USC Defense Comes up Big Vs. Colorado

 (Photo Courtesy of Pac-12)
(Photo Courtesy of Pac-12)

By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer 

Before the game at the Coliseum became USC had big questions to answer. How would they play without its defensive leader Cameron Smith?  How were they going to stop a Buffalo offense that’s been averaging 39 points a game?

At nights end the defense had one of its better games all season and the offense had plenty of big plays adding up to a 31-20 Trojan win.

USC jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead as freshman QB JT Daniels completed 27 of 34 passes for 272 yards and three scores.

Daniels settled down after throwing two early interceptions. He looked more comfortable as the game went along as his deep ball had accuracy.

Michael Pittman led the Trojans (4-2, 3-1 Pac12) with 5 receptions for 144 yards and two scores and Sophomore Tyler Vaughns (Bishop Amat) had 5 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side Palaie Gaoteote IV led the Trojan defense with 9 tackles. Freshman DB Talona Hufanga had seven and Isaiah Langley chipped in with six as the USC defense held the Buffs to 265 total yards, including 164 yards in the first 3 quarters.

Ajene Harris (Crenshaw High) had 5 tackles, he also had a big pick-six returned from six yards out to give USC a 28-7 lead in the third.

The defense also held the Buff’s star Liviska Shenault to 121 total yards and it marked the first time a Power-five team held him to less than 10 reception and 100 receiving yards. (9 catches for 72 yards) all season.

“We knew that coming in our defense would have to help us,” said Trojan Head coach Clay Helton. “I think were making strides. It was neat to see the quarterback have a couple of mistakes, then settle in.”

USC has a 19 game win streak at the Coliseum under Coach Helton.

The Trojans travel to UTAH this week.