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Second-half comeback falls short for CU, Buffs fall 48-41 to USC

Shedeur Sanders out-dueled by reigning Heisman winner.
Deion Sanders, Shedeur Sanders
Posted at 1:48 PM, Sep 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-30 19:27:05-04

BOULDER, Colo. — The clock ran out on a furious second-half comeback by the Buffs Saturday at Folsom Field, as Colorado lost its second consecutive game and 17th straight to Southern California, 48-41.

Colorado trailed by 27 points twice in the third quarter – once at 41-14 and again at 48-21.

The comeback attempt came on the back of Shedeur Sanders, who threw for 371 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He was out-dueled by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Williams, who threw for 403 yards and tied a career high with six touchdown passes for the No. 8 Trojans.

It was a slow start for Colorado, which logged a missed field goal and a turnover on its way to a 21-0 hole in the first quarter. The Buffs trailed 34-14 at halftime as Williams threw four first-half touchdowns on a porous Buffaloes defense that was without two-way standout Travis Hunter for a second straight contest.

Spirits remained high in Boulder despite loss

The second half was different – or at least the final quarter-and-a-half was. It was Williams who threw a pick on the opening play of a Trojan drive, up 48-21 midway through the third. USC wouldn't score again as the Buffs mounted their comeback bid.

Colorado made it a one-score game with 1:43 remaining after Shedeur Sanders’ 16-yard TD strike to Jimmy Horn Jr., but failed

Colorado ultimately outgained USC on the day, 564-498, and edged out the Trojans in the time-of-possession battle, controlling the ball for 32:05 of game clock.