USC football coach Lincoln Riley has seen his fair share of big games in his (still relatively young) career. Just take a look at the ledger of bowl games in which he’s led Oklahoma and the Trojans: Rose, Orange, Peach, Cotton, Cotton.
However, No. 8 USC’s matchup with Colorado on Saturday—which is expected to be played in front of a star-studded audience enthralled by coach Deion Sanders’s Buffaloes—is another matter entirely.
Oregon’s approach to playing Colorado steered all the way into the Buffaloes’ media-friendly image, culminating in Ducks coach Dan Lanning’s suggestion that his opponent was “fighting for clicks” before beating them, 42-6. The Trojans seemingly have a different, quieter idea in mind.
“We just try to continue to be ourselves and keep our sound approach,” Riley told reporters Tuesday. “We haven’t been focused on opponents or any of the outside things. To each their own. We’ve got to stay focused. We’ve gotten plenty of things that we’ve got to get better at and be ready to handle. If any of our focus is going anywhere else, that’s not the best thing for USC.”
The Trojans had their own struggles last Saturday, fighting off a surprisingly feisty Arizona State team in a 42-28 win. Despite occasional defensive leaks, USC is 4-0 with a 35-point average margin of victory this season.