USC’s two Drakes – Jackson and London – way too much for lowly Colorado
Jackson gets two sacks and a fumble recovery and London (15) catches nine passes for 130 yards and a TD in a 37-14 win
Michael Kelly (OC Register) — BOULDER, Colo. — After an uneven start to the season, USC stayed perfect against the Colorado Buffaloes. The Trojans overcame mistakes, including 12 penalties for 115 yards, to beat the Buffaloes, 37-14, on Saturday and bounce back from an embarrassing home loss to Oregon State the week before.
“A culmination of the first four games kind of motivated us,” quarterback Kedon Slovis said. “You might not have seen it, but we were building toward this.”
The Trojans (3-2, 2-2 Pac-12) improved to 15-0 all-time against Colorado behind a big game from linebacker Drake Jackson (99).
The junior had two of the team’s five sacks and a fumble recovery and harassed Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis all afternoon.
The offense wasn’t always crisp but found ways to slice up the Buffaloes’ defense. Slovis was 19-for-29 passing for 276 yards and two scores, Drake London had nine catches for 130 yards and a touchdown and freshman Michael Trigg had two receptions, including a 46-yard TD grab in the first half.
London had seven catches – one for a touchdown – in the first half and outgained Colorado on his own 109-88.
“I try not to throw the ball too perfect because I don’t want to miss him,” Slovis said. “I just want to give him a chance and throw it up there for him. If I overthrow him, I’m making a bad play, so it’s really nice to know I just need to give him a chance and he’ll come down with it.”
The Trojans got their ground game going too. Keaontay Ingram had 14 carries for 124 yards rushing and Vavae Malepeai ran for a score.
“I feel like we played complementary football,” Ingram said. “When the run was there, it was there; when the pass was there, we were there. Complementary football showed in the points today.”
USC committed mistakes to keep the game within reach into the third quarter. A fumble by Ingram late in the first half led to a Colorado touchdown. In the third quarter, USC linebacker Ralen Goforth was ejected for targeting and fellow linebacker Raymond Scott’s late hit kept a Buffaloes drive alive.
“I’m not happy with all the penalties, I’m not happy with all the explosive plays,” Trojans interim head coach Donte Williams said. “I am glad the way we controlled the line of scrimmage. We expect our big-time players to step up in big-time games, and our big-time players stepped up today.”
Each time the Trojans defense responded. Tuli Tuipulotu had a strip sack of Lewis after the targeting call, Jackson recovered it in the air and rumbled to the Colorado 31 to set up a field goal. Later the defense had a stop on a fourth-and-one after the late hit.
“There were questions, not on this team, but the outside world maybe, ‘Can they stop the run?’ They proved they can,” Williams said of the defense. “We went out there and won the game. That’s what we should do, that’s what we expect to do.”
Ingram broke off a 53-yard run to set up Malepeai’s two-yard touchdown run, but Colorado threatened to make it a game with a touchdown late in the third quarter.
The Buffaloes were driving again when Joshua Jackson Jr. intercepted Lewis’ tipped pass at the Colorado 35. USC overcame a holding penalty that wiped out Ingram’s touchdown run to make it a 23-point game on Slovis’ 15-yard TD pass to Gary Bryant Jr.
Slovis completed passes to seven receivers and came away feeling the offense could have done more Saturday.
“We ran for 200 and threw for almost 300. That’s pretty ideal,” Slovis said. “It was a good day, but there’s still a lot to build on. We left a lot of points out there, but it feels a lot better coming off a win.
The Trojans went three and out on their first drive but overcame two penalties to get on the board first. London had the big play, catching a 31-yard pass between three defenders to put the ball on the Colorado 20.
The drive stalled and Parker Lewis kicked a 30-yard field goal to put USC in front, and London took over on the next drive. He caught passes of 29 and 28 yards, the latter setting up first-and-goal at the 1, and his one-handed catch on second down gave the Trojans a 10-0 lead.
“It’s one of those plays where your body kind of takes over,” London said. “That’s Kedon putting the ball in the right place. He’s such an accurate quarterback. Wherever he puts it, I’m going to try to go get it.”
The defense continued to stuff Colorado’s struggling offense, forcing another punt. Ingram reeled off runs of 10, 13 and 11 yards, Slovis connected with London to move into Buffaloes territory and then went over the top to hit Trigg down the right sideline for a 46-yard TD pass.
The freshman beat the smaller defender, slipped out of the tackle and trotted into the end zone for his first career touchdown.
“Trigg showed me he can come out here and be a threat, a mismatch. Really, if he’s man-to-man, if he’s against a safety or a smaller guy, you can’t stop him,” Slovis said.
USC had a chance to put it away by halftime, but Ingram fumbled at the end of a 17-yard run. A rejuvenated Colorado offense went 48 yards in six plays to score and make it 20-7.
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Great to see San Diego St finally get into the top 25, they are the only undefeated and consistent team on the west coast.
Good article and what still gets to me is the 12 penalties for 115 yards. I know it’s rhetorical question, but when is USC going to take discipline seriously and bench players who commit stupid penalties? Donte Williams voiced his concern about this in a short interview by the PAC-12 field reporter as he and the team left the field for halftime. I don’t know why he didn’t blister the team and let the players know that stupid penalties will mean immediate removal from the game and less playing time. SC, year in and year out, is one of the… Read more »
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury …..I have heard that name somewhere……Hmmmmm .
Kliff was supposed to be ours. What could have been! The drop from Kliff to Graham was rather severe, wouldn’t you say?
I always thought when USC hired him he would end up as HC. Had the Cards not offered him I am sure the change would have come sooner than it did, with the Cat got sooner.
On the show NFL Red Zone just now they asked a question that I am now pondering …..Are the Arizona Cardinals the BEST TEAM in the NFL ?????
How can that be, they run the AIR RAID.
Finally, a poll I can almost believe. A&M and Clem gone.
In my lifetime I have never seen a more hyped team than A&M. Every year for about the last 40 they are talked about like they could be great and one of the blue bloods. They never are.
The amount of money they spent and committed to Jimbo has made very little difference. Even going in to the SEC didn’t help them much. Not sure what the real story is there, but you are right they sure get the hype and votes every year no matter what they did the previous year.
I’ve heard some more nonsense from pundits. Add Tom Herman and Gus Malzahn to the throw crap out there list.
I have been waiting for Herman to show up on someones list. Malzahn fortunately has already declined the job before it was offered.
I would assume Herman would take the USC job in a second. Hopefully, USC would no longer consider the Longhorn coaching failure. You’ve got to figure he’ll hook up somewhere. Just hope it’s not USC anymore, though before he took the TEXAS job, I thought USC would be fortunate to have him. Wrong.
Karl Dorrell on Drake London per Greg Katz (WeAreSC): Karl Dorrell opening comments: “I thought defensively there were some positive things but there were some things that we did leave out there – we had some opportunities to get off the field and we didn’t. I have to give 15 (USC WR Drake London) a lot of credit – he’s a really good player. They threw it up to him and he highballed a lot and came down with great coverage on him and corners right there with him. But guess what? He’s six-four or six-five with probably a 40-inch vertical,… Read more »
Greg Katz (WeAreSC) — Bottom line: To Dr. Carol Folt, Mike Bohn, and Paul Caruso: “Forget about all the USC academic accolades and achievements because none of it will draw the national attention as the naming of the next the head football coach at ‘Southern Cal.’ How big is the USC football hire in Los Angeles? In L.A., the anticipation of naming a new USC head football coach is tantamount to waiting for white smoke to emerge from the chimney of the Vatican. In USC’s case, it’s the John McKay Center chimney, which is ironically located inside the head football coach’s… Read more »
Yesterday Lane Kiffin referred to his team as “lil ole Miss” whilst acknowledging they a snowball’s chance in Washington DC (where global warming is hitting hard) of beating Alabama.
I had a fleeting thought, what if the new coach lets Donte go too. Kiffin would hire him in a heartbeat. Or could you imagine what a duo Orgeron and Williams would make?
Luckily we’re USC and we would never make that mistake. Right?
I am not sure coach O will make it to next year. LSU fans are already calling for him to go. He will go through the Saban car wash and recruit another batch of 5 stars for them. Even after the trash talk of 2019.
Ya, LSU could lose a lot more games this year. You had a good run Ed O.
Congrats on that one fantastic team of yours! But the party may be over, and if so, why don’t you come back to USC as some type of super recruiter under the new USC super coach? Remember how much you liked it out here?
Ed’s just an amazing guy. One of a kind. Never met anyone like him. I’m sure I never will in the future either. Fight On Ed! ✌
Didn’t Ed O coach O line?
Thanks Chris, I knew is was a line somewhere.
ASU is the best team in the south and most likely the conference. The others just aren’t any good or have marginal QB play. Oregon would be a top 5 team, but has a QB who isn’t very good.
I think it looks like a 7-5 season for us.
we beat Arizona, Utah, Cal, and the gutties. We lose to ND and BYU (best team on our schedule) and ASU.
ORE’s D was also a sieve against STAN in the last two minutes yesterday. That was a very strange loss for a #3 ranked Duck squad.
I also think the Ducks got nailed by the refs on the late PI call in the end zone, keeping STAN’s hopes alive. Sad to see refs decide a game by changing the way they call plays at the very end.
No way they should have lost, but they did. Shaw runs that same play over and over, big receiver go get it. If you are going to call hand fighting it will never be stopped.
It is now Week 3 ATC (After The Cat). It is fun to watch SC football again. And what a great Saturday. SC wins, ND loses, UCLA loses. Donte Williams and his staff severely outcoached Karl Dorrell and his. CO is awful, maybe worse than WSU. And CO is now stuck with Dorrell for several years, meaning it is not going anywhere while he is running the show there. SC, under Donte, clearly made intelligent changes in both O and D schemes. I do not know what the new O scheme is but it worked against CO. I have no… Read more »
Did you read where the normally comatose Karl Dorrell got into trouble after the USC game for smacking a news camera that was trailing him?
“Coach Dorrell sends his apologies to the local journalist who he intercepted after today’s game,” CU AD Rick George tweeted. “We treat journalists with respect and apologize for falling short of that today.”
“The Buffs have an open week next week before resuming action Oct. 16 at home against ARIZ…”
Plenty of time for KD to cool down!
Dorrell was awful at UCLA. He was Coach of the Year in the Covid Season that saw The Cat go undefeated in the regular season. He is now being exposed for what he is – a lousy coach. CO made a huge mistake in hiring him. As you noted before the game, he really needed this game and his team laid a gigantic egg at home against a team that was routed by Oregon State at home the week before. The Beavers covered against the Huskies (my only win of the week) and are serious contenders to win the North.… Read more »
Both BYU and CIN should get in if they go undefeated. It’s only fair. JMHO.
But first BYU has to get by USC on Nov. 27 at the Coliseum. The Trojans owe the Cougars big-time.
Are you still tied to USC at 6-6? With yesterday’s big Trojan victory, and ORE’s loss to bizarre STAN, and UCLA’s fumble against ASU, the next thing you know, people will start talking up USC as a Rose Bowl team.
It’s shaping up to be a very strange season. All kinds of weird stuff could conceivably happen!
I am still at 6-6. I figure that ND, ASU and UCLA are all superior to SC. I then figure that SC will lose one game to BYU, Cal, or Utah. AZ will not beat SC. I doubt AZ beats anyone this year. I am not yet convinced that a win against a woeful CO team (remember, this is one of the worst O’s in the nation) changes much. But, it was by far (from a coaching standpoint) the best game SC has played in the last two years. Let’s see if it continues or if SC lays another egg… Read more »
Well said. I too love to see Clancy sporting Bruin blue. He was such a schmuck at USC. Good to see he has now also infected the little gutties!
Todays polls will come out later I wonder will they move Clemson way up based on that big win yesterday? 19-16 should not impress anyone but it will because it is Dabo’s team. Then we have Texas A&M, should they even remain in the top 25? Of course they will, it is Jimbo’s team. Both should be completely out of the polls. The new darling of the pollsters is Penn St and they will probably move to 3, but as soon as they play Iowa they will drop like a rock. Cincy will move up as they should but not… Read more »
With all due respect, undefeated ALA (just like in 2020) is #1 because of how they play on the field. The last time GA played ALA, just last season, the Bulldogs got killed 41-24. I know you hate the polls Steveg, but ALA is number one because they have easily earned it, beating OHIO ST last January, 52-24, and continuing to roll-on as usual. GA, and Kirby Smart, are still trying to simply avoid getting massacred by Saban and ALA. Once they finally do that, I have no doubt Saban and the Tide will fall behind GA in the rankings.… Read more »
The reason I say Georgia is better is simply based on your statement of how they play on the field. I am talking about this season, not last year or the past 5 years, just at this point in this season. Georgia has been tested tougher than Alabama and come out with a stronger result. Whatever the history is or how great the HC has no bearing on where they are at this particular time in space this season. Arkansas is a pretty good team, just not up to the NC caliber of Georgia, give them time. Poor CIN they… Read more »
#1 ALA has 53 first-place media votes. #2 GA has a measly 9.
The Coaches give #1 ALA 63, and #2 GA gets a whopping 2.
Obviously, the media and the coaches aren’t buying your argument now.
They will Allen, as soon as Georgia puts the hurt on Alabama in the SEC championship. Of course by then Alabama will still get into the NC so they will have to beat them again twice. Ha ha.
I live in the present, along with all the media and the coaches. Ha, ha, and of course,,, Fight On! Good jousting with you! ✌
The rest of the poll makes very good sense for a change though.
Yup, UF and ND definitely took it in the shorts, especially the Gators. Not just ARK.
Personally, I would like to see GA unseat ALA. Hope it happens, or that IOWA, PSU or CIN win it all.
The Crimson Tide has made CFB a little too boring since Saban became King. We definitely need to mix things up!
Ryan Kartje (LAT) — “As USC racked up 218 rushing yards — its most since November 2018, even the rest of the backfield got involved too. Transfer Darwin Barlow had 61 yards in 10 carries, and Vavae Malepeai contributed a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if we see more of Barlow — and less of Malepeai — in the coming weeks. “All season, USC has been searching for a strong second option to step up alongside Drake London in the passing game. In the second quarter Saturday, Michael Trigg declared himself the top candidate. “The freshman tight end leaped over a… Read more »
Looks like SC’s running back trades worked out well. Ingram or Barlow are far superior to Stepps (who is on the bench at woeful NE) and I think better than Carr (who is starting for 2-3 Indiana, has virtually all the carries and is averaging 3.8 yards per carry). Stepps career as a RB is clearly over; Carr’s will end when he graduates.
I never felt sad over losing either Stepp or Carr. They both got hurt at USC and were never the same.
Ingram and Barlow are way better than those guys and the USC coaches deserve good credit for upgrading the Trojan RB stable very smartly.