(News4usonline) – This is year No. 1 under the Lincoln Riley regime for the USC Trojans. So far, so good. Instead of looking at this season as a rebuilding year for the Trojans, Riley has opted to reload. The USC football program this season has looked like a more updated or more modernized version of its former talent-laden self.
Like they have done all season, the Trojans, under Riley’s guidance, came out on a weekend date and steamrolled the competition. This time around, it was the Colorado Buffaloes standing in the way of the Trojans securing another step closer to playing in the Pac-12 Conference championship game. After dispatching the Buffaloes, UCLA is up next on the docket for the Trojans.
“I mean it is the rivalry game, but we have to treat every game the same,” USC defensive tackle Tuli Tuipulotu said after the game. ” We can’t go harder because it’s UCLA. How we treat Colorado is how we should treat UCLA. We just work, practice and prepare; just like every week.”
It took a minute, but when the Trojans got it going, they could not be stopped, especially on the offensive side of the ball. After the first quarter, the scoreboard reflected a baseball score with the Buffaloes getting on top of USC with a 3-2 lead.
Yes, this was a very odd score. Even more strange was USC quarterback Caleb Williams throwing an interception for the first time since last month early in the first quarter.
With the first quarter serving as an abbreviation, the Trojans came out and hit the Buffaloes with a 24-0 blitz in the second period to take a 26-3 lead into halftime. USC followed that momentous second quarter by adding 15 more points in the third period to certify that the rout was officially on.
USC wound up handing Colorado a 55-17 whupping and advance to one game closer to playing in the conference title game. USC will have to beat rival UCLA in order to do that.
“Our guys were awesome,” Riley remarked. “Obviously really proud of the win and to get another one
here at home. Some exciting opportunities are coming up that we look forward to.”
Williams was able to shake off that early game miscue and produce another strong performance under the Friday night lights beam. Williams finished the game with 268 yards passing with three touchdowns. He also added two rushing touchdowns, giving him a total of five scores for a night’s work.
“My goal every single week is to help the Trojans go 1-0,” Williams said. “Early in the year there were games where I had one touchdown. There were games where I had maybe two or three. There have been games recently that I’ve had five or whatever it is. We’ve been 1-0 mainly in those games and so that’s really all I care about every week. I just care about competing and winning.”
The only thing dampening the Trojans’ big win against Colorado was the loss of running back Travis Dye, who left the game with a serious lower leg injury.
“Don’t expect that he’ll play again this year, but don’t expect it to be anything long-term in terms of his future,” Riley said. “He’s gonna be playing on an NFL team next year, and probably playing really well. It breaks your heart, it does. But again, it’s part of the game and that’s why you have to appreciate every opportunity that you get to coach it, especially to play it. His time here on the field should be with no regrets. He certainly left it all out there and did everything he could for this team, and I know he’ll continue to do so.”
USC is now 9-1 on the season. The Trojans beat the Buffaloes for the 16th straight time (16-0) and have scored 40 points or more in four consecutive games, the first time they’ve been able to achieve that since 2003.
“Ninth win,” said Riley. “That’s some really cool times of the team surging on all three sides, which we said was going to be a big deal. I thought our guys responded and did.”
Dennis has covered politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the editor and publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper.