Colorado coach Jon Embree wouldnt mind seeing a few snowflakes fall to help prevent another flurry of scoring.
The banged-up Buffaloes have struggled in their inaugural season of Pac-12 play, giving up nearly 45 points in conference games.
Thats why Embree was hoping a storm would pass through town tonight when the Buffs (1-8, 0-5) host No. 21 Southern California, a team not exactly used to frigid conditions.
A blizzard might be one way possibly even the best way for CU to put the brakes on quarterback Matt Barkley and the high-powered Trojans offense. USC (6-2, 3-2) hasnt played a game in the snow since a 40-12 loss at Notre Dame more than five decades ago.
Not that its likely to happen this week. Although the area recently was blanketed by eight inches of snow, the drifts should be shoveled off to the side of Folsom Field long before kickoff.
And while another storm potentially is brewing for later in the weekend, tonights forecast calls for dry weather and temperatures in the high 30s only about 10 degrees colder than in Los Angeles.
So much for the Buffs weather advantage.
But Embree and the Buffs still have this working in their favor: higher elevation.
I know how the altitude affects you when it is real cold, too, it can get your lungs good, Embree said. We need it all.
Especially against a Trojans squad seething after dropping a triple-overtime thriller to Stanford last weekend. Ineligible for a bowl game this season, that was USCs equivalent.
The game against the reeling Buffaloes very well could be a trap game for USC since looming on the horizon is Washington and sixth-ranked Oregon.
That cant happen, and I dont think it will, Barkley said. Weve got too many guys who arent going to let it. Its just going to be an opportunity for us to show were taking every week seriously.
I dont think it should be that much of a problem to be focused.
Barkleys in line to become the latest Pac-12 quarterback to exploit Colorados secondary this season. Keith Price of Washington torched the Buffs for 257 yards and four touchdowns, while Heisman Trophy contender Andrew Luck of Stanford threw for 370 yards and three scores.
CU caught a break when Darron Thomas of Oregon didnt dress; Thomas backup, however, Bryan Bennett, filled in just fine. And waiting in the wings is Nick Foles of Arizona next weekend.
Seeing all these elite quarterbacks only drives home a point Embree already knew: To compete in this conference, the Buffs need one, too.
This is a quarterback-driven conference. There is no doubt, and you have to have it, Embree said. This conference is a lot like the (National Football) League. If you dont have a quarterback or if you dont have good play at that position, you are fighting uphill from an offensive standpoint.
Barkley makes them go. Him and (receiver) Robert Woods. They have great chemistry, a great connection with each other.
That they do. Woods is among the nations leaders in catches (81), yards receiving (991) and touchdowns (9). He presents a matchup problem for a Buffs squad scrambling for secondary help in light of injuries and suspensions. If that wasnt enough, freshman Marqise Lee has emerged as quite a threat as well.
Theres also the running attack featuring the 5-7 Curtis McNeal. He had a career night against Stanford before fumbling the ball away in the third overtime and sealing the Cardinal win. He said thats a distant memory, and he should receive the bulk of the carries with Marc Tyler more than likely out with a dislocated left shoulder.
Im ready for Colorado, McNeal said. Im ready to have another big game.
On defense, USC safety T.J. McDonald will serve a half-game suspension for his hit on Stanford receiver Chris Owusu.
I apologized to my teammates for not being there for them in the first half on Friday, McDonald said. Its going to drive me crazy.
The Buffaloes may receive a boost on offense with receiver Paul Richardson and tailback Rodney Stewart possibly returning from knee injuries. The two have accounted for 46 percent of the teams yards from scrimmage despite missing six games between them.
The team is just tired of losing, Stewart said. So we get our best players back, and we can come out there and play our hardest and hopefully get a win.
A little help from Mother Nature wouldnt hurt, either.
Embree is envisioning a blizzard so fierce that it rivals the one that hit the Mile High City on Oct. 15, 1984, during a Monday night game between the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers.
Paint the lines yellow and keep shoveling it off after every TV timeout, Embree said. I would love that.
AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles contributed to this report.