NCAA Football: Southern California at Colorado

The Colorado hype train hit a road block in a 42-6 drubbing at Oregon, but Deion Sanders's Buffaloes don't have to wait long for another shot at a major upset with No. 8 USC coming to town on Saturday. The loss to the Ducks served as a stark reminder of how much further Colorado has to go to be on equal footing with the nation's elite teams. 

Saturday isn't likely to be much easier. The Trojans have looked like the team we all expected coming into the season. They are 4-0 and winning by an average of 35 points per game. Last week's 42-28 win at Arizona State was the closest game the Trojans have played and their lowest-scoring output so far this year. It was also USC's first road game of the season.

Could we see the Trojans struggle in what's sure to be a raucous road atmosphere at Folsom Field? If so, it will be a departure from the history between these programs. The schools haven't shared a conference for long (and won't share one much longer), but USC is 16-0 all-time against Colorado. Last year, the Trojans beat the Buffs 55-17 in Los Angeles. The year before, it was a 37-14 win in Boulder, Colorado.

Check out LIVE updates from USC vs. Colorado.

How to watch USC vs. Colorado live

Date: Saturday, September 30 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Folsom Field -- Boulder, Colorado
TV: Fox | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)

USC vs. Colorado: Need to know

There could be a sluggish start: Maybe USC should consider this preparation for life in the Big Ten. The Pac-12 doesn't get a lot of early start times, but this game will kick off at noon ET. That's 10 a.m. local and 9 a.m. Pacific. Colorado has already played early games against TCU and Nebraska. USC hasn't even played an afternoon game yet, let alone a morning tilt.

Caleb Williams continues to dazzle: He hasn't seen a lot of second-half action to this point due to USC blowing the doors off its competition most weeks, but Williams has picked up right where he left off last year. He enters the weekend leading the nation in passing efficiency (223.07), tied for first with Washington's Michael Penix in yards per attempt (11.9) and second nationally with 15 touchdowns (Penix has 16). Williams is doing this while averaging nearly 10 fewer pass attempts per game than Penix. Williams is also yet to throw an interception. He should put up big numbers against a Colorado defense that's been picked apart by every QB it has faced not named Jeff Sims.

Colorado will still be without Travis Hunter: Colorado is already facing an uphill battle in this game, but it's made even more difficult by the absence of Travis Hunter, who remains sidelined after taking a big (late) hit in Colorado's win against Colorado State. This is significant because he's the team's most dangerous weapon on offense, and he's the best player it has on defense. There isn't anybody on the roster who can fill his role on either side of the ball.

USC vs. Colorado prediction, picks

Odds via SportsLine consensus

Yes, it's a lot of points, but we should get there. USC's offense is one of the most potent in the country, and Colorado has not shown an ability to stop anybody. The pass rush is non-existent, and if you give Caleb Williams and these USC receivers time, they're going to hit big plays against you. As for USC's defense, it has improved in a lot of areas, but is better described as average than good. The Trojans continue to be one of the worst tackling teams in the country, and that leads to big plays for opponents. Look for the Buffaloes to generate a lot more success on offense this week than they did on the road against Oregon. Pick: Over 73.5

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Dennis Dodd
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Tom Fornelli
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Chip Patterson
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Barrett Sallee
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Shehan Jeyarajah
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David Cobb
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Jerry Palm
USC -21.5

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