Who would have thought seven games ago that USC would be one win shy of a 10-win season at this point?
The Trojans can hit double figures with a win over rival UCLA next Saturday at the Coliseum. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on Channel 7.
But first things first.
The Trojans defeated Colorado, 47-29, Saturday night in Boulder, Colo., as Javorius Allen ran for a career-high 143 yards and tied a best with three touchdowns.
The game was not as close as the score indicates.
Until USC emptied its bench, the Colorado offense had not scored.
Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler completed 19 of 28 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns as USC improved its record under interim Coach Ed Orgeron to 6-1.
The Trojans are 9-3 overall, 6-2 in Pac-12 Conference games.
Colorado fell to 4-7 overall, 1-7 in conference play.
USC 47, Colorado 29 (2:19 left in fourth quarter)
Fullback Soma Vainuku is having a career night for USC.
He may have just doubled his career rushing total, bursting 52 yards for a touchdown.
Vainuku also blocked a punt that went for a safety in the first quarter.
USC 40, Colorado 29 (3:19 left in fourth quarter)
Maybe it's time for another open kicking competition at USC practice.
Kris Albarado has punted six times for a paltry 29.8-yard average. His 17-yard punt set up the latest Colorado touchdown, a five-yard pass from Sefo Liufau to Paul Richardson.
Liufau then connected with D.D. Goodson on a pass for a two-point conversion.
Colorado also executed nicely on an onside kick, but after a scramble, Leon McQuay III grabbed the ball for USC.
USC 40, Colorado 21 (8:01 left in fourth quarter)
A young Colorado team is still competing hard. Even if it's against USC reserves.
Michael Adkins II scored on a three-yard run, capping a six-play, 65-yard drive.
At least our loyal Pac-12 officiating crew said he did.
Those watching the Pac-12 Network -- that's not you DirecTV customers -- might question whether he actually crossed the goal line with the ball.
USC 40, Colorado 14 (10:14 left in fourth quarter)
Andre Heidari just proved he could make a field goal without the game being on the line.
Only the final score is in doubt in this one, but he still drilled one from 39 yards.
Max Wittek is in at quarterback for USC, which has played a lot of reserves during the second half.
USC 37, Colorado 14 (14:34 left in fourth quarter)
Colorado's offense is on the board after a leaping catch by Nelson Bruce completed a 38-yard pass play from Sefo Liufau.
The score came on the first play Colorado ran tonight from inside the USC 40.
USC 37, Colorado 7 (7:19 left in third quarter)
Javorius Allen seems intent on making everyone forget about his fumble that resulted in Colorado's only points.
In four carries since his fumble, he's gained 84 yards.
His latest 23-yard carry went for a touchdown.
The USC offensive line is dominating.
USC 30, Colorado 7 (11:29 left in third quarter)
Cody Kessler rolled to his right on a third-and-three play and found tight end Randall Telfer in the end zone for a touchdown.
The big play on USC's scoring drive was a 46-yard run by Javorius Allen on his first carry after his fumble resulted in a Colorado touchdown.
Allen broke a tackle to get loose in the Colorado secondary, then picked up terrific downfield blocking by Nelson Agholor.
USC 23, Colorado 7 (14:46 left in third quarter)
USC's offense runs its first play of the second half and it goes for a touchdown.
A Colorado touchdown.
Javorius Allen was stripped of the ball by Jered Bell, a junior from Corona, who recovered and ran 31 yards for the score.
So much for a USC shutout. The Trojans haven't had one since blanking UCLA, 50-0, in 2011.
The USC defense has forced two first-half turnovers and the Trojans have converted them into a pair of touchdowns.
USC leads, 23-0, and has the edge in total yardage, 206-73.
Colorado has only 30 yards rushing and quarterback Sefo Liufau has completed just four of 15 passes for 43 yards with an interception.
USC's Cody Kessler has completed 17 of 23 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.
The Trojans have only 37 yards rushing. Javorius Allen is USC's leader with 33 yards in 12 carries, but he has scored twice.
USC 23, Colorado 0 (42 seconds left in second quarter)
Cody Kessler is starting to heat up in cold Colorado
Kessler completed seven of eight passes for all 66 yards on a USC touchdown drive. Four of his connections were to tight end Xavier Grimble, for a total of 25 yards.
Nelson Agholor made a leaping catch of a 20-yard pass from Kessler for the touchdown.
A holding call on Dion Bailey wiped out a sack by Devon Kennard, but Bailey made up for it one play later.
He made a leaping interception of a poorly thrown pass by Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau just inside the left sideline at the USC 34.
USC 16, Colorado 0 (5:23 left in second quarter)
Javorius Allen bulled in from one yard out as the Trojans convert Colorado's first turnover.
USC has a 140-45 edge in total offense. Allen has 33 yards and two touchdowns in 12 carries
Leonard Williams gets his sixth sack of the season and a forced fumble to boot. George Uko recovers for USC, whcih has the ball at the Colorado 20 with 7:22 left in the first half.
USC 9, Colorado 0 (end of first quarter)
Fullback Soma Vainuku continued his penchant for making big plays on special teams.
The third-year sophomore from Eureka blocked a punt into the end zone for a safety that gave the Trojans a 9-0 lead.
Vainuku also blocked punts against Arizona and California.
His block against Cal was returned for a touchdown by cornerback Josh Shaw.
USC 7, Colorado 0 (5:34 left in first quarter)
USC's first possession ends in a touchdown, a 12-yard run by Javorius Allen, who may have injured his left shoulder when he was hit at the goal line.
USC receiver Marqise Lee, who injured a shin last week against Stanford, did not travel to Boulder for tonight’s game against Colorado, USC announced.
Lee stayed in Los Angeles to continue rehabilitation in preparation for next week’s game against UCLA.
Lee, who caught a Pac-12 Conference record 118 passes last season, has 44 receptions and two touchdowns.
The Trojans arrived at chilly Folsom Field hoping to keep their hot streak going under interim Coach Ed Orgeron.
USC is 8-3 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play. They are 5-1 under Orgeron after upsetting Stanford last week at the Coliseum.
Klein reported from Boulder, Colo., Hiserman from Los Angeles.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun