#5 Ohio State
at #1 University
of Southern California
Los Angeles Memorial
Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
The most highly anticipated game of the 2008 season to date
is about to take place. This clash of
the titans will claim the attention of the entire nation as all eyes tune in to
see the battle of a proven juggernaut and a perceived pretender. Judgment will be handed down to Ohio State
as they attempt to quell the criticism or live up to the weak and soft
reputation they have garnered over the past few years. USC is the real deal and have earned every
accolade bestowed upon them this season.
Ohio State will be under the microscope
Saturday and the reputation of the school and the conference is on the line.
By Pete Quint
Will Beanie play?
Tressel expects him to but how much?
Beanie said he wants to carry the ball 45 times but Tressel is more
conservative saying that likely Beanie won’t run the ball THAT much. The reality of the situation is this; if
Beanie is healthy the Buckeyes have a chance, if Beanie is sidelined the
Buckeyes have no chance. USC has one if
not THE best secondary in college football and without a real threat at
tailback Ohio State will have an almost impossible
task of beating the Trojans through the air.
Last week, OSU receivers didn’t or couldn’t get open against the Bobcats
and if you can’t get open against OU you certainly won’t get open against a
lights out USC secondary.
Another concern for the Buckeyes is the offensive line. This was supposed to be one of the best units
in the country and they seem to just lean on opponents. The explosion at the line of scrimmage is
missing along with some of the nastiness that comes with the position and if
the Bucks can’t find that energy and fire they won’t stand a chance against the
fast and powerful USC defensive line.
and LSU? They’re that kind of fast.
USC completely destroyed Virginia two weeks ago and the offense was
frighteningly efficient. First year
starter quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns and
USC only punted twice the whole game.
All but one receiver had double digit receiving yards and the top four
rushers combined for 204 yards and three touchdowns. This team and coaching staff has played in so
many big games in the past decade that the hype and pressure surrounding this
one is to them but a whisper in the wind.
Here’s what’s going to happen. USC is going to come out of the tunnel on an
adrenalin high that would make the Grateful Dead jealous. If the Buckeye defense can weather the storm
of an early offensive barrage they could have a shot. If the Trojans are successful and get an
early 10 to 14 point lead, the Buckeyes, players and coaches alike, will
emotionally collapse, start making stupid penalties and roll over dead. The Buckeyes need to dig deep for this one if
they want to save themselves from embarrassing loss.
USC has four new offensive linemen, a new quarterback and
running back by committee which should work in favor of the Buckeyes but with
the recent weak scheduling and bad losses to national powers one must wonder if
the Buckeyes have the toughness to win a big game out of conference. The logical part of my brain says no way the
Bucks even compete with the Trojans. The
Buckeye part of my brain is hoping that the team is listening to every word of
every blogger, writer and media talking head as they collectively pile on the
impossibility of an OSU victory. If they
take all that negativity and turn it into motivation they will have a really
USC 34 – OSU 13
Why OSU will win:
If they find their fire and listen to their hearts they will
compete. If, in addition, the coaches
get creative they will have a real chance.
If, on top of all that, Beanie Wells is healthy, the Buckeyes can pull the
upset. Finally, hold on to the
ball. Turnovers at this level will spell
doom for either team and whoever wins the turnover margin will have the upper
hand in the end. The Buckeyes need to
find a mental and physical toughness they have not known since the 2006 Texas game to put them
Why OSU will lose:
I question this team’s toughness; players and coaches. They have had an easy time with the
incredibly weak schedule the last two years and I don’t think they know how to
play in a big, out of conference game. I
hope I’m wrong but this game could get ugly, fast.
Stat of the game:
USC holds a slight lead in the series 9-11-1 and have won
the last five contests.
USC is 7-0 versus Big Ten schools since 1996 (Penn State
Last time they met
…1990 in the ‘Shoe.
The game was cut short in the fourth quarter due to lightening. 35-26 Trojans.
USC players to watch:
Junior QB #6 Mark Sanchez
Sophomore RB #4 Joe McKnight
Sophomore RB #2 CJ Gable
Sophomore WR #18 Damian Williams
Senior LB #58 Rey
Senior LB #10 Brian
Senior DT #75 Fili