Best player of the half
Matt Barkley. Barkley has continued his strong play, hitting on four touchdown passes in the first half to three different receivers -- two to Marqise Lee and one each to Xavier Grimble and Robert Woods. He was 17 of 27 for 193 yards and even had another potential TD pass dropped by Lee. The only blemish was an interception at the end of the half which was returned to the USC 5-yard line.
Time of possession. The Buffaloes have done a better than expected job of controlling the football, as the TOP stat is dead even so far, with USC and Colorado clocking 15 minutes each. The Buffaloes have hurt themselves with three personal-foul penalties and having a field goal attempt blocked.
The leading tacklers for the Trojans defense included some new names in the starting line-up. True freshman Lamar Dawson got the start at middle linebacker and leads with four tackles. Drew McAllister, Isiah Wiley and Nick Perry were next in line with three tackles apiece. McAllister is starting in place of T.J. McDonald, who sat out the first half with suspension, while Wiley is the third different starter at corner this year, following Torin Harris and Anthony Brown
What USC needs to do
Keep throwing the ball with Barkley and everything should be fine. The Colorado defense got a pick at the end of the first half, but they have had no answer for Barkley thus far.
What Colorado needs to do
The Buffs really haven’t played that badly so far and the score could be closer than it is now. They got the ball into the USC red zone twice at the end of the half and were only able to come away with three points. The Buffs need to keep using Rodney Stewart -- who is running well -- but the big surprise has been QB Tyler Hansen throwing for 156 yards.