After a devastating loss to Oregon last week, Colorado faces another big test against No. 8 USC on Saturday.
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams leads the Trojans (4-0) into Boulder to take on the Buffaloes (3-1) and fellow QB Shedeur Sanders, who is in the Heisman discussion given his stellar play this season.
The action begins with Big Noon Kickoff at 10 a.m. ET on FOX live from Boulder, Colorado, followed by No. 8 USC vs. Colorado at noon ET. And in the second game, No. 2 Michigan (4-0) hits the road to battle Nebraska (2-2) at 3:30 p.m. ET.
No. 8 USC vs. Colorado
Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders is looking to get back in the win column against USC, but it will have to start with better protection from the offensive line for Shedeur Sanders, who got sacked seven times.
Shedeur Sanders is still one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12, averaging just more than 352 passing yards a game. The former Jackson St. signal-caller has also thrown 11 touchdowns.
Quarterback Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans throws a pass against the Stanford Cardinal at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Caleb Williams, is picking up right where he left off, too, throwing for 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns with no interceptions this season, the AP noted.
The combination of USC head coach Lincoln Riley and Williams have restored the luster to the Trojans, who are 15-3 over the last two seasons, the AP noted. USC remains among the favorites in the national title chase this season.
According to the AP, USC has the No. 1 scoring offense, averaging 55 points a game. They are also No. 3 in total offense (569.2 yards) and passing offense (377.2).
Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes passes the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
And Williams has another weapon on the offense the Buffaloes will face in Trojans receiver Brenden Rice. He started his career at Colorado before transferring to USC before the 2022 season.
Rice also is the son of Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who was teammates with Deion Sanders in San Francisco when the 49ers won the Super Bowl following the 1994 season.
Colorado two-way player Travis Hunter has pushed Coach Prime to allow him to play Saturday against USC, the Associated Press reported. Hunter suffered a lacerated liver during the Buffaloes' double-overtime victory over Colorado State two weeks ago. His absence was felt in Colorado's loss to the Ducks.
No. 2 Michigan vs. Nebraska
A smothering defense has led Michigan to four easy wins at home. Now, the Wolverines go on the road for the first time this season against a fellow historic program in Nebraska.
First-year Nebraska coach Matt Rhule is leaning hard on an improved defense while an offense with few playmakers chugs along.
A key matchup is Michigan RBs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards vs. Nebraska’s front seven. According to the AP, Corum is tied for the national lead in rushing touchdowns (8) and averaging 87.5 yards per game and better than 6 yards per carry. Edwards has gotten off to a slow start with just 109 yards through four games.
Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) cuts upfield for a long gain during the game between the University of Michigan Wolverines versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday September 23, 2023 at Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI. (Photo b
Nebraska is second in rushing defense (46.25 ypg) and have held four straight opponents under 60 yards on the ground, according to the AP.
Michigan pummeled the Huskers 34-3 in Ann Arbor last year but escaped with a 32-29 win in their 2021 visit to Lincoln, the AP noted.
The Wolverines defense will face a new wrinkle with Nebraska's offense mixing in option plays to counter a lack of depth at receiver.
Michigan and Nebraska are among eight schools with over 900 all-time wins, but both are in very different places.
The Wolverines play on the road for the first time, and they can't afford to stumble as they pursue a third straight College Football Playoff appearance while the Cornhuskers are rebuilding under Rhule.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.