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USC linebacker Porter Gustin leads the Pac-12 in sacks this season.
Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images
USC linebacker Porter Gustin leads the Pac-12 in sacks this season.

CU receiver Laviska Shenault vs. USC cornerbacks

Shenault has been one of the best players in the country, and the Trojans are well aware. However, senior Isaiah Langley told the Los Angeles Times this week, “I’ve watched film of the guy. He’s nothing I ain’t seen before. I’m excited to get after it.” Maybe Shenault has met his match. Or maybe Langley is in for a rude awakening.

CU QB Steven Montez vs. USC QB JT Daniels

This game could really come down to which quarterback plays the best. Montez is the experienced fourth-year junior who is playing lights out this year. Daniels is the hot shot true freshman still trying to figure out the college game. When Daniels is on, however, he’s really good.

CU’s tackles vs. USC OLB Porter Gustin

The Buffs’ kept Arizona State defenders away from Montez last week, as the line had perhaps its best game of the season. Gustin is a different challenge, though. The Pac-12’s sack leader is a force on the outside.

CU’s run game vs. USC’s run game

Stats aren’t available for the 1927 matchup between these teams, but in the other 11, USC out-gained CU on the ground, and it typically hasn’t been close. It’s no coincidence that USC has won every game. CU has to have success running the ball and stopping the run.

CU nose tackle Javier Edwards vs. USC center Toa Lobendahn

Edwards has had a great season to this point and has dominated at various points in each game. Lobendahn is one of the best centers in the country, though. This could be one of the most intriguing one-on-one battles throughout the night.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or