LOS ANGELES — The highly-anticipated matchup between No. 5 USC and No. 19 Colorado next week will kick off bright and early.
On Monday, the Pac-12 announced that the September 30 showdown between the Trojans and the Buffaloes will kick off at 9:00 a.m. PT/10:00 a.m. MT. It will air on Fox as the network’s “Big Noon Kickoff” game of the week.
This will be the earliest that USC has played a game in front of fans in at least several decades. The Trojans’ only other game to kick off before noon local time in recent memory came in 2020, when they hosted Arizona State at 9:00 AM PDT. However, no fans were able to attend that game due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, removing many of the logistical hurdles of playing so early in the day.
The USC-Colorado matchup is receiving much hype due to the invigoration of the Buffaloes’ program under new head coach Deion Sanders. After going 1-11 last season, Colorado hired “Coach Prime” last offseason to turn their program around. The move has provided immediate results, as Colorado is off to a 3-0 start led by star quarterback Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son.
However, USC is off to a hot start as well. Under the leadership of second-year head coach Lincoln Riley and reigning Heisman Trophy-winner Caleb Williams, the Trojans have won their first three games by a combined 126 points. USC will look to show Sanders and the Buffaloes that they still have the best head coach and quarterback in the Pac-12.
Coach Prime is already doing things that have never before been done in college football. If he wants to take down the Trojans, however, he will have to do yet another thing that has never been done: lead Colorado to a victory over USC. The Buffaloes are 0-16 all-time against the Trojans, including 0-11 since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.
After not playing on Saturday due to their bye week, USC held at No. 5 in the latest AP and Coaches Polls. The Trojans are behind No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Texas, and No. 4 Florida State in the AP poll, with the Longhorns and Seminoles flipped in the Coaches Poll.
Next week’s matchup with Colorado, which came in at No. 19 in both polls, will mark the first of six games in eight weeks for USC against teams that are currently ranked. First, however, the Trojans visit an Arizona State team off to a disappointing 1-2 start this Saturday. Kickoff from Tempe, Arizona is set for 7:30 PM PDT on Fox.