Drive Chart
COLO
USC

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USC's defense dominates in 31-20 win over No. 19 Colorado

LOS ANGELES (AP) Until Southern California's young offense can put together an entire game with as many brilliant plays as it crammed into the second quarter against Colorado, the Trojans' defense will attempt to carry them toward the Pac-12 title.

The defense came through with an awfully impressive lift Saturday night.

Michael Pittman Jr. caught two of J.T. Daniels' three touchdown passes, and USC's defense dominated the first three quarters of a 31-20 victory over previously unbeaten No. 19 Colorado.

Ajene Harris returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter for the Trojans (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12), who have rebounded from back-to-back losses with three straight wins. The defending conference champions asserted their supremacy over the upstart Buffaloes (5-1, 2-1) in the South division race while remaining unbeaten at the Coliseum in all 19 games under coach Clay Helton.

''It was a win that allows us to control our destiny the rest of the way,'' Helton said.

Tyler Vaughns also caught a TD pass from Daniels, who passed for 272 yards with two first-quarter interceptions and a handful of missed throws. USC's offense only scored touchdowns in the second quarter, struggled to run the ball and relied heavily on big plays.

None of it mattered while the Trojans' defense limited Colorado's high-powered offense to 265 yards - and a mere 164 in the first three quarters while USC took control with a 28-7 lead.

''I was very proud of them,'' Helton said of coordinator Clancy Pendergast's defense. ''It just felt like we were playing in their backfield the entire night, whether it was the running game or the passing game.''

Star receiver Laviska Shenault made a 49-yard TD run before injuring his toe in the second half for the Buffaloes, who dropped to 0-13 in school history against USC.

''They knew what we were going to do,'' said Colorado quarterback Steven Montez, who went 25 of 46 for 168 yards. ''They kind of had us figured out, and when we had some good calls going, we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a bunch of different penalties. I think we've just got to clean it up. If we clean it up, it's definitely a lot closer of a game and I think we give ourselves a chance.''

Kyle Evans rushed for a 2-yard score with 6:42 to play, and Montez made a 19-yard TD run with 3:32 left.

''We won the turnover battle. We won the penalty battle,'' Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. ''You should have a chance to win the game. We kind of had a chance there. We just shot ourselves in the foot. Wasn't very pretty there for a while, but they just kept fighting.''

USC hasn't lost at the Coliseum since Helton got the job midway through the 2015 season, and the Trojans dominated this late-night showcase with defense - and even without injured linebacker Cameron Smith, their leading tackler this season and in each of the past two years.

Colorado's defense picked off Daniels on the game's first play and again later in the opening minutes, but the USC defense forced immediate three-and-out punts after both turnovers.

''(Daniels) started off slow, but he turned it around and made plays,'' USC safety Marvell Tell said. ''There are some things we've got to correct, but he's a young quarterback, and he's going to grow.''

The Buffs' offense had just 30 total yards before Shenault took a direct snap 49 yards untouched for the game's first points early in the second quarter.

USC had zero yards rushing in the first half, but responded to the Buffs' TD with its first scoring drive. Vaughns made back-to-back long catches, including a 27-yard TD grab.

Pittman scored 3:33 before halftime when he came back to get an underthrown pass and eluded the only defensive back near him for a 65-yard TD.

Pittman then capped a four-play drive with a 9-yard TD catch 1:10 before halftime.

Harris put the Trojans up 28-7 when Shenault bobbled a pass right into his arms, and the USC defensive back took it 6 yards for the school record-tying third TD interception return of his career.

THE TAKEAWAY

Colorado: The Buffs missed out on their first 6-0 start since 1994, and the loss exposed several weaknesses on both sides of the ball, from a punchless running game to dismal downfield coverage on long passes.

USC: After taking their lumps on the road in September, the Trojans appear to be improving on both sides of the ball. Their inability to run the ball is alarming, but just about everything else is showing progress - particularly Pendergast's unit.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Colorado: There wasn't much for voters to like about this performance. The Buffs' stay in the AP Top 25 could be over.

USC: After several weeks without garnering a single vote in the poll, the Trojans should attract some attention heading into their road showdown with Utah, the other top contender for the Pac-12 South crown.

INJURY WOES

MacIntyre wasn't sure about the seriousness of Shenault's toe injury. The wideout walked very slowly up the Coliseum tunnel. USC linebacker Porter Gustin also injured his ankle on Colorado's final offensive snap, Helton said.

UP NEXT

Colorado: At Washington on Oct. 20.

USC: At Utah on Oct. 20.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Missed Two Point Conversion 3:23
12-S.Montez incomplete.
plays
yds
pos
20
31
Touchdown 3:33
12-S.Montez scrambles runs 19 yards for a touchdown.
13
plays
85
yds
01:37
pos
20
31
Field Goal 5:15
49-M.Brown 38 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
60
yds
01:27
pos
14
31
Point After TD 6:46
48-J.Stefanou extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
28
Touchdown 7:03
21-K.Evans runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
21
plays
98
yds
06:43
pos
13
28
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 5:16
49-M.Brown extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
28
Touchdown 5:22
12-S.Montez incomplete. Intended for 2-L.Shenault INTERCEPTED by 27-A.Harris at COL 6. 27-A.Harris runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
0
plays
0
yds
0:00
pos
7
27
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:10
49-M.Brown extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
21
Touchdown 1:15
18-J.Daniels complete to 6-M.Pittman. 6-M.Pittman runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
55
yds
00:53
pos
7
20
Point After TD 3:33
49-M.Brown extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
14
Touchdown 3:44
18-J.Daniels complete to 6-M.Pittman. 6-M.Pittman runs 65 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
62
yds
00:41
pos
7
13
Point After TD 10:11
49-M.Brown extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 10:18
18-J.Daniels complete to 21-T.Vaughns. 21-T.Vaughns runs 27 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
75
yds
01:40
pos
7
6
Point After TD 11:58
48-J.Stefanou extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 12:06
2-L.Shenault runs 49 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
58
yds
01:07
pos
6
0
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Team Stats
1st Downs 17 16
Rushing 6 6
Passing 7 8
Penalty 4 2
3rd Down Conv 7-23 2-10
4th Down Conv 2-4 0-0
Total Net Yards 236 327
Total Plays 84 61
Avg Gain 2.8 5.4
Net Yards Rushing 95 62
Rush Attempts 37 27
Avg Rush Yards 2.6 2.3
Net Yards Passing 141 265
Comp. - Att. 26-47 17-34
Yards Per Pass 3.0 7.8
Sacked - Yards Lost 4-29 1-7
Penalties - Yards 8-81 13-123
Touchdowns 3 4
Rushing TDs 3 0
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 1
Turnovers 1 3
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 1-1
Int. Thrown 1 2
Punts - Avg 9-41.9 7-42.4
Return Yards 51 57
Punts - Returns 3-30 4-20
Kickoffs - Returns 1-21 1-31
Int. - Returns 2-0 1-6
Kicking 2/2 5/5
Extra Points 2/2 4/4
Field Goals 0/0 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
19 Colorado 5-1 0701320
USC 4-2 0217331
141 PASS YDS 265
95 RUSH YDS 62
236 TOTAL YDS 327
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
S. Montez 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.3% 170 0 1 81.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
70.5% 1590 11 3 152.4
S. Montez 26/47 170 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
L. Shenault Jr. 2 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 46 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 87 5
L. Shenault Jr. 2 46 1 49
T. McMillian 34 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
102 560 4
T. McMillian 18 32 0 9
K. Evans 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 17 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
43 141 2
K. Evans 7 17 1 8
S. Montez 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 9 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
41 134 4
S. Montez 9 9 1 19
K. Nixon 3 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 -14 0
K. Nixon 1 -9 0 -9
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
L. Shenault Jr. 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
9 72 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
60 780 6
L. Shenault Jr. 9 72 0 24
K. Nixon 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 36 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
29 326 1
K. Nixon 6 36 0 18
T. Brown 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 30 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
22 264 0
T. Brown 4 30 0 15
J. Jackson 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 19 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 19 0
J. Jackson 2 19 0 14
T. McMillian 34 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 13 0
T. McMillian 2 7 0 6
J. MacIntyre 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 118 2
J. MacIntyre 2 4 0 6
K. Evans 21 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 42 0
K. Evans 1 2 0 2
K. Ento 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 14 0
K. Ento 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Landman 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 2 0.0
N. Landman 7-2 0.0 0
R. Gamboa 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 1 0.0
R. Gamboa 5-0 0.0 0
D. Taylor 5 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
D. Taylor 5-1 0.0 0
E. Worthington 6 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
E. Worthington 4-1 0.0 1
C. Mulumba 16 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
C. Mulumba 3-0 0.0 0
D. Abrams Jr. 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
D. Abrams Jr. 3-0 0.0 0
C. Miller 14 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
C. Miller 3-1 0.0 0
J. Edwards 33 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Edwards 2-0 0.0 0
N. Fisher 7 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
N. Fisher 2-0 0.0 0
R. Blackmon 2 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
R. Blackmon 1-0 0.0 0
T. Udoffia 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Udoffia 1-0 0.0 0
D. Wigley 4 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Wigley 1-0 0.0 0
M. Johnson 34 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 1.0
M. Johnson 1-3 1.0 0
C. Wells 26 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
C. Wells 1-1 0.0 0
M. Blackmon 25 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Blackmon 1-0 0.0 0
F. Fillip 76 OL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
F. Fillip 1-0 0.0 0
D. Lewis 20 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
D. Lewis 0-0 0.0 1
B. Miller 38 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
B. Miller 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Stefanou 48 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 2/2
SEASON FG XP
5/8 26/26
J. Stefanou 0/0 0 2/2 2
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
D. Price 49 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
9 41.9 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
26 40.4 4
D. Price 9 41.9 4 55
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Trego 21 S
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 -2.0 -2 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 -2.0 0 0
K. Trego 1 -2.0 -2 0
K. Nixon 3 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 21.0 21 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 20.5 21 0
K. Nixon 1 21.0 21 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Blackmon 2 CB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 10.0 27 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
17 9.9 27 0
R. Blackmon 3 10.0 27 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Daniels 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 272 3 2 134.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
58.2% 1529 7 5 128.6
J. Daniels 17/34 272 3 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
A. Ware 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 23 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
60 358 3
A. Ware 6 23 0 11
S. Carr 7 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 20 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
59 296 1
S. Carr 12 20 0 6
M. Pittman Jr. 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 11 0
M. Pittman Jr. 1 11 0 11
M. Stepp 30 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 10 0
M. Stepp 2 10 0 7
V. Malepeai 29 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
31 160 6
V. Malepeai 2 6 0 3
J. Daniels 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
25 -62 0
J. Daniels 2 -4 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Pittman Jr. 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 144 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 353 3
M. Pittman Jr. 5 144 2 65
T. Vaughns 21 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 86 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
28 330 2
T. Vaughns 5 86 1 28
A. St. Brown 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 31 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
29 427 2
A. St. Brown 4 31 0 9
V. Jones Jr. 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 163 0
V. Jones Jr. 2 6 0 5
A. Ware 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 25 0
A. Ware 1 5 0 5
J. Falo 83 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 60 0
J. Falo 0 0 0 0
V. Malepeai 29 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 28 0
V. Malepeai 0 0 0 0
D. Williams 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Williams 0 0 0 0
T. Sidney 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 96 0
T. Sidney 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
I. Langley 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
I. Langley 6-0 0.0 0
A. Harris 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 1 0.0
A. Harris 5-2 0.0 1
P. Gustin 45 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 1.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 1.5
P. Gustin 5-1 1.5 0
T. Hufanga 15 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
T. Hufanga 5-2 0.0 0
K. Mauga 26 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
K. Mauga 4-0 0.0 0
R. Peters 47 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
R. Peters 4-0 0.0 0
L. Jones 13 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
L. Jones 3-1 0.0 0
M. Tell III 7 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
M. Tell III 3-0 0.0 0
J. Iosefa 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
J. Iosefa 3-1 1.0 0
J. Houston Jr. 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
J. Houston Jr. 3-0 0.0 0
I. Marshall 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
I. Marshall 3-1 0.0 0
J. Tufele 78 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
J. Tufele 2-1 0.0 0
R. Hagestad 31 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
R. Hagestad 1-0 0.0 0
L. Jimmons 93 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
L. Jimmons 1-0 1.0 0
H. Echols 31 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
H. Echols 1-0 0.0 0
G. Johnson 9 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
G. Johnson 0-0 0.0 1
M. Tuipulotu 51 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
M. Tuipulotu 0-1 0.0 0
M. Dorton 44 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.5
M. Dorton 0-2 0.5 0
C. Pollard 28 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
C. Pollard 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Brown 49 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 4/4
SEASON FG XP
3/3 11/11
M. Brown 1/1 38 4/4 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Budrovich 46 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 42.4 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
26 38.4 1
R. Budrovich 7 42.4 1 54
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
V. Jones Jr. 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 31.0 31 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 24.1 31 0
V. Jones Jr. 1 31.0 31 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Vaughns 21 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 6.3 12 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
13 7.5 12 0
T. Vaughns 3 6.3 12 0
V. Jones Jr. 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 1.0 1 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 1.0 1 0
V. Jones Jr. 1 1.0 1 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 USC 40 1:19 3 -12 Punt
11:27 COLO 40 1:19 3 3 Punt
7:16 COLO 15 3:42 9 32 Punt
2:39 COLO 36 1:19 3 -2 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:13 COLO 42 1:07 3 58 TD
10:11 USC 35 1:19 4 -5 Punt
6:11 COLO 29 1:41 4 -1 Punt
3:33 USC 35 0:41 4 -10 Punt
1:10 USC 35 1:04 8 38 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:06 USC 35 0:00 8 11 Punt
7:02 COLO 20 0:56 3 78 INT
5:16 USC 35 2:01 8 30 Downs
1:06 COLO 28 0:40 3 -3 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:46 COLO 35 6:43 21 60 TD
5:10 USC 35 1:37 13 75 TD
3:23 COLO 48 0:43 5 0 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 COLO 35 0:00 2 75 INT
13:03 USC 5 0:47 3 9 Punt
10:04 USC 19 2:45 8 35 Punt
3:29 USC 17 0:28 3 19 INT
0:46 USC 30 0:40 9 15 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:58 COLO 35 1:40 9 69 TD
8:24 USC 30 1:33 3 -13 Punt
4:25 USC 38 0:41 2 62 TD
2:08 USC 45 0:53 4 55 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:08 USC 9 4:31 9 44 Punt
2:26 USC 36 0:44 4 -7 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:39 USC 29 0:46 3 3 Punt
6:42 COLO 35 1:27 8 28 FG
3:23 COLO 35 0:00 1 13
2:35 COLO 48 1:31 4 6