Sep 30, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) scrambles for a few yards as he gets chased by Colorado Buffaloes safety Jahquez Robinson (8) during the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

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No. 8 USC takes charge early, holds off Colorado

Caleb Williams matched a career high with six touchdown passes and threw for 403 yards to lead No. 8 Southern California to a 48-41 victory over Colorado in Pac-12 play on Saturday afternoon at Boulder, Colo.

Williams completed 30 of 40 passes and was intercepted for the first time this season while raising his season passing touchdown count to 21. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner previously threw six touchdown passes against Texas Tech in 2021 when he played for Oklahoma.

Brenden Rice, a transfer from Colorado, caught two touchdown passes on five receptions for 81 yards for the Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12). Tahj Washington had eight receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Dorian Singer, Mario Williams and Jude Wolfe had scoring catches for USC.

MarShawn Lloyd rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown as USC improved to 17-0 all-time against Colorado.

Shedeur Sanders was 30-of-45 passing for 371 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and rushed for a score for Colorado (3-2, 0-2). Omarion Miller caught seven passes for 196 yards and a touchdown, Jimmy Horn Jr. had seven receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Harrison also had a scoring catch for the Buffaloes.

Colorado was without two-way standout Travis Hunter (lacerated liver) and safety Shilo Sanders (kidney).

The Buffaloes scored the game’s final 20 points and pulled within seven on Shedeur Sanders’ 16-yard scoring pass to Horn with 1:43 left. The ensuing onside kick was covered by USC and the Trojans ran out the clock.

The Trojans scored the game’s first 21 points. Lloyd broke loose for a 27-yard scoring run on the first possession of the game and Williams and Washington teamed up on a 71-yard touchdown play with 2:30 left in the quarter.

Williams hit Singer on an 8-yard scoring throw on the first play of the second quarter. The Buffaloes finally got on the board on Shedeur Sanders’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Horn with 12:59 left in the first half.

Williams threw scoring passes of 24 yards to Mario Williams and 26 yards to Rice to increase the lead to 27 later in the quarter. Shedeur Sanders scored on a 25-yard scramble to bring the Buffaloes within 34-14 with 21 seconds left in the half.

Rice caught a 6-yard pass from Williams with 7:14 left in the third quarter. Colorado answered with Anthony Hankerson’s 2-yard run with 5:50 left in the period.

Williams threw touchdown No. 6 to Wolfe on a 3-yard play to make it 48-21 with 2:14 left in the third quarter. The Buffaloes answered on Shedeur Sanders’ 21-yard touchdown throw to Harrison with 1:03 left.

Jaylen Ellis intercepted Caleb Williams with 53 seconds left in the third period. The pick came on Williams’ 136th attempt of the season.

Colorado cashed in when Shedeur Sanders tossed a 9-yard toss to Miller to cut the deficit to 48-34 with 11:55 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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