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NCAA Football

USC Preview: Blackout Game

The USC Trojans invade Folsom Field later tonight looking to bounce back from their thrilling triple-overtime loss to Stanford last week and the Buffs seem to be a good team to do that against.

Colorado is playing their 10th consecutive game without a bye week and their fifth straight opponent with a winning record. If you recall the Buffs haven’t fared so well against the previous four. Out of the five Pac-12 conference game that Colorado has played this season, they have been outscored by more than 30 points in FOUR of them. The only game that CU was not throughly beaten was against Washington State, a game that Colorado should have won.

On a positive note, Jon Embree will be getting back two of CU’s best players this week from injury. Running back Rodney Stewart and wide receiver Paul Richardson are both returning to the lineup today after missing games due to knee injuries. Stewart hasn’t played since he injured his knee at Washington and Richardson has been out since early October after spraining his knee during practice. The Buffs will be glad to get two of their best offensive players back for this game because they need to try and keep up with Matt Barkley and the rest of the Trojan offense.

Barkley comes into tonight’s game with over 2,200 yards passing and 22 TD’s and must have been licking his chops to get after CU’s battered secondary. His favorite target, Robert Woods will also try to exploit the Buffs’ inexperienced defensive backfield and he has done a pretty good job doing that to a healthy, experienced secondary to the tune of 991 yards receiving and 9 TD’s.

Some are saying this is a trap game for USC. They are coming off an emotional loss last week against Stanford, they had one less day to prepare for Colorado and they are coming to a cold-snowy Boulder where they are 0-2 in games in the snow.

Even though USC is coming to altitude and it is going to be cold for the game (it’s going to be around freezing at kick-off) I don’t think they will have a problem handling the Buffs.

It’s the annual black-out game in Boulder and the Buffs have been successful the past few years in the black-out games (beating Georgia last year and #21 West Virginia in ’08). CU will try to use the fan support early and could get off to a early lead but look for the Trojans to take over from there.

Prediction:  USC-38  Colorado-17