BOULDER, Co. -- We're just about set to go here at Folsom Field for the Trojans' 6 p.m. PT game against Colorado. Here are a couple of last-minute things worthy of an update before kickoff:
An hour before kickoff, it's 45 degrees in Boulder, with temperatures expected to hover around that same number throughout the game. There's also a 10 percent chance of precipitation. Folsom Field is 5,334 above sea level -- the third-highest stadium in the country after Air Force and Wyoming. Expect kickoffs -- and field goals -- to travel significantly further than in Los Angeles.
Starting for the first time in their college careers tonight are running back Curtis McNeal, tight end Randall Telfer and linebackers Tre Madden and Lamar Dawson. Safeties Drew McAllister and Marshall Jones are also starting their first games of the 2011 season. McNeal has moved past Marc Tyler on the running back depth chart, Telfer and fellow freshman Xavier Grimble have essentially been used interchangeably this year and Madden and Dawson are starting to accommodate the injury to Dion Bailey, meaning USC will start three freshmen at linebacker.
About the linebackers, middle linebacker Chris Galippo, the typical starter, is expected to rotate between the middle and strongside to provide support for Madden and Dawson. Madden hasn't played much on defense this year, although he did sub in for Bailey in the second overtime last week against Stanford. Dawson has been Galippo's steady No. 2 while healthy this year.
Bailey didn't make the trip to Boulder; neither did freshman running back George Farmer. Tyler, who has a dislocated shoulder, dressed with the team and did all of the pregame warmups. T.J. McDonald, on the other hand, was in sweats during warmups and did not do any of the drills with the rest of the team.
Receiver Paul Richardson and running back Rodney Stewart are suited up for Colorado, as expected. Buffaloes coach Jon Embree said this week that both players would play against the Trojans. The two have combined for 46 percent of Colorado's yards from scrimmage this year despite missing six games between the two of them.
Join us here on the USC Report on ESPNLA.com beginning just before game time as Mark Saxon and I keep you updated throughout the game in Trojans Live!, an interactive live chat where we provide updates on game action and answer any and all questions.