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Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes will host reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams and the eighth-ranked USC Trojans in a Pac-12 showdown on Saturday.
The Buffs’ aura of invincibility was firmly put to rest by the Oregon Ducks in a blowout loss last week, while the Trojans are yet to taste defeat and Williams is favored to win a second straight Heisman.
|No. 8 USC||-21.5 (-110)||-1350||Over 73.5 (-110)|
|Colorado||+21.5 (-110)||+800||Under 73.5 (-110)|
The Colorado football team has been the biggest story in American sports since they went on the road and beat the national runner-ups TCU 45-42 in a thriller. Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter both announced their arrival on the national stage and played integral parts in the team’s 3-0 start to the year.
Everything changed in Week 4 against Oregon. Sanders was rendered ineffective against the Ducks’ defense because of the limited time he was afforded in the pocket, while Hunter did not play due to a lacerated liver suffered in a heated rivalry matchup against Colorado State the week before.
The Oregon loss confirmed the concerns that existed with Colorado’s team. They are very poor in the trenches and have no run defense to speak of. The loss of Hunter, who is expected to be out again this week, also hurt them on both sides, as he is both their number-one receiver and defensive back.
USC has made light work of every team placed in front of it thus far and leads the nation with 55 points scored per game. That said, their toughest opponent thus far is 1-3 Arizona State, whom they allowed to score 28 points.
USC has the seventh-best odds to win the national championship and is regarded as the top dog in the conference. They are even larger favorites than Oregon was against the Buffs last week and are expected to dominate the matchup.
Colorado was completely embarrassed last week, and if there’s one thing that serious athletes hate, it’s being embarrassed. We don’t think they have a chance to win against an NFL-ready Williams and a great cast of contributors, but we think they’ll be more prepared than they were last week.
The Oregon loss was nothing short of humbling, and both the Buffs players and staff should be mentally prepared for the struggle they are about to endure. We expect them to find more ways to allow Sanders to be comfortable in the pocket and for him to find more success moving the ball downfield.
Until the Buffs figure out how to either run or stop the run, they will have little-to-no chance against top contenders. But they can hang within three touchdowns of the Trojans so long as Sanders has more than a second to get rid of the ball, which he did not last week.
Williams is the best player in college football and will arguably be a top-10 quarterback the moment he steps onto an NFL field (presumably as next summer’s first-overall draft pick). Through four games, he has 1,271 total yards, is completing 74.3% of his passes, has scored 18 total touchdowns, and is yet to throw an interception. That’s a nightmare for a Colorado defense that has allowed the sixth-most yards per game (475.8) in the nation.
Colorado averaged 41.3 points in its first three games before being held to six against Oregon. They’ll need to get into the high 20s or low 30s to do their part to deliver the over, but the USC secondary has not acquitted itself well and is yet to play a decent, much less elite quarterback.
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
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