All week Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre was preaching that the Buffaloes had not done much after earning their first Top 25 ranking in a long, long time.
They didn’t do much Saturday afternoon in the first half against USC either as the freshly-ranked Buffs went into the locker room down 14-0 to the Trojans at the historic L.A. Coliseum.
Colorado’s offense didn’t top the 100 yard mark for total offense until late in the second quarter and struggled to get much going with their run game. Quarterback Steven Montez did move the chains a few times but was injured on the Buffs’ final drive of the half. It appeared as though he will return for the third quarter but he was replaced on the drive by former starter Sefo Liufau.
While USC’s defense was a big factor in limiting Colorado, the Trojans’ offense was the early story of the game. Young signal-caller Sam Darnold did fumble just prior to crossing the goal line in the first quarter but was otherwise nearly flawless in directing the offense with 163 yards and two scores through the air plus another 25 yards on the ground.
His two touchdowns were particularly sharp, tossing a strike to freshman tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe from 32 yards out in the first quarter to cap off an 80 yard drive. Darnold also scrambled away from a big loss before finding his other tight end Tyler Petite down field for a wild scoring toss that gave the rather thin crowd something to cheer about.