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OSU vs USC   Game Preview


 Brutus Go Bucks! USC Trojans

Breaking News

Tressel says he won't play Wells
Updated September 13, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Tressel said the decision to not play Wells was his alone after talking the matter over with medical personnel. The coach said he is concerned that letting Wells play might expose him to further risk of injury. Freshman Dan Herron is expected to make his first career start in Wells' absence..."

Ten Pressing Questions: Ohio State at USC
September 13, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Click this free link to check out some of the key issues as No. 5 Ohio State prepares to visit top-ranked USC tonight (8 p.m. Eastern, ABC). With Beanie Wells out, who will come through at tailback? How will Todd Boeckman or Mark Sanchez step up? We look at all of these questions and many more..."

5 key factors: OSU vs. USC
September 13, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch

Can OSU stand and deliver?
Updated September 13, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "..."As the game went on, I should have done a better job, they should have done a better job, we should have done a better job just getting ourselves under control," Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said. "But if we have a choice, I want those guys to play aggressive and attack...While USC quarterback Mark Sanchez likes to roll out and throw on the run and has proven he can escape the pocket, he's not going to take the Buckeyes apart with his legs. 'It's a completely different offense,' OSU linebacker Marcus Freeman said. 'At the same time, football is football, and you've got to tackle.' It's time for the Buckeyes to do that when it matters most..."
Ohio State defense must balance aggression and discipline against top-ranked USC

Ohio State's Wells won't play Saturday against No. 1 Trojans
September 12, 2008 9:20PM  - "Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells will not play for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes against No. 1 Southern California on Saturday night. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel made the announcement late Friday afternoon after the team went through a 40-minute walkthrough at the Los Angeles Coliseum. 'He's been getting treatment 15 times a day,' Tressel told the assembled media just minutes after he told his team of the decision. 'I guess if looks could kill he fought me. I just told the team because it's important our guys know what we thought we should do.'..."

Chris Wells Out For USC Game: The fears of Buckeye fans everywhere have come true -- running back Chris Wells will not play against USC. OSU head coach Jim Tressel informed media members earlier this evening that he has decided to keep Wells on the sidelines against the Trojans. More to come shortly...'He would cut his foot off for these guys, but I don't think as I listen to the medical people that it would be the right thing to do,' Tressel said. 'I don't think he'll ever speak to me again, but I think it will be the right thing to do.'..."
Sources: ESPN, Bucknuts


OSU vs. USC 2008

No Beanie? No Problem? Some Buckeyes Think So.
September 11, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "No Beanie Wells = No chance for the Buckeyes. That's definitely what some people think, but there is a group of people who think the Buckeyes have a chance with or without Beanie. Check out the-Ozone report now..."

The Pryor Factor
September 11, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "There is all kind of speculation as to how big a factor Terrelle Pryor might be in the game. The OSU coaching staff has played it close to the vest on that issue this week. Pryor's teammates, including Todd Boeckman, have no problem with the idea that Pryor might be in the game against the Trojans...Pryor seems to have the trust of his teammates. 'I definitely have confidence in the guy,' said Hartline..."

No Beanie? No chance for Ohio State
September 12, 2008 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "You might be able to rally in the fourth quarter to beat a MAC school without your marquee tailback, but walking into the Los Angeles Coliseum to do prime-time battle without your full armament is plum crazy. There may be 27 seniors on Ohio State, including a handful of first-round draft picks, but there's no way to undersell Wells' impact. In five games last season against nationally ranked opponents, here is what Beanie did on the ground: 85 yards against No. 20 Purdue, 137 yards against No. 22 Penn State, 169 yards and 3 touchdowns against No. 19 Wisconsin, 222 yards and two TDs against No. 23 Michigan and 146 yards, including a 65-yard scoring burst, against No. 2 LSU..."

Second linemen:
September 11, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State's coaches weren't thrilled with the offensive line play in the first half against Ohio. It wouldn't be a punishment, but don't be surprised to see the second-team line for a series on Saturday. Two years ago in a win at Texas, the Buckeyes played their second-team line in the first quarter, and offensive line coach Jim Bollman reminded his players of that this week. 'I said 'if you guys are concerned or nervous, just remember that the first time we scored against Texas was with the second line in the game,' Bollman said. 'We haven't finalized what we'll do in that regard, but there's certainly a chance it could happen.' If it does happen, that could be when freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor sees action. He has entered the game with the backup line -- freshman left tackle Mike Adams, sophomore left guard Andy Miller, freshman center Mike Brewster, junior right guard Andrew Moses and freshman right tackle J.B. Shugarts -- in each of the first two games..."


Jim Tressel on 'Beanie' Thursday
Tressel says 'Beanie' Doubtful
September 11, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Head Coach Jim Tressel broke the bad news about Beanie Wells at a brief press conference before boarding the bus for the airport. You can see what he has to say about Beanie's foot and the trip to Los Angeles.

Listen to the audioJim Tressel Speaks to the Media Thursday
September 11, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Head coach Jim Tressel spoke to the media Thursday afternoon, previewing Saturday's game at Southern California (8 p.m. ET, ABC).

Listen to the audioBrowning, Hartline and Wilson Preview USC Game
September 11, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Juniors Brian Hartline and Lawrence Wilson, fresh off his first career interception against Ohio, and sophomore Bryant Browning all took time earlier this week to talk to OhioStateBuckeyes.com about the 26-14 win over Ohio and the contest that lies ahead at No. 1 USC.

Beanie now 'doubtful' for USC game
September 11, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel said shortly after noon today that running back Chris 'Beanie' Wells is doubtful for Saturday night's game at top-ranked Southern California but has not been ruled out totally. Wells, who injured his right foot in the season opener Aug.30, had not practiced until Wednesday, when he took part in the most of the drills. The training staff and medical staff wanted to see whether he was more sore this morning before making a call on his status, and he did not participate in the team's light practice. 'We were hoping he'd wake up this morning and feel even better than yesterday, but that didn't happen,' Tressel said at a news conference before the team left for its chartered jet to Los Angeles. Tressel added later: 'I'm listing him as doubtful.' Wells will be on the plane, though, and his right foot -- he suffered what's been called a jammed forefoot affecting primarily the big toe -- will be looked at again Friday and Saturday. As Tressel said, 'He had more soreness this morning than we'd hoped for.'..."

Beanie 'Doubtful' For USC Game
September 11, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "The status of tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells took another hit Thursday afternoon when head coach Jim Tressel met with reporters and listed his status as doubtful for the game. Find out what has transpired since Wednesday night and what will need to happen in the next two days for Wells to see action this Saturday..."


VideoJim Tressel Weekly Press Conference
September 9, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site

Transcript from Coach Tressel Weekly Press Conference
September 9, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "'Well, it's an exciting week, that's for sure. You could feel the tension level raised a bit over at our facility this week and you can feel the tension level raised here a bit. It's an exciting thing. And Joe Daniels and I were sitting in the meeting room this morning right before I came over and we looked at one another and we said, what a tremendous opportunity for our football team to have a chance to play in a game that has this type of notice, this type of challenge, and what a thrill.'..."

Tressel On USC Challenge
September 9, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel had plenty of praise for upcoming opponent USC at today's press luncheon and during the Big Ten teleconference. He also gave a detailed update on the status of running back Chris "Beanie" Wells, what he expects from quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the return of Donald Washington and Jamario O'Neal from suspension and much more. (Updated at 7 p.m. with video of Tressel)..."

QB Todd Boeckman spoke to the media on TuesdayPlayers Talk to Media Tuesday
September 9, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Todd Boeckman, On the game: 'We need to play to the best of our ability. Last week, we had a lot of mental mistakes. Against a great team like USC, if we have those mistakes again, we can’t win the football game. I want to go out there and play my best. The game is in primetime. Everyone in the country is going to be watching. We need to make a statement.'...Malcolm Jenkins, On USC quarterback Mark Sanchez: 'You can’t let him sit in the pocket and get a regular rhythm or he will hurt you. He has a great arm and we will look forward to challenge ahead.'..."

Listen to the audioInterviews with Boeckman, Laurinaitis, Browning, Robiskie and Jenkins
September 9, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site

VideoHartline, Browning, Wilson Talk to the Media
September 10, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Several players spoke with the press at the weekly media luncheon concerning the Ohio game, the upcoming contest at USC, Beanie Wells' foot and a number of other topics. Check out the comments by Brian Hartline, Bryant Browning and Lawrence Wilson..."

Listen to the audioAssistant Coaches Preview Saturday's Game at USC
September 10, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Assistant head coach Darrell Hazell, defensive coordinator Jim Heacock and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman spoke with the media Wednesday evening to preview Saturday's game at No. 1 Southern California (8 p.m. ET, ABC)..."

Wells eager to roll; Tressel targets skill players for offense's woes
September 9, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...Walking into a meeting with head coach Jim Tressel and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman on Tuesday, Wells told them, 'I'm ready to carry 45 times on Saturday.'...Tressel laid the brunt of the offensive inefficiency Saturday on his skill players, not his offensive line. 'I didn't think the protection was the issue as much as the execution from the people outside of the protection,'...Tressel also didn't think quarterback Todd Boeckman was patient enough in his throws...Tressel said linebacker/safety Tyler Moeller, who had been sharing the nickelback job with Jermale Hines, was the only player he was concerned might have to sit out Saturday with an injury..."

Tressel Talks USC During Media Sessions
September 9, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel had plenty of praise for upcoming opponent USC at today's press luncheon and during the Big Ten teleconference. He also gave a detailed update on the status of running back Chris "Beanie" Wells, what he expects from quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the return of Donald Washington and Jamario O'Neal from suspension and much more. (Updated at 2:50 p.m.)..."

Tressel, Buckeyes Preparing For USC
September 9, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "With a forgettable-type game against Ohio University already in the books and a showdown with No. 1 USC on the docket, Ohio State has plenty of things to prepare for this week. Head coach Jim Tressel gave the first look at what his team was looking at this weekend during his weekly media luncheon..."

No. 5 Ohio State Travels to No. 1 USC for Primetime Showdown
September 8, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Ohio State will play the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since the 2003 BCS National Championship game...Southern California leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes by an 11-9-1 count. The first meeting between the two schools was a 13-12 USC home victory in 1937. The latest meeting came in 1990, a 35-26 USC victory in Columbus. Ohio State’s last win was a 42-21 victory in the Rose Bowl following the 1973 season...Ohio State has an all-time record of 4-8 when the Buckeyes have faced the nation’s top-ranked team...Ohio State is 25-11 away from home in night games (games starting 5 p.m. or later local time) since 1959 and 31-12 in night games all-time...Ohio State is 50-23-2 overall against the Pac-10; the Buckeyes have faced every conference school at least twice in football. In regular season games, Ohio State is 44-16-2 against the Pac-10...The Buckeyes are 16-13-1 all-time in games played in the state of California..."
Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)
USC Game Notes (PDF)

Cumulative Season Statistics



Southern California leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes by an 11-9-1 count. The first meeting between the two schools was a 13-12 USC home victory in 1937. The latest meeting came in 1990, a 35-26 USC victory in Columbus. Ohio State’s last win was a 42-21 victory in the Rose Bowl following the 1973 season. Versus No. 1: Ohio State has an all-time record of 4-8 when the Buckeyes have faced the nation’s top-ranked team.

Overall: USC leads, 11-9-9
1937 at USC 13, Ohio State 12
1938 USC 14, at Ohio State 7
1941 Ohio State 33, at USC 0
1942 at Ohio State 28, USC 12
1946 Ohio State 21, at USC 0
1947 USC 32, at Ohio State 0
1948 at Ohio State 20, USC 0
1949 Ohio State 13, at USC 13
1954 Ohio State 20, USC 7*
1959 at USC 17, Ohio State 0
1960 at Ohio State 20, USC 0
1963 at USC 32, Ohio State 3
1964 at Ohio State 17, USC 0
1968 Ohio State 27, USC 16*
1972 USC 42, Ohio State 17*
1973 Ohio State 42, USC 21*
1974 USC 18, Ohio State 17*
1979 USC 17, Ohio State 16*
1984 USC 20, Ohio State 17*
1989 at USC 42, Ohio State 3
1990 USC 35, at Ohio State 26
*Rose Bowl

Matchup Edge

Edge in:
Yards Gained
Yards Allowed
Time of Possession

Position Ratings
relative to each other
5 highest
1 lowest
4.5 Quarterbacks    4.5
4 RBs    5
3.5 Receivers    4.5
4 O Line    4.5
4.5 D Line    4
5 Linebackers    5
5 Secondary    5
3 Spec Teams    5
5 Coaching    5

Buckeye Babe
Ohio State vs. USC Fearless Prediction
September 9, 2008 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "It's finally here. It might have lost a little luster after Ohio State's average performance in a win over Ohio, but this is still the game of the year as Mark Sanchez and USC try to roll past Terrelle Pryor's Buckeyes? Will this really be a Trojan blowout as expected..."

"Ohio State will win if ... it turns into 2007 Oregon. USC's defensive back seven is better than last year's back seven, but the line is a little bit worse, even if it's full of next-level talent. Oregon was able to beat USC last year by running the ball with Jonathan Stewart and Dennis Dixon, the two combined for 179 yards and three touchdowns, getting to Mark Sanchez and forcing him to hurry his passes, and stopping the USC running game, holding it to 101 yards. Overall, this Ohio State team is better than that Oregon squad, and it doesn't have to do anything crazy to win this game. The mistakes have to be kept to a minimum, there has to be a steady pass rush on Sanchez, and the run defense has to dominate the still-improving Trojan offensive line.

"USC will win if ... it drops the hammer early with a few home runs. The last thing Ohio State needs is to have flashbacks to the last two national title games. If the Buckeyes get down 14-0 early and are forced to start throwing, and start trying to take a few chances, that'll play right into the Trojans' hands. USC is a swagger team. When the momentum starts going its way, it turns the dial up to 11 and it's over. Ohio State is more about being solid, not making mistakes, and taking the big plays when they're there. USC is more about going for the jugular. The OSU manhood is tied into the defense, and if USC starts breaking off big runs early, and if Sanchez gets a little time to throw and is effective deep, then the floodgates might open up.

"What will happen: Ohio State brought its A game against Ohio .... riiiiiiight. Under Tressel, the Buckeyes have made a living out of playing down to their opponents, but coming through when needed. In 2002, Cincinnati lost to Ohio State 23-19 when a pass went through the receiver's hands in the end zone on the final play. That Buckeye team survived by the skin of its teeth game after game, and then it beat a supposedly unbeatable Miami team for the national title. This year's team has the same make up...Ohio State has been hearing about two things, 57 times a day, every day since January 8rh: losing two national titles, and the USC game..."

"CFN Prediction: Ohio State 27 ... USC 23 ... Line: USC -11"

Preview: One heavyweight will fall from title track in L.A.
September 12, 2008 Source: Rivals.com - "...USC WILL WIN IF - The Trojans must protect Sanchez. He wasn't sacked against Virginia and had the best performance of his career. He'll be facing a much better defense this time, but given adequate protection he'll find open receivers and get them the ball. USC also must contain Ohio State's rushing attack. If the Trojans can consistently force obvious passing situations, Boeckman could have a hard day...OHIO STATE WILL WIN IF - The experienced Buckeyes' offensive line has to create running room. If Ohio State can run effectively, the Buckeyes can get USC's defense off-balance – which will help the passing game. Defensively, Ohio State needs to get good performances from stars such as CB Malcolm Jenkins and LB James Laurinaitis. Most important, it can't allow big plays...X-FACTOR - Beating the No.1 team in the nation requires using every asset that's available. For Ohio State, that obviously includes freshman QB Terrelle Pryor. He could add another dimension to the Buckeyes' offense...RIVALS.COM STAFF PICKS..."

Buckeye Extra GamedayBuckeye Extra Gameday
September 13, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "BuckeyeXtra.com delivers all you need to know about the Buckeyes’ upcoming game. Click here for everything from the top story and key factors to player spotlights and game predictions. Features include: Saturday's Game, Five Key Factors, Play of the Week, On The Edge, In The Spotlight, Meet A Buckeye, (more)..."

BBC Sept. 12 Edition: Scouting USC
September 12, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "We have the Ohio State-USC version of the Bucknuts Battle Cry, our special column for Bucknuts.com subscribers (now free). Today, we have over 7,700 words as we preview the big game between No. 1 USC and No. 5 Ohio State. Plus, we have notes on Thad Gibson, Boom Herron, James Laurinaitis and much more. This is a must-read..."

Stewart Mandel > WEEK 3 PICKS
September 12, 2008 Source: SI.com - "All week, I thought this would be a close game, possibly even an Ohio State upset -- until the news that Beanie Wells is now "doubtful." Barring the Buckeyes producing the greatest defensive performance of their lives..."

Offensive Notebook: Did Buckeyes Hold Plays Back For USC?
September 12, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "In this offensive notebook, we go straight to the players and coaches to find out if Ohio State was saving plays for the USC game and didn't show much of its offense during the first two weeks of the season. Also, we discuss whether or not OSU scripts its first few plays to start a game, Beanie Wells' status, what Terrelle Pryor's role might be and more..."

College Gameday Preview ESPN College Gameday Preview OSU USC
 Collision in the Coliseum: Ohio State vs. USC
Source: ESPN

Trojans appear to have edge over Buckeyes
September 12, 2008 Source: Chicago Tribune - "In a battle of two of college football's most successful programs, an extra week of preparation plus edge at quarterback and in running game should lift USC over Ohio State..."

Preview: #6 Ohio State at #1 Southern Cal
September 11, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...Now, instead of a matchup of two elite teams, slugging it out in front of a national television audience, the Buckeyes enter the game as double-digit dogs and even the most partisan amongst the faithful is having serious doubts. There’s a large contingent now predicting a USC blowout — something that would have been completely unimaginable just a year and a half ago. But that’s where a couple of lopsided MNC losses will leave you...Opponent...Buckeye Breakdown...PREDICTION: USC 17, OSU 13*..."

Tale of the Tape: Ohio State-USC
September 12, 2008 Source: ESPN - "The Collision in the Coliseum on Saturday night (ABC, 8 p.m. ET) is the kind of highfalutin' intersectional game that doesn't come along every year. When you bring together two programs with this much old-school tradition and right-now talent, it's a true heavyweight matchup. And we all know that heavyweight bouts cannot be fought until we have a tale of the tape. Read on:..."

Game of the Week: Ohio State at USC
September 11, 2008 Source: SI.com - "Three Things You Should Care About...If Wells can't go, does Ohio State even stand a chance against Rey Maualuga, Fili Moala and the USC defense?...Inside The Scouting Report - What problems do the offenses of Ohio State and USC cause opponents? I spoke to a coach familiar with both attacks. Here's what he had to say:...'The thing when you're defending Ohio State, I'm not sure scheme-wise they're as complicated as some other people. They're a really talented team and they keep it simpler sometimes because they can. The main thing you have to do with them is stop them on first down and force them into a passing situation and then get after their quarterback, because he can be had. The O-line I think is good but not great. They're talented in a bunch of places. They're really good on defense obviously, but their line is good but not great.'..."

Ohio State vs. Southern California Preview
September 10, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the Southern Cal game is now on Columns and Features..."

VideoBuckeyes Face Stern Test At No. 1-Ranked USC
September 11, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "On Saturday night, No. 1-ranked USC will host fifth-rated Ohio State in what is being built up as the Collision at the Coliseum -- the biggest nonconference college football game of the year. We take an in-depth look at USC, provide comments from the USC perspective on this game and much more. Plus, we have video of coach Pete Carroll's press conference on the OSU game..."

Buckeye Planet2007 Southern California Trojans Game Preview
September 10, 2008 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: "After a lackluster performance against Ohio, the Buckeyes head to the West Coast for the most eagerly anticipated non-conference game in college football's 2008 season. Before looking at the history between these two teams, let's send out a big Thank You to the athletic departments of both universities for scheduling this marquee matchup...Southern California Trojans Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..." (more)

Game Data: Ohio State at USC
September 10, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "This is the game you have been waiting for. No. 1 USC hosts No. 5 Ohio State Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the most anticipated nonconference game of the 2008 college football season (8 p.m., ABC national telecast). Today, we have the pertinent information, depth charts for each team and a prediction on what might happen. Click the link for more..."

Crunching The Numbers: Ohio State at USC
September 10, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "When Top 5 teams clash, there are bound to be some interesting numbers involved. As we do every week, BuckeyeSports.com has gathered some of the best for your consideration..."

Quote of the Day
USC quarterback Mark Sanchez remembers Jim Tressel sitting behind his desk in the Buckeyes’ football office, delivering his pitch: “Mark, you know the two most important people in the state of Ohio are the governor and the quarterback for Ohio State.” Tressel then paused before adding, “And the quarterback for Ohio State is No. 1.”

Spotlight on QBsSpotlights on quarterbacks in Ohio State-USC showdown
September 8, 2008 Source: ESPN - "Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez is coming off the best game of his young career. Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman is coming off one of his worst games in a career that has seemingly lasted forever. So which team has the edge going into Saturday night's showdown between No. 1 USC and No. 5 Ohio State at the Coliseum. The key for the Buckeyes might be Boeckman, especially if All-American running back Chris "Beanie" Wells remains sidelined with a right toe injury...Boeckman, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 187 yards with two touchdowns against Youngstown State, struggled mightily against Ohio.
He completed 16 of 26 passes for 110 yards, averaging only 4.2 yards per attempt. Boeckman was under pressure for much of the game, as his offensive line struggled to block the seemingly overmatched Ohio defensive linemen. But Boeckman delivered when Ohio State needed it most, completing five of six passes during two second-half touchdown drives..."

Playing Pryor should become a priority -- maybe necessity at USC
September 9, 2008 Source: CBS Sportsline - "There's a quarterback controversy at Ohio State, just in time for the game of the year. It's not your generic speculation-fest about who is starting, although that might become an issue later this season. It's about how much Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is going to play Saturday against No. 1 USC. Seen as the quarterback of the future, the freshman super-recruit might have to be the quarterback of right now..."

Buckeyes can finally focus on a pocket passer
September 8, 2008 Source: ESPN - "Relief isn't usually the sentiment that surfaces when a team studies the USC offense. But when Ohio State begins learning the names and numbers of the Trojans' seemingly endless list of rushing threats, defenders can take some comfort in knowing quarterback Mark Sanchez isn't among them...Sanchez can pick apart opposing defenses in many ways, but running the ball is rarely his method of choice. He has only 23 career rushing yards on 19 carries, an average of 1.2 yards per rush. Sanchez still moves around decently in the pocket, but he doesn't fall under the label of mobile quarterback, and that could be a good thing for No. 5 Ohio State heading into this week's matchup..."

USC QB Mark SanchezEyes on the Enemy: Mark Sanchez
September 11, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - "After spotlighting Joe McKnight and Rey Maualuga (see below) over the past couple days, we finish up our Eyes on the Enemy mini-series with a look at USC QB Mark Sanchez. The 6'3? junior will be searching for his first signature win following a 2007 campaign that saw him go 2-1 in place of injured starter John David Booty. Sanchez was at the helm in a close win over Arizona and a blowout victory over a hapless Irish squad before losing a tight one at Oregon the following week..."

VideoOhio State-USC: Who has the edge at QB?
Lou Holtz and Mark May debate who is stronger at quarterback: Todd Boeckman or Mark Sanchez.
September 9, 2008 Source: ESPN

Ohio State at USC Matchups
QB RB WR OL DL LB DB ST Coach Overall

Key individual matchup

"Ohio State RB Beanie Wells vs. USC ILB Rey Maualuga...Ohio State's offense is centered on Wells, and for good reason. Wells is a punishing 237-pounder with enough burst to bounce inside runs to the perimeter and to run away from most linebackers once he hits daylight. Unfortunately for Ohio State, Maualuga is likely the exception to the rule. The 6-2, 260-pound inside linebacker is blessed with rare speed for his size. His recognition skills and discipline have improved drastically from his earlier days at USC, and allow him to maximize his exceptional physical tools. Maualuga is big and strong enough to endure Wells' powerful running style inside and he's fast enough to limit Wells' production on the perimeter. With that in mind, do not expect Ohio State to get the type of production it needs out of its star back in order to pull off the upset."

USC LB Rey Maualuga has developed into an outstanding linebacker after learning to channel his emotions. USC LB Brian Cushing has overcome a litany of injuries and wears a cast to protect a chipped bone in his left wrist.USC linebackers Maualuga, Cushing have emerged as a force
September 11, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "One was undisciplined. The other was frequently injured. Ohio State wishes that were still the case for Southern California linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing. Although the Buckeyes point to James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman as difference-makers for their defense, the Trojans say the same of Maualuga and Cushing. The game Saturday between No. 1 USC and No. 5 Ohio State might hinge on which pair of linebackers shines brighter..."


2008 Buckeye Football Depth Chart

OSU & USC Depth Charts
Source: Rivals.com


Wells iced foot on way to L.A., will be game-time decision vs. USC
September 12, 2008 Source: ESPN - "...by Thursday night, the news for Buckeye fans was more hopeful, ESPN college football analyst Brent Musburger said on SportsCenter. Musburger reports Wells will be a game-time decision Saturday night against USC. An Ohio State spokesperson told Musburger that after Wells iced his foot on the flight from Columbus to Los Angeles, Ohio State officials were "a little more optimistic." When Tressel said Wells was doubtful earlier, he meant Wells probably wouldn't play if the game were Thursday night..."

VideoRobert Smith: 'Beanie' Wells Status No Surprise
September 11, 2008 Source: ESPN

Spotlight on Beanie's toe Spotlight on Beanie's toe
"Ohio State fans have been waiting to see when Chris Wells would return to practice, and that day came on Wednesday. But with the good news comes the revelation that the running back known as "Beanie" might not be full-go -- and therefore available -- for Saturday's showdown with USC. Wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell said that in his opinion, Beanie is "ahead of the curve" as far as his foot is concerned. Wells practiced in pads with the team though Hazell did not elaborate on the exact extent of Wells' participation level at practice tonight.

"Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman estimated that Wells was "about 75 percent" tonight and that "Wells got a lot of work today." Bollman said he would not be able to speculate as to whether or not Wells would play if he remained at 75 percent healthy, adding again that the soreness would be the telltale sign. “He wasn’t going 100 miles an hour, but he was going pretty good and getting a feel for the (injury) and for his shoe,” Bollman said. Bollman cautioned that the OSU coaching staff would evaluate Wells again tomorrow to determine if he developed any new soreness as a result of his activity today.

"According to Bollman, "the chances of him being 100 percent (by Saturday) are not high." Wells had to undergo a special tape job on his right foot, Bollman said.

“If I could put a number on it, I’d say he was 75 percent or a little better,” Tressel said on his show. “You could see he got a little sore as the practice went on. I would say the key is how sore is he tomorrow? If he’s not sore, then he’ll make a big jump Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
(Sources: OSU Official Site, The Ozone, BuckeyeSports.com, ESPN)

Wells looks OK in first work back at practice
September 11, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Wells practiced yesterday for the first time since he suffered a jammed right forefoot...But the question that needs to be answered today is how did his foot hold up to the strain after a night's rest? Tressel might provide the answer at midday before the team leaves for Los Angeles. Wells is expected to go, but will he be going out to watch or to play a major role?..'The key will be how is he (today-Thursday Sept.11),' Tressel said..."

Wells practices at 75 percent; to reach 100 percent by Saturday would be "miraculous"
September 10, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Both Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said running back Beanie Wells practiced at about 75 percent today in his preparations for Saturday's game at USC. Wells won't be himself by Saturday. 'You're just hoping that he can get in a situation where he can help us contribute in some situations,' Bollman said. 'The chances of him being 100 percent are not real high, I wouldn't think so. That would be a miraculous recovery here.'..."

Reporter's NotebookWells at 75 percent; Washington returns, but not as starter
September 11, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "..."You could see he got a little sore as the practice went," Tressel said on his radio show Wednesday night...Former starting cornerback Donald Washington
hasn't immediately regained his starting role after returning from a two-game suspension...Heacock said the coaching is still deciding whether Chekwa and Washington will both play in OSU's nickel package, or whether one will sit and safety Jermale Hines will retain his role as the fifth defensive back on passing downs..." (Includes video link: "In 1979, Pete Carroll was an assistant coach on Earle Bruce's Big Ten Champion team which faced Southern California in the 1980 Rose Bowl. These are his memories, taken from his current USC coaches show.")

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated (Photo credit: Ted sent it to us)Ohio State's Chris Wells on track to face Southern Cal
September 10, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Ohio State will have its Beanie back for Southern California. Buckeyes tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells has been given the OK to play in the showdown at No. 1 USC on Saturday night...'You know, Beanie ran well yesterday,' Tressel said. 'In fact, he ran better than I thought he might.'...'The big thing is Tuesday and Wednesday work and will that create soreness,' Tressel said. "Not only was he running well, then they (trainers) put him on the bike and wore him out, so they're trying to do all the things. He's been in the underwater treadmill and anything we can do, we're doing (with rehab). I feel good about him.'..."

Beanie won't let toe get in way
September 10, 2008 Source: Akron Beacon Journal - "The most famous toe in Ohio is attached to the body of one Chris Wells — Akron native and star running back for Ohio State...Teammate and defensive end Lawrence Wilson spoke with Wells last week and Monday. 'Beanie told me he was going to play, and when Beanie says he's going to do something, he does it,' Wilson said. OSU coach Jim Tressel knows having a healthy Wells will help his No. 5 Buckeyes, who looked lackluster on offense against Ohio, but he also is realistic about the injury. 'Coaches, in some ways we're optimists and in other ways we're pessimists, but hopefully we're realists.
I thought he ran really well yesterday,' Tressel said. 'I think the big thing has been Tuesday and Wednesday work and will that create soreness...'..."

Wells will play, but will he be effective?
September 10, 2008 Source: The Morning Journal - "No one knows yet how effective he’ll be, but Beanie Wells is expected to play for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes Saturday night when they travel to Los Angeles to face No. 1 USC. How the rest of his teammates perform is just as much of a mystery....For what it’s worth, the USC players feel better about themselves entering this than the Ohio State players do. The Buckeyes admitted as much. Receiver Brian Hartline said the team’s confidence level took a hit with their dismal 26-14 victory over Ohio. 'I’d say it did a little bit. I don’t think that’s all a bad thing,'he said. 'It sort of brought us back to ground zero, which we needed to be in the first place, but we weren’t. It’s hard having a veteran team going on to the 13th, 14th start as a unit, to kind of start at ground zero, no matter how hard you try. It sort of brought us back down. It brought us down to working, realizing we’ve never arrived yet.'..."

A toe injury had Chris Wells on the sideline for Ohio State's game against Ohio. Beanie expected to play against USC
September 9, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel said today that he expects tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells to play Saturday night in the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' game at No.1 Southern California, but Tressel said the ultimate decision will come in the next two days. 'Today he will do a lot of football things but without the people around,' Tressel said, meaning Wells will do cutting and accelerating drills on his own while the rest of the team practices. 'Then tomorrow, he will be in the fray.'..."

Wells tests foot on sidelines
September 8, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State running back Beanie Wells didn't practice but was testing his injured right foot today, according to OSU linebacker James Laurinaitis. 'I saw him on the sidelines a little bit, running and seeing how it felt and he looked good,' Laurinaitis said. 'From what I could tell it looked like he was running great.' In other news, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said that although
former starting cornerback Donald Washington, along with backup safety Jamario O'Neal, is returning from a two-game suspension this week, Chimdi Chekwa still worked as a starting corner on today, with Washington rotating in on occasion. They are listed as co-starters on the depth chart. Laurinaitis said that defensive tackle Todd Denlinger, who sat out the second half Saturday with an injury, told him he feels better every day and should be ready for USC. And, by the way, Terrelle Pryor is officially listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart for the first time, ahead of Joe Bauserman..."


Looking to Prove Itself on a National Stage
September 9, 2008 Source: New York Times - "The last two times Ohio State stepped onto college football’s biggest stage, the Buckeyes imploded famously...Now, with the fifth-ranked Buckeyes visiting No. 1 Southern California on Saturday for perhaps the marquee game of the regular season, they are accompanied by a bandwagon full of skeptics. Ohio State’s performance this season has created the doubts...The skepticism toward the Buckeyes can be traced to the way the B.C.S. has changed college football in the past decade. Because every team is essentially competing for two spots in the title game, the debates about the strength of teams’ conferences percolate each year..."

Kirk Herbstreit will team with Brent Musburger to call the game SaturdayKirk Herbstreit puts Buckeye pride aside
September 12, 2008 Source: Detroit Free Press - "...Herbstreit (who teams with Brent Musburger to call the game Saturday), however, is an Ohio State co-captain and MVP in 1992, the son of an Ohio State co-captain, and his wife Allison is an ex-Buckeyes cheerleader...'I can’t tell you have often I hear from Michigan fans - it’s probably 100-1 - that even though I’m a Buckeye, they say they appreciate my objectivity.'...Herbstreit did make a preseason pick that USC would meet Florida in a Buckeye-free BCS title game - 'and you can imagine how that went over in some circles.'..."

Is OSU holding back on offense?
September 11, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The offense was so sluggish last week, the game plan so vanilla, that it seemed Ohio State was holding something back for Southern California. Maybe it's a case of fans rationalizing a poor performance -- 272 yards in a come-from-behind 26-14 victory over Ohio University. Surely, this can't be all the Buckeyes have, can it?..."

Has Ohio State held back in preparation for USC?
September 11, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Bollman couldn't stop laughing -- just another ploy, most likely, to avoid giving up Ohio State's secrets. 'Now why should I tell you that?' the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator had answered Wednesday when asked how much of the offense Ohio State had been holding back the first two games of the season in order to surprise USC on Saturday..."

Weird Start to Season May Give Buckeyes an Edge in Cali
September 11, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "The first two weeks of OSU's football season have been outright weird. That inspired some nail biting around Ohio but also just might give the Buckeyes a bit of an edge this weekend in California. Check out the-Ozone report..."

Former Ohio State Head Football coach Earle BruceEarle Bruce on USC and Ohio State
September 10, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...'I watched (USC's) film against Virginia - they played a team that wasn't worth a hoot,' Bruce said. 'So they look fast, they do things fast. If you don't take that into consideration, you're going to think they're Supermen. There's no S's on their jerseys. They're going to play like we play. We got speed, they're no faster than we are. I think there's one word that will make this game a win or a loss. It's called toughness - toughness by our offensive line, toughness by our running backs, toughness by our linebackers, just toughness.'..."

Breaking the huddle on Ohio State-USC
September 10, 2008 Source: ESPN - Ivan Maisel writes: "USC has played only one game, and against a young, rebuilding defense at that. But the re-emergence of a vertical passing game in the Trojans' 52-7 rout of Virginia is the biggest indication that the nation's top-ranked team has a more complete offense than it did a year ago...Frank Solich didn't bristle at the question. But the Ohio University coach wants to be clear that he doesn't think Ohio State came onto the field last Saturday thinking about playing USC. 'I didn't get the feeling that Ohio State was just walking around on the field,' Solich said Wednesday. 'They were trying to make plays.'...'Our plan was to stop the power running game. I felt we did that. They build their offense out of excelling at the running game and coming off it with play-action and their ability to throw the deep ball.'..."

Cris Carter wore the scarlet and gray from 1984-86 and finished second all-time in receptions with 168. Carter, Johnson Debate OSU-USC Clash
September 10, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Everyone's talking about the upcoming Ohio State at USC clash Saturday night, and that list includes Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson. The former Buckeye and former Trojan spent some time Wednesday afternoon to discuss the importance of the matchup and their feelings on topics related to the game...Cris Carter knows what it’s like to play USC...'I think it’s a huge opportunity for Ohio State in regards to what people say,' said Carter, who wore the scarlet and gray from 1984-86 and finished second all-time in receptions with 168. 'It’s very, very critical that they show well. They haven’t done well in the last two national championship games...'..."

Myth Busting: Ohio State vs. USC
September 9, 2008 Source: ESPN - "Myth: The loser still has a great chance to play for the national championship...Myth: Ohio State can't win the big one...Myth: The Buckeyes have the edge at quarterback because Todd Boeckman is more experienced than Mark Sanchez...Myth: USC has no big-play wide receivers...Myth: The nation's two studliest middle linebackers will be on the field..."

Defensive line seeks to apply leak-free pressure
September 9, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "In preparation for Saturday night's game at top-ranked Southern California, the Ohio State defensive front four has a simple goal: keep up the pressure, but seal the leaks. After the Buckeyes watched the Louisiana State front, led by Glenn Dorsey and Ricky Jean-Francois, show them how to do it better in last season's national championship game, the emphasis has been on the line becoming a more dynamic force. The linemen have worked on techniques, gambits, stunts, quickness and strength. They've watched hundreds of hours of video, seeking places where they can refine their personal moves, defensive tackle Todd Denlinger said. 'It comes down to a time when you've got to come out and beat the man in front of you; you've got to attack the man,' Denlinger said..."

Buckeyes take positives from subpar tune-up
September 9, 2008 Source: ESPN - "USC took the recommended route to Saturday's showdown at the L.A. Coliseum, thumping Virginia in its season opener...The method has worked smashingly for the Trojans in recent years, and their Week 3 opponents usually pay the price. Just ask Nebraska (49-31 losers last year). Or Arkansas (70-17 losers in 2005)....Ohio State's path stretched a little longer but seemingly contained no cracks in the pavement -- only two overmatched teams to steamroll. But the Ohio Bobcats provided quite the detour, putting the Buckeyes in a 14-6 hole before a fourth-quarter rally. The Trojans' ability to stay on course makes them the popular pick in Saturday's game, but some Ohio State players hope they can benefit from the road less traveled. 'I was kind of happy on Sunday when I got to watch the film,' Buckeyes senior cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said. 'I would have much rather come into this game not playing as well the week before, have goals to bet better, [rather than] blowing a team out and being on cloud nine coming into a game, not necessarily knowing what your weaknesses are, not having faced any adversity. Now we have stepping stone to figuring out what we need to improve.'..."

Buckeyes and Trojans won't disappoint
September 8, 2008 Source: Sporting News - "Five reasons why Ohio State-USC will live up to the hype...1. Ohio State is desperate...2. The matchups...3. The next USC Heisman Trophy winner...4. USC when it matters...5. The Terrelle Pryor factor..."

Critics won't have OSU to kick around
September 10, 2008 Source: Cincinnati Enquirer - "The Ohio State Buckeyes are the poster-beef for those who argue the BCS doesn't work, so you have to figure 95 percent of America will be hoping the Bucks take a whacking at top-ranked Southern Cal Saturday night. The pro-playoff people will be dancing in the seats...If Ohio State does the unexpected, expect the crying to begin yesterday. Two words for the whiners: Take medication..."

Top 10 USC-Ohio State subplots September 8, 2008 Source: ESPN

OSU WR Ray Small is always smilingRay Small and USC
September 8, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ray Small is always smiling...He's not a player you'd expect to be calling out another team. That's not his style. Still isn't. But his words have been read. Check any USC message board, and the OSU junior receiver is the Buckeye of most interest leading into Saturday's showdown...'Here at Ohio State, they teach you to be a better man,' Small said. 'There, it's just all about football.'..."

Buckeyes have a lot to prove
September 9, 2008 Source: Toldeo Blade - "OSU undefeated but unimpressive...The Buckeyes know their performance against Ohio did nothing but damage their image around the country. 'We'll get some criticism after people look at how we played [against Ohio],' Buckeyes senior running back Maurice Wells said, 'but I don't think that game gives a good picture of this team. We're better than that - we just gotta go out and show it.'..."


Last Time Out...
September 8, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Ohio State faces a stiff nonconference challenge when the No. 5 Buckeyes travel to Los Angeles to face top-ranked USC. Check out how OSU fared in its last meeting with USC in this edition of 'Last Time Out…'..."

Trojan Wars
September 9, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "They all hated the horse. Some, like Rick Middleton, even hated the helmeted rider aboard Traveler, the white equine mascot of Southern California football that pranced and posed and celebrated Trojans touchdowns. 'They're lucky we couldn't get our hands on that horse. That daggone thing would come running by, and we were about ready to get rid of one gladiator. That would have been nice,' said Middleton, a former Ohio State linebacker whose memories of playing against USC in the 1973 and '74 Rose Bowls resonate with the tremendous highs and devastating lows that have come to define the series since 1968. • The Buckeyes won the 1968 national championship by upending the O.J. Simpson-led Trojans 27-16 in the '69 Rose Bowl. • The Buckeyes lost the 1974 national championship by losing late to USC 18-17 on a Trojans two-point conversion in the Rose Bowl. • The Buckeyes lost the 1979 national championship by losing late to USC 17-16 when Charles White and Anthony Munoz wore down OSU's defense on a final fateful drive of the Rose Bowl..."

Memories of game that ended early
September 8, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "It's been 18 years and Greg Frey still refuses to accept defeat. 'There were 2 1/2 minutes left on the clock, and now we'll never know,' the former Ohio State quarterback said Monday. When No. 1 Southern California hosts No. 5 Ohio State on Saturday in the first big tilt of the college football season, it will be the first time the teams meet since their showdown in 1990, -- a game people still talk about because of its bizarre circumstances and twist at the end. No. 18 USC marched into Ohio Stadium to take on the 15th-ranked Buckeyes before a raucous crowd of 89,422 and a national television audience on ABC. The Buckeyes were 2-0 and had permitted just 126 yards on the ground in those two victories. Coach Larry Smith, an Ohio native, and his Trojans were 2-1 and had plummeted 13 spots in the rankings after getting drilled 31-0 at Washington the week before..."

Ohio State-USC: Quite A Colorful History
September 8, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Ohio State and USC are two of college football's most storied programs. After an 18-year break, they will renew their colorful rivalry Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (8 p.m., ABC). We look at the history of these two great programs and also share thumbnails on the 21 previous meetings in this series..."

Fast facts on the OSU vs. USC rivalry
September 8, 2008 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com - "History shows that most of the current Buckeyes and Trojans were still in diapers the last time the two teams met up on the field. We're breaking down some fast facts from the great rivalry that has taken a near two decade hiatus..."

Relive the 1969 Rose Bowl: OSU vs. USC

Top 5 Ohio State-USC Regular Season Games
September 9, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site


News from and about the other side

USC Official Site
Cumulative Season Statistics
2008 Media Guide
USC Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)

Pete Carroll, Head Coach Source: USC Official Site

Carroll relishes chat with Hayes in 1979
September 13, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Pete Carroll was sitting inside St. John Arena when he looked out and saw the legendary figure walking down the street. It was 1979 and Carroll was a young assistant coach for Ohio State. How often, he figured, would he have the chance to talk to Woody Hayes?...'He knew who I was. I was thrilled. He even knew that I was one of the new coaches. That was my one chance I had to visit with him. To me, that was a really special moment.' There would be plenty of them for Carroll in his only year in Columbus. Earle Bruce had brought Carroll with him from Iowa State to coach defensive backs..." (Bruce had a number of notable assistant coaches on staff, including Jim Tressel, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Glen Mason and Dom Capers.)

Ronnie Lott Looks Back On Visiting Tressel, Buckeyes
September 12, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Hall of fame defensive back Ronnie Lott is one of USC's most famous football legends. This summer, he was in a place where you might not expect to see a Trojan alum -- on the OSU campus, talking with the Buckeye football players. We have more on Lott's stop at Ohio State, along with what he thinks of Saturday's contest between the Buckeyes and Trojans..."

Ohio State deserves to lose to USC
September 11, 2008 Source: Orange County Register - "The Buckeyes scheduling is worthy of more than just ridicule. USC will pound Ohio State on Saturday – if there’s any justice in the oblong world of college football. The Buckeyes deserve a good beat down based on their desire to be bullies. The two burning questions today are these: 1) Why did they even decide to play this home-and-home series? 2) Was Towson A&M unavailable?..."

Quoting Carroll: Ohio State Edition
September 11, 2008 Source: SCPlaybook.com - "...Pete Carroll on facing Chris 'Beanie' Wells: 'You have to tackle really well, otherwise he'll run a regular play where a guy would make four or five yards, he'll bust it. He's done it against everybody. Our battle and challenge is to not let that happen against us. We expect him to be a very big factor for them in this game.' Pete Carroll on Terrelle Pryor: 'We anticipate seeing him. He's a great running quarterback. As tall as Vince Young, and I don't know if he's as fast or not, but he sure looks it. We sure thought in recruiting that he could be that type of a player.'..."

Pete Carroll-Jim Tressel Talk About Saturday's USC-Ohio State Matchup
September 9, 2008 Source: USC Official Site - "COACH CARROLL: Well, this is a long awaited matchup for everybody, particularly for the fans of Ohio State and the fans of USC. Gosh, you guys have been on this topic for a long time with us and finally we can talk about it and be directed about it and all..."

Keep Your Friends Close, Enemies Closer: Southern Cal
September 9, 2008 Source: Buckeye Commentary - "To get a little inside information on this weekend's epic tilt, we talked with our friend Jim at Conquest Chronicles. Head over to his left coast headquarters to read up on all the game details Trojan-style...2) After the Buckeyes performance against Ohio, the experts changed their minds elevating the Trojans to a 10-point favorite. Did the fans’ impression and expectation for Ohio State change as dramatically?...3) With Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, and Taylor Mays leading the way, is this the best USC defense since 2004? Do they have a weakness?4) If you were the Ohio State defensive coaches, what would you do to disrupt the USC offense?..."

USC Coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) believe Ohio State will put forth a much better effort against the Trojans this weekend than the Buckeyes did in a 26-14 victory over Ohio on Saturday.Players, Pete Carroll still consider Ohio State a big threat
September 8, 2008 Source: LA Times - "When USC players and coaches reconvened Sunday night for the first time in two days, the topic among many was Ohio State's narrow victory over Ohio...But before the top-ranked Trojans split up into position groups to watch film of the Buckeyes, Coach Pete Carroll addressed his players about the hype that has been simmering for months and will ratchet into overdrive leading up to Saturday's game at the Coliseum. 'I did make them aware that this is a game that's different to a lot of other people,' Carroll said when he emerged from the meeting in Heritage Hall. 'To us it's the same.' Carroll spent Friday recruiting and watched Ohio State's struggle against Ohio on Saturday. '...'I'm not thinking that's real indicative of how they're capable of playing,'Carroll said of Ohio State..."

No. 1 USC Football Hosts No. 5 Ohio State
September 7, 2008 Source: USC Official Site - "Two of college football's traditional powers--No. 1 USC and No. 5 Ohio State--meet in a highly-anticipated early-season showdown in Los Angeles. Although the teams have faced off 21 times (with a third of those meetings in the Rose Bowl), it's their first match-up since 1990. USC is rested, coming off a bye following its dominating opening win at Virginia. The Buckeyes have opened with a pair of home wins over in-state rivals Youngstown State and Ohio. USC has fared well against the Big Ten recently, winning the last 7 such games (by an average 28-point margin). Both programs can lay claim to dominance at the start of the 21st century. The last 4 BCS Championship Games have featured the Trojans or the Buckeyes..."

USC coach Carroll, Ohio State's Tressell different breeds, but see similar results
September 7, 2008 Source: LA Daily News - "When USC coach Pete Carroll faces Ohio State coach JimTressel on Saturday it will match two top-five teams. But if pop culture knowledge decided the winner, Carroll would win in a rout. Carroll has been to the movies three times since USC opened training camp less than a month ago...Tressel said the last movie he saw was "Jaws." Before Ohio State played LSU in the BCS title game last year, Tressel was told the Tigers went to see the movie "300." 'I don't know what `300' is,' Tressel said. Carroll also holds a slight advantage over Tressel with the Internet. 'I've never even seen a blog,' Tressel said this summer at coaches' convention. ' don't know when I would have time to have lunch with a blogger and get to know where they're coming from and all that.' By contrast, Carroll started a blog last year...Carroll and Tressel also disagree on whether to allow the public to practice. Nearly every USC practice is open to the public and Carroll and the players sign autographs after every session. Tressel has not allowed fans since his second season and last month canceled an autograph session to the only open practice of the season...The pair has one thing in common: Winning..."

Know Your Opponent

LB Brian Cushing10 Brian Cushing
CLASS: Senior

Cushing, a strongside linebacker who could be in line for All-American and Butkus Award honors, will start for his third season as a senior in 2008. He had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle prior to 2008 spring practice and was limited in spring drills. He was named to the 2008 Playboy Pre-Season All-American team. He is on the "Watch List" for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Award and Lott Trophy.


LB Rey Maualuga58 Rey Maualuga
CLASS: Senior

Maualuga, USC's leading tackler in 2007 (He has 194 tackles in his career) and a 2-time All-Pac-10 first teamer now in line for All-American and Butkus Award honors, returns for his third season as the Trojans' menacing starting middle linebacker as a senior in 2008. He was named to the 2008 Playboy Pre-Season All-American team. He is on the "Watch List" for the 2008 Lombardi Award and Bronko Nagurski Award.
Eyes on the Enemy: Rey Maualuga September 10, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors


QB Mark Sanchez6 Mark Sanchez
CLASS: RS Junior

The strong-armed, experienced Sanchez, who started 3 times in 2007, has earned the starting quarterback job as a junior in 2008. 2007: Sanchez served as the backup quarterback as a sophomore in 2007, but he ended up starting 3 games (Arizona, Notre Dame and Oregon) for an injured John David Booty and performed well. Overall in 2007 while appearing in 8 games, he completed 69-of-114 passes (60.5%) for 695 yards and 7 touchdowns with 5 interceptions. He also gained 22 yards on 14 carries (1.6 avg.). He sat out the Idaho opener while recuperating from a broken right thumb suffered in 2007 fall practice.
At U.S.C., a Quarterback Raised to Lead September 12, 2008 Source: New York Times
Eyes on the Enemy: Mark Sanchez September 11, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors


RB Joe McKnight4 Joe McKnight
CLASS: Sophomore

The exciting McKnight, whose running style is reminiscent of former Trojan great Reggie Bush, will battle for the starting tailback job as a sophomore in 2008. He also will again return punts. 2007: McKnight served as an often-used backup tailback and was USC's top punt returner as a first-year freshman in 2007.
Eyes on the Enemy: Joe McKnight September 9, 2008 Source Eleven Warriors
Joe McKnight said Ohio State was not among the major programs that recruited him. The 6-foot, 200-pound tailback figures he didn't fit the Big Ten mold. "They like the big backs," McKnight said. "I'd love to show 'em." (Source: LA Times)


WR Vidal Hazelton7 Vidal Hazelton
CLASS: Junior

Hazelton, coming off a breakout showing in 2007, returns for his second season as a starting wide receiver as a junior in 2008. He had minor abdominal surgery prior to 2008 spring practice. 2007: Hazelton started most of his 2007 sophomore season at wide receiver (flanker) and emerged as one of USC's key pass catchers.


RB C.J. Gable25 C.J. Gable
CLASS: RS Sophomore

Gable, who has significant starting experience at tailback, returns from a 2007 injury and will compete for key playing time as a sophomore in 2008. He also likely will return kickoffs.


NCAA Team Stats
NCAA Team Stats
  Ohio State


Stat Watch

Big TenBig Ten Stats

National Rankings: Total Offense   Total Defense

Sports Lines For amusement only...

No. 5 Ohio State at No. 1 USC:

Sports Babe Official
covers.com Match-Up Preview - Live Odds - Matchup Edge

bodog.com Matchup & Preview

Vegas Insider Las Vegas Line Movements

pregame.com Point Spread / Total / Money Line

Stat Fox Current Power Ratings

The Weather Channel Los Angeles Weather Forecast


Recruiting Class of 2010
J.T. Moore

Moore Becomes Commitment No. 1
Youngstown (OH) Boardman's J.T. Moore, a 6'4" 221lb defensive end prospect, became OSU's 1st member of the Class of 2010. He plays defensive end and offensive lineman in high school, but will likely play a defensive end/linebacker spot in college, the end/linebacker hybrid spot that made Bobby Carpenter famous and that is now manned by Thaddeus Gibson. Moore said: “This past weekend I had a talk with my mom and my coaches. I wanted to be a Buckeye and my sister is pretty sure she’s going to be one too. I went down there a couple weekends ago and I saw the facilities. I liked the coaches and how people treat you down there. It was a great experience. It was no decision – I wanted to be an Ohio State Buckeye.” Although early in the recruiting process, he had interest and offers from many schools including Illinois, Michigan State and North Carolina. Welcome aboard, J.T.!

VideoJ.T. Moore Highlights
Source: Rivals.com

Moore Becomes Buckeyes' First 2010 Commitment
September 11, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "When Bucknuts.com learned on Friday that Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman defensive end J.T. Moore had received a written scholarship offer in the mail from Ohio State, we predicted Moore would become the Buckeyes' first 2010 commitment. Moore made it official today, giving Jim Tressel the good news. 'I just spoke to coach Tressel a little bit ago,' Moore said. 'He was happy to hear that I was committing and said he's getting ready for the (USC) game.' The 6-foot-3 and 230-pound Moore will join his teammate Corey Linsley at Ohio State. Linsley, a senior offensive lineman, committed to Ohio State at the end of April. 'I just like the people at Ohio State,' Moore said. 'I like the people, and the coaches are great. I like how everything is there. I always wanted to be a Buckeye. Everything is great there.' ..."

Buckeyes Honoring Gee's Daughter, Son-In-LawBuckeyes Honoring Gee's Daughter, Son-In-Law
September 9, 2008 Source: WBNS - "Ohio State football players are honoring university President E. Gordon Gee's family with a special decal on their helmets. The players sport the initials "AR" on their helmets, in honor of Gee's daughter, Rebekah, and her late husband, Dr. Allan Moore. Both were involved in a July scooter crash outside Philadelphia. Moore died from his injuries. His wife, Rebekah, suffered injuries and is recovering in Columbus, 10TV News reported. Dr. Gee appeared on Wall to Wall Sports on Sunday night and talked about what his family has been through. 'Allan was the greatest Ohio State football fan, an instant convert when I became president of the university,' Gee said. '(He was) a very bright young man.' Gee said that Moore even e-mailed Ohio State coach Jim Tressel some pointers..."

Mr. BucknutsMr. Bucknuts' Bucket Of Bullets
September 7, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Mr. Bucknuts suffers the indigestion of the Bobcat game and discusses other ugly wins from college football as well as USC thoughts, some bizarre recruiting and Notre Dame reminisces, a quarterback review and some deeply weird stuff too hard to describe. All in this week’s full-to-overflowing Bucket of Bullets. ..."

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