half, which cost them during the comeback. Their drive, trailing by 14 with just under six minutes to play, was discombobulated and took too much time with two scores needed. Colorado eventually punched it in, cutting the lead to seven, but it was too late. USC recovered the onside kick, ending the game.
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Despite the loss, the Buffs had some bright spots. After a down week last week against Oregon, Shedeur Sanders was superb on Saturday, finishing 30-for-45 with 371 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. The Buffaloes quarterback also used his legs more than he had throughout the first four weeks, running for 50 yards and a touchdown.
CU also established the run despite coming into Saturday ranked dead last in rushing offense. They ran for 193 yards, and Anthony Hankerson led the way with 74 yards and a score. Through the air, Jimmy Horn Jr. added two touchdowns.
Defensively, true freshman Cormani McClain, whom Deion Sanders had been critical of earlier in the week, got the most playing time of his young career and had a good day in coverage. Safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig created the Buffs’ only turnover of the afternoon, grabbing his third interception of the season.
For USC, Caleb Williams continued his campaign for his second straight Heisman Trophy, playing a near-flawless game and finishing 30-40 with 403 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception. Williams now has 24 total touchdowns with just the one pick through five games. Wide receiver Brendan Rice, a former CU wideout, had a big day in his return to Folsom Field, scoring two times. Leading the way in the receiver room for the Trojans was Tahj Washington, who reeled in eight balls for 117 yards and a score.
Photo Cred: CBS Sports
USC remains undefeated with the win and moves along in Pac-12 play next weekend when they take on Arizona. On the Buffs’ side, after two consecutive top-10 opponents, they get a more manageable opponent next weekend when they head to Tempe to take on Arizona State. Kick time is 4:30 p.m. MST.