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The Buckeyes led 15-10 heading into the final quarter, but a Stafon Johnson touchdown with 1:05 remaining put the Trojans on top and Ohio State was unable to piece together a comeback in the final seconds.
"That was a tough ball game, no question about it," Jim Tressel, Buckeye head coach, said postgame. "Our kids prepared extremely hard and played extremely hard but didn't come up with enough of the things you need to do to win a ball game like that. You need to score more than five points in the second half. They came up with the plays on that last drive they needed to and they go home with the spoils. Our kids prepared and played hard. They were in a dog fight. What we need to do is keep working and stick together and get better. That's what life's about and that's what our guys will do."..."
Barkley engineers winning TD drive as USC scrapes past Ohio State September 13, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "...Barkley and McKnight hooked up one more time, appropriately, for a 2-point conversion that meant an Ohio State field goal would only force overtime. But with no timeouts left, Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes' offense went nowhere with their last chance.
"You need to score more than five points in the second half, and they came up with plays on that last drive they needed to and so they go home with the spoils," coach Jim Tressel said.
Just when it looked as if the Buckeyes would shake their big-game bugaboos, they'll now face more questions about their inability to beat the very best. Just when it looked as if Big Ten pride would be restored -- at least a little -- the league took another high-profile hit. "It's very frustrating, but we knew eventually they'd make plays," said linebacker Brian Rolle, part of a unit that was stellar for 54 minutes. "The last drive was heartbreaking. Give McKnight lots of credit on that last drive, he was good. "The last drive was definitely, you go back and you think about, and you think about how close you came to winning."..."
Postgame Quotes (Ohio State vs. USC) September 13, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - On the game: "Brandon Saine, junior running back: "We had a lot of opportunities and didn't capitalize. Both teams left it all on the field and played the best that they could. The defense kept giving us chances. We tried our best but could not convert."...
Cameron Heyward, junior defensive end: "We only played three quarters. I really thought we would win and everyone in that locker room thought we would win. No one gave us a chance coming into this game and it was right there for us."...
Pete Carroll, USC Head Coach On USC's last offensive drive: "We knew it would be a close game and they were great with the special teams. They put us in tough field position for most of the night and it took us a couple of play to get us going offensively. We challenged the guys before the last drive with 80 or so yards to go and they came up big. Ohio State played really good."..."
Instant Analysis - USC 18 ... Ohio State 15 September 13, 2009 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "...Matt Zemek: It might not have been the most impressive performance by the two big programs, but it was a special comeback win for Matt Barkley and USC. Does Ohio State deserve more respect for not getting blown out? The CFN writers give their thoughts on one of the biggest games of the year...1) Okay, very simply: Will America now stop bashing Ohio State’s football team? The Buckeyes played USC on even terms, especially in the trenches. This is a stomach-punch loss, but OSU has now played Texas and USC to the wire in consecutive big games...
Michael Bradley: No matter how Ohio State wants to spin this, it can’t escape the fact that it had a vulnerable USC team pinned deep in its own territory late in the game and couldn’t finish the job. This wasn’t just a big intersectional game; it was a referendum on the OSU program as an elite squad and the Big Ten in general. By surrendering a late lead to the Trojans and their true freshman quarterback, Ohio State took a big step back in the eyes of the nation and showed that no matter how many times it beats Michigan it doesn’t matter. Ohio State can’t beat USC or any other top-five team, and so it must be content with second-class citizenship in the college football caste system..."
Terrelle Pryor after the loss to USC
Pryor: 'I take the whole blame' September 13, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "In one of the biggest games of his young college career, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor said it was his fault his team lost. Pryor threw an early interception that led to a Southern California touchdown. Then he failed to rally an offense that mustered just 265 yards against USC's defense as the Buckeyes again lost a high-profile, national television game, 18-15 on Saturday night.
"We should have beat them by two or three touchdowns. Easy, man," Pryor said. "The ball just went the wrong way, like I keep saying. We needed this win. It just hurts right now, but we've got a long season to go. We're going to fight and we'll be back in it. We've got a good chance." He said it was all the offense's fault. "We've got to punch it in offensively," he said. "It just comes down to me. I take the whole blame for it."..."
Breakout game eludes Pryor September 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "If a college quarterback is a special talent, as Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is said to be, it usually shows up in a big way at some point in his sophomore season. It almost happened for Pryor last night. Several times he had the chance to make a play that would have made the difference in the No. 8 Buckeyes' showdown with No. 3 Southern California in Ohio Stadium.
But almost is the way he had to leave it, because it was USC freshman QB Matt Barkley who stole the show. He directed a 14-play, 86-yard drive late in the fourth quarter for the winning TD in an 18-15 win.
The pundits across the nation will be saying Barkley was the one who came of age last night. "This hurts right now," Pryor said. "But we've got a long season to go. We're going to fight, and we'll be back."..."
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on Terrelle Pryor
Buckeyes once again beaten at own game September 13, 2009 Source: ESPN - Jim Tressel's hallmarks will always be field position, special teams, stout defense and just enough offense. Ohio State played nearly perfect Tressel-ball -- and it may have cost the Buckeyes in the end, writes Adam Rittenberg...If Jim Tressel could script the perfect football game, Saturday night's clash against USC would have been pretty close. Except for the final score, of course. Tressel's hallmarks will always be field position, special teams, stout defense and just enough offense. His best Ohio State teams have reflected his rock-ribbed values, winning games not with flash or flavor, but smarts and toughness. After numerous big-game stumbles, Ohio State was so close to making The Vest look like a genius again..."
IT WAS OVER WHEN: Matt Barkley and Joe McKnight teamed up for an 86-yard drive -- including the 2-point conversion -- to give USC the lead with 1:05 remaining.
THE PLAY: Matt Barkley's 21-yard pass to Joe McKnight on third-and-8 from the USC 16-yard line with six minutes left. It propelled the Trojans on the 86-yard drive capped by Stafon Johnson's winning 2-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left.
GAMEBALL GOES TO: USC running back McKnight. Held in check most of the night, he came alive on that winning drive, rushing for 32 yards, catching that pass and catching the two-point conversion pass.
THE STAT: Three yards and a cloud of dust? The teams combined to run the ball 70 times -- and neither averaged more that 3 yards per carry.
THE STAT II: Ohio State lost its sixth straight against teams ranked in the top five.
THE STAT II: USC leads the all-time series, 13-9-1 and has won the last seven.
TOUGH DAY: Pryor struggled, finishing 11 for 25 for 177 yards and a pick. His tough day was magnified in the fourth quarter however, going 2 for 8 for nine yards.
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES: 1: TBDBITL sousaphone player who clocked an ESPN cameraman while dotting the "i"
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES II: .857/.808: Pete Carroll's and Tressel's winning percentages at USC and Ohio State
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES III: 1974: The last time Ohio State defeated USC, 42-21 in the Rose Bowl
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES IV: 106,033: A new Ohio Stadium record crowd
KURT COLEMAN SAID IT: "I'm just really physically drained and I know this whole team is physically drained. We worked so hard, and it's just tough."
TRANSLATING TRESS: What he said: "The last couple we haven't got it done." -- referencing losses in recent big games, which now actually number six straight to top-10 teams. What he meant: "You use your math and I'll use mine."
WORST WASTED OPPORTUNITY: Brian Rolle picked off a pass from USC freshman phenom quarterback Matt Barkley but Ohio State, leading 10-7, went four-and-out and missed a chance to extend its lead.
LOU HOLTZ SAID IT :"...the most important game for Ohio State since 1950."
THE VIEW: How the team sees it: Tress is right. Nothing good does ever happen to us after 10 p.m.
How the pollsters will see it: The can't-win-the-big-one gorilla on OSU's back is reaching Kong proportions.
How Buckeye Nation will see it: A sad day when we're supposed to feel good about "closer than expected."
THE REPERCUSSION: You know: Ohio State can't win the big one, though in its past two shots, including the loss to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl, it has come very close. And USC? It's off to contending for the national title.
ONE LINER: Those long OSU faces look even longer in 3D.
JUST WONDERING: Will the Big Ten ever be what it once was? A shifting population -- north to south -- suggests no.
BEST WAY TO GUARANTEE A TICKET: Former OSU basketball star Michael Redd donated $500,000 toward the Buckeyes' new basketball practice facility.
(Sources: Columbus Dispatch/ESPN/Cleveland Plain Dealer/The Webmaster)
USC tailback Joe McKnight heads into the Ohio State secondary on the final drive in the fourth quarter Saturday.
Play of the Game: Fourth quarter, clock 05:20, on 3rd and 8 at USC 16: Backed up to their own goal line, Matt Barkley and Joe McKnight drove into Southern California lore as Barkley completed a pass to running back Joe McKnight for 21 yards to the USC 37 for a 1ST down. Play kept game winning touchdown drive alive, which sealed the win for the Trojans.
Matt Barkley and Joe McKnight drove into Southern California lore with the 4th quarter drive. The freshman quarterback and the shifty tailback made big play after big play, and Stafon Johnson capped one of the great drives in USC's storied history with a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left
The drive didn't start out well. On first down, Barkley was sacked by Ohio State's Devon Torrence for a 4-yard loss. USC followed that up with a false-start penalty to create second and 19 at its own 5. With the Trojans desperately in need of a spark, McKnight ran around right tackle for 11 yards to set up third and 8.
The Bottom Line September 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Offense (2 leaves) ...only a simpleton would grade that show a winner. Terrelle Pryor had a couple of nice plays but seemingly made just as many horrendous decisions. Simply put, it left a lot of points on the field...
Defense (3 leaves) It's impossible to fault the effort, though there were some obvious breakdowns on USC's long drives at the end of each half ...
Special teams (4 leaves) Let's go ahead and give Jon Thoma the game ball for his punting prowess -- six boots sent up into the night air and not one of them returned (and four inside the 20)...
Coaching (2 leaves) Lest we forget, a pat on the back to the defensive honchos for their decision to get after Matt Barkley after halftime. It raised the stakes, not that it kept another notch from the L column. The Vest likely will catch some heat -- field goals instead of TDs, punts instead of field goals. Who coaches killer instinct, men?...
Opponent (4) Barkley is a young pup, but he's a smooth operator the likes of whom USC fans must have come to expect at quarterback. Talent and gumption will win you a lot of games. The best thing about the Trojans, though, is their fearlessness. They converted three fourth downs, and they dance to the White Stripes.
Officiating (3 leaves) Say this for this particular group of zebras: They had no interest in being proved wrong by videotape..."
OSU: Report Card September 13, 2009 Source: Newark Advocate - "Running Game: C-... Passing Game: C... Defensive Line: B-: Overall, the defensive line played well until the final drive... Linebackers: B-... Defensive Backs: B... Special Teams: A...
Coaching: D: Had a solid game plan, but two issues come to mind. First, at the end of the half when OSU had the ball with only 1:49 left, instead of running the ball three times to run the clock out, OSU threw twice; two incomplete passes stopped the clock, giving USC a chance to drive down for a tying field goal with 48 seconds left. The Buckeyes had a chance to kick 53-yard field goal with 7:15 left, but instead chose to punt, which set up USC's winning touchdown drive. Once again, Jim Tressel was too conservative, and it ended up costing him.
What grade do you give the Ohio State football team's performance against USC?Source: Columbus dispatch 10% A
Ohio State linebacker Ross Homan
Great for so long against USC, the Buckeyes' defense comes apart at the end, again September 13, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio State's defense didn't lose the game Saturday night. Holding USC to 18 points is some form of a victory. Since Pete Carroll went about rebuilding the Trojans during his 6-6 first season in 2001, in the last eight years USC has scored fewer points in just four games, winning twice while scoring 17 last season, and losing to Oregon 24-17 in 2007 and losing to UCLA 13-9 in 2006.
"You never know what can happen, but just knowing we could go in there and hold them to 18, it's good for our defense," OSU defensive end Thaddeus Gibson said. "But it's a team effort."
So that was an accomplishment. Yet for the third straight game - the game-winning drive by Texas in January's Fiesta Bowl, what could have been the game-tying drive by Navy last week, when the Midshipmen's 2-point attempt after their touchdown failed, and Saturday's game-winning drive in the final minutes - Ohio State's defense fell down at the end of the game.
"They just made some good plays and we thought they would make some good plays," said Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who placed the best game of his career according to teammate Doug Worthington. "It just happened at the wrong time."..."
10 Things We Learned from USC Loss
September 13, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "10. Losing is tough, even when you play well...9. Swapping Jermale Hines with Anderson Russell made a big difference: It is tough, because Anderson Russell seems like a great kid and he was giving his all on special teams Saturday night, but having Jermale Hines at safety seemed to make a huge difference for the Ohio State defense. First of all, it allowed Kurt Coleman to slide over to free safety while allowing three linebackers to stay on the field at one time. More importantly, however, it just took away that weak link in the armor. The defense seemed to fly around better and very few times was anyone caught out of position.
8. USC is still a notch above...7. Brian Rolle was the right choice for MLB...6. The OSU defensive line is as good as advertised...5. Speaking of Heyward, this kid is going to play on Sundays....4.The OSU offensive line held its own, for once...3. This team needed Beanie Wells...2. Terrelle Pryor is not a star, yet...2. Terrelle Pryor is not a star, yet..."
For the future, Buckeyes and Pryor show promise; for now, just heartbreak: Bill Livingston September 13, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealerh - "This time, the kid with the cold heart and the hot hand was named Matt Barkley, a true freshman. He popped up in the Horseshoe Saturday night seemingly a few minutes after his high school's senior prom. But you have seen this plot before. ...Now Ohio State, with its season severely damaged, especially given its recent past of defeat after defeat in national showcase games, will wait till next year. There could be big things in store then in a schedule heavy on home games, with the toughest opponents -- Miami, Michigan and Penn State -- having to come here. ..."
Moral Victories are for those that Delight in Fear September 13, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - I realize there’s a small percentage of you that will wake up proud that your Buckeyes were able to hang with and lose a classic to the dominant team of this decade, but for the realists among the bunch, you’re probably pretty damn frustrated. I am as well. I just watched my once in a decade talent at quarterback get outplayed in his house by a true freshman. Chew on that for a second. The crowd, the defense, and for the most part, the offense brought it Saturday night against as tough a team as they will likely face this season. But that’s part of the problem. After getting completely embarrassed last season in LA, this was a game that was in reach — indeed it was a game that should have been won, but instead we’re left with the same turd-eating feeling that has become all too familiar of fans of this program..."
Trojans drive past Buckeyes September 13, 2009 Source: Los Angeles Times - "The noise from a record Ohio Stadium crowd could not deter him. The weight of carrying his team's national title hopes on his young shoulders did not make him sweat.
Matt Barkley, USC's freshman quarterback, etched his name into Trojan lore Saturday night, leading a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter as third-ranked USC defeated eighth-ranked Ohio State, 18-15. In only his second game, the true freshman overcame a first-half interception and mid-game struggles to keep alive USC's hopes for a national title. "We did struggle early on, but you have to go in with the mind-set that it's going to happen," Barkley said..."
USC vs. OHIO STATE
Five Key Factors September 11, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ken Gordon lets you know what the 5 key factors are in this game:
PRESSURE THE KID
It’s stating the obvious, sure: Ohio State must make life uncomfortable for Southern California freshman QB Matt Barkley. There’s no one like DE Thaddeus Gibson playing on the San Jose State defense that Barkley saw last week. The only problem for the Buckeyes is whether their secondary can hold up if the blitzes don’t get there quickly enough. Zone blitzing might be the answer.
GO LONG, AND WIDE
Both teams would benefit from using the whole field. For USC, providing Barkley with quick dump-offs will help alleviate that OSU pressure. The Trojans have accomplished pass-catchers at fullback and tight end. For the Buckeyes, they must keep a young USC defense guessing. That means more of the option glimpse we saw last week, and a few deep passes, which we did not see.
PRYOR TO THE MAX
In just 20 touches last year against USC, Terrelle Pryor accounted for 92 yards, or 44 percent of the Buckeyes’ total that night. And that was as a part-time player in his third collegiate game. He is capable of carrying a team, and he should be allowed to do it. Draws, options, roll-out passes, deep throws … in big games, give the ball to your best player and tell him to go win it.
A USC WEAKNESS?
As good as USC has been in recent years, the Trojans are not particularly careful with the football. In the past three years — 39 games — USC is plus-13 in turnover margin, or plus-0.3 a game. In the opener last week, the Trojans committed two turnovers against the lowly Spartans. The Buckeyes got off to a good start, forcing three turnovers against Navy while committing one.
After all the big-game beatings the past three years, deep down, do Ohio State players truly believe they can win this? On the flip side, it might sound crazy, but could the Trojans be overconfident? They crushed the Buckeyes last year, and opened with a laugher. Just a thought.
Ohio State vs. USC: Doug Lesmerises' take on what to watch when the ball is snapped September 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State quarterback: Ohio State's best offensive play Saturday is going to be "stuff breaks down and Pryor makes magic." Either running, or scrambling and then throwing, the best chance for Ohio State to break something is with a Pryor play for which no defense can design a game plan...
Joe McKnight, USC tailback: The junior has never carried the ball more than 15 times in a game. This could be the game where that changes. When McKnight does get the ball, he goes off, and USC's running game is the key to a Trojans' win...
Taylor Mays, USC free safety: The USC senior probably should be in the NFL along with the eight other Trojans drafted off USC's defense from a year ago. Instead, he returned for his senior season as arguably (maybe with Tennessee safety Eric Berry) the best defender in college football...
Billy O'Malley, USC punter: The graduate of (Cleveland) St. Ignatius High has accomplished the football equivalent of a Midwest kid with an acting dream heading West and landing a role on a TV series. O'Malley, a fourth-year junior, walked on at USC this season and won the punting job..."
Playing on the verge of a rage September 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The Ohio State-USC game isn't an overly complicated game to analyze to me. The Trojans' more experienced players are better. And the Buckeyes' greatest talent, mostly its sophomore class, is either too green to make a huge difference in this game (DeVier Posey, Mike Brewster, Jake Stoneburner, Nathan Williams, J.B. Shugarts) or hasn't done enough to get on the field much this early in the season (Mike Adams, Etienne Sabino, Travis Howard, Andrew Sweat). There's a talent gap.
I think there's a good chance Pryor shows us things he has never done before in this game. It's not a guarantee, but it's a possibility. But there's also a good chance that Pryor looks like the best player on the field and the Buckeyes still don't come that close to victory. So the most important thing is talent. But there is something to preparation and attitude and finding the right way to maximize your play in a big game. You need to be ready, but not too ready. That's a story I'm working on now. I thought Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman describes it well in this video clip (below). He wants players "on the verge of a rage," and I'm not sure that's how I'd describe the Buckeyes in recent matchups against great talent..."
Head Coach Jim Tressel spoke with the media on Thursday about the upcoming game against USC. He also spoke briefly about the eye-black controversy from last weekend, and what they are planning on doing this week. (17:31)
Tressel using different tactics to motivate going into this big game September 11, 2009 Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette - "...The streak of losses in these prize fights stands at five heading into Saturday night's latest round of football fisticuffs, three of them lopsided affairs that have turned Ohio State into something of a national laughingstock. Coach Jim Tressel probably didn't help matters with this week's attempt to stir his team out of its big-game funk.
He read his troops a poem...Can you imagine USC's Pete Carroll or Florida's Urban Meyer or Oklahoma's Bob Stoops hitting their teams upside the head with a little Longfellow? "It didn't necessarily rhyme, but the words were pretty strong," offensive tackle Jim Cordle said. "I don't think there's too much outside motivation we need. It's good enough that we know what happened last year."
But Tressel didn't want to take any chances. It's part of the game-week ritual for his team to go over part of "The Winner's Manual," Tressel's best-selling textbook on succeeding in life and football. This week he elected to pull a poem from the pages. "It was written by someone who had experienced defeat," cornerback Chimdi Chekwa said. "It was about how you learn from your losses and get better for the next (opportunity)."...Chekwa's answer wasn't surprising when asked if he was a poetry fan. "Not really."..."
Buckeyes football team has more overall coaching experience than USC Trojans September 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel and Pete Carroll both say they value continuity on their coaching staffs. It's been easier lately for Tressel to keep his staff together. USC is coming to Ohio Stadium on Saturday night with new offensive and defensive coordinators, while this is the fifth consecutive season the Buckeyes have featured the same coordinators, with Jim Bollman on the offensive side for all nine years of Tressel's tenure at Ohio State and Jim Heacock and Luke Fickell sharing the lead on the defensive side since Mark Snyder left after the 2004 season.
On a nine-man staff, the OSU coaches have been full-time OSU assistants for a total of 53 years, while USC's coaches have been in place for 37..."
Buckeyes' pregame more about focus than ferocious September 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...Inside each of their lockers, the Buckeyes will look at a white sheet of paper, listing their number in large type and, in smaller letters, past OSU players who did that number proud. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, for instance, can find references to receiver Cris Carter or defensive backs Mike Doss or Malcolm Jenkins. At the bottom of the page is a question -- "Can you contribute to the legacy of this number?"...Tressel will rely on focus, on the belief that a week's preparation has been enough, that this time it might be different. "What I want out of it is whatever a guy has to do to make sure he is focused on what he needs to do in the next three hours," Tressel said..."
Chekwa feels no pressure vs. USC: Junior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa had a new take on the Buckeyes' five-game losing streak against top five teams. He thinks so many people are figuring Ohio State will go down against USC, to run that streak to six games, that there's actually less pressure on the Buckeyes because the expectations have been lowered. "I don't know what other guys feel," Chekwa said, "but if somebody says you can't win, you really go out there with nothing to lose. I can't speak for everybody, but the pressure isn't that great." "As a human being, you never like anything bad being talked about you," Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa said Wednesday. "But we try not to focus on that stuff. We hear it, but there’s really no pressure on us. "People don’t expect us to do well in these big games." Ohio State is about a seven-point home underdog. (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer/ESPN)
Don't tell Terrelle Pryor that he and Ohio State are overrated September 10, 2009 Source: SI.com - "...So we should all be skeptical about Ohio State's chances of beating Southern California in Columbus on Saturday night. If recent history is an indication, the night will start to go downhill for the Buckeyes when their band accidentally spells out Script U-S-C. Can one man change all that? Maybe he can. Maybe Terrelle Pryor is really that good. Maybe he has the talent and charisma to elevate his team on stages like this.
Maybe Pryor hears all the people questioning Ohio State and he likes it. "You chant overrated to him," said Ray Reitz, Pryor's high school coach, "he goes to a whole other level. Ask the good folks of Aliquippa, Pa. In Pryor's senior year at Jeannette High, his heavily favored team led Aliquippa by eight points at halftime of a state semifinal game. The Aliquippa fans started chanting: OH-ver-RA-ted. Pryor finished the game with 331 yards. Rushing..."
Ohio State's Pryor faces defining game September 10, 2009 Source: ESPN - "There will be many more starts and other big stages for Terrelle Pryor, who's expected to spend at least another season and possibly two at the helm of the Ohio State offense. But make no mistake: Pryor's long-term legacy as Ohio State's quarterback will be shaped by what he does Saturday night against No. 3 USC..."
Barkley won't be fresh meat for Buckeyes September 11, 2009 Source: FoxSports.com - "USC has no Rey Maualuga, no Brian Cushing, no Mark Sanchez. Rather, the face of this year's team is that greatest rarity in big-time college football, the true freshman quarterback. His name is Matt Barkley. He was 19 on Tuesday, and the biggest crowd he's ever played for was last fall against Servite High School of Anaheim. It was Angel Stadium, he recalled, with about 25,000 fans in attendance. That's a big number, especially for a high school kid. But it's woefully inadequate in preparing him for what he'll see this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. "I never played in anything like what Ohio State is going to be," he said, as he says most things, quite cheerfully.
...the Trojans are only favored by a touchdown, down from 10.5 last year at the Coliseum. Still, even as the spread narrows, the presumption against Ohio State, and the Big Ten in general, only grows. The first week of the college football season brings more of the same. Illinois is humiliated by Missouri. Iowa ekes out a win against Northern Iowa. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes barely survive Navy. Maybe they were already thinking ahead to this week. Or maybe, like the rest of the Big Ten, they're just not what they're cracked up to be.
I don't want to come down too hard on Jim Tressel's team. It gets tiresome. But more than that, the Buckeyes don't have to play USC. Ohio State could be like Penn State, which finds itself rewarded for refusing to schedule a decent out-of-conference team. Still, with Pete Carroll 6-0 against Big Ten schools, and his average margin of victory at 21 points in these games, I don't know a single person who thinks the Trojans will lose — beginning with their true freshman quarterback. One hundred and five thousand on the road in his second college game? No problem. "That won't affect me," said Barkley. "I don't care what they say. I don't care what color they're wearing ... I'll imagine they're all cheering for us."..."
Numbers point both ways on USC-OSU showdown September 9, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "Ohio State is a lock to beat Southern California on Saturday — or to get humiliated again — depending on which stat you choose. Since a cranky Denison University coach named Wayne Woodrow Hayes came to Columbus in 1951, on 10 occasions the Buckeyes have lost to a team by at least 25 points one year and then come back to play them again the next.
They're 9-0-1 in those games. That's revealing since this Saturday's marquee opponent at Ohio Stadium is No. 3 USC, which embarrassed the Buckeyes 35-3 last year at the L.A. Coliseum.
But not all the numbers support No. 8 Ohio State. For instance, USC has beaten the Buckeyes six times in a row, and has won its last nine games against Big Ten opponents — by an average of 24 points. The Trojans have also won their last 11 games overall and their last nine nonconference road games..."
Webmaster note: Since Jim Tressel began coaching his record in rematch games against teams he lost to is 10-1.
OSU spotlight: Jermale Hines September 10, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "There was never a question of whether Jermale Hines could play football for Ohio State. He made an immediate impact in 2007 as a freshman...and started six games last year...
Hines appears poised to start in Russell's spot at free safety tonight against the prolific Southern California offense. The only question that remains, then, is whether Hines can be effective in more conventional, vertical pass coverage. "I guess we'll see this week a little bit more," defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said. "He's a natural player, he does things instinctively, so that you always like. Now, does he have the speed and (can he) go up for the ball and all those things? We'll find out."...
"Pretty much, he "He can play anywhere but the defensive line," cornerback Andre Amos said. "He's a very athletic guy - he can stop the run and he can cover receivers. He's a very versatile guy." That versatility has forced the coaching staff to find ways to play Hines, even when though he doesn't fit perfectly into any conventional position.
"Every time we ask 'Who are the 11 best players?' he always comes up in the top 11," Heacock said. "So when the guy comes up in the top 11, we're just trying to work out how to get him on the field as much as we can."
Welcome to the Trobuckalypse: Dr. Lou's Buckeye flashback, Tressel's eyeblack crackdown September 10, 2009 Source: Yahoo Sports - "You have been officially called out. Top Buckeye blog Eleven Warriors has a rundown of the many positions on 11-alarm alert for Ohio State Saturday, reserving his most urgent notice for the obvious culprits: The offensive line. Over OSU's five-game losing to other top-10 teams, the Buckeyes have allowed 19 sacks, which doesn't even include this (sack of Boeckman LSU title game) and had a dismal effort last year in Los Angeles, allowing five sacks and barely two yards per carry overall against the Trojan defense from hell. That group -- which is largely the same as this group, with the addition of Michigan transfer Justin Boren -- was totally overmatched..."
Blogger debate: USC-Ohio State September 10, 2009 Source: ESPN - Adam Rittenberg and Ted Miller: "Adam Rittenberg: Ted, I look at this USC defense and don't see a glaring weakness. Still, several mobile quarterbacks [Vince Young, Dennis Dixon] have hurt the Trojans in the past. How do you expect USC to defend Terrelle Pryor and does Pryor give the Buckeyes a fighting chance in this game?
Ted Miller: I think Pryor gives the Buckeyes a fighting chance because he can make something out of nothing when a play breaks down -- and the USC defense is good at breaking down plays. While USC fans would debate you on the health of their defense vs. Vince Young, the fact is the Trojans learned from that game that you need to account for an athletic quarterback -- you can't just run your base defense and expect gap control and rush lanes to take care of things..."
No. 8/7 Ohio State Welcomes No. 3/3 USC to Ohio Stadium Saturday September 7, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "National powers Ohio State and Southern California meet for the 23rd time in the series history Saturday under the lights; game to be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN-3D...SERIES RECORD: Ohio State Southern California leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes by a 12-9-1 count. The first meeting between the two schools was a 13-12 USC home victory in 1937. The latest meeting at Ohio Stadium 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...Head coach Pete Carroll is 89-15 in his ninth season with a 57-10 record in Pac-10 play. His Trojans have won at least a share of seven straight Pac-10 titles. He is 6-1 in BCS bowls with three consecutive Rose Bowl victories..."
Pregame Information • The honorary captain this week will be former Buckeye and Oakland Raider Jack Tatum.
• ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from an Ohio State game for the 24th time since 1996
SERIES RECORD: USC leads the alltime series with the Buckeyes 12-9-1.
DID YOU KNOW: A victory over OSU would be USC's 10th in a row against a Big 10 team. They have won the previous 9 by an avg. of 23.8 points
CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 8 OR MORE WINS (Current Streak): Tied for 8th: Ohio State 7 & USC 7
IN NIGHT GAMES: OSU is 6-2 at home; under Tressel, the Buckeyes are 14-9 in night games; 2-2 at home.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Coach Tressel's Buckeyes are 33-12 overall and 12-6 on the road against ranked teams.
NON-CONFERENCE: Coach Tressel's Buckeyes are 24-1 at Ohio Stadium versus non-conference teams; lost 25-22 to #2 Texas in 2005.
MOST WINS LAST SIX YEARS: #1 USC 72 & #5 Ohio State 64
Police Prepare, Issue Advice For OSU Fans September 10, 2009 Source: NBC4i.com - "The Ohio State University Police Department has a plan in place and will work with Columbus police. Police said the campus is and will be safe, but there is something fans can do to help. Common sense applies, but police said night games are different than day games—especially during drivers and pedestrians. "Certainly the lighting conditions are different. People may be a little bit more tired when they come to or from the game, so we suggest being extra attentive to our pedestrians and fans leaving the game," said OSU Police Chief Paul Denton. Extra officers will be on hand, but police are counting on fans to respect each other. Police said they don’t expect problems, but urge fans to plan ahead, follow directions when police are directing traffic and be patient. For additional information, stay with nbc4i.com and NBC 4..."
Senior corner Andre Amos reflects on his first career start vs. Navy and looks toward the USC showdown.
Pryor says game will match hype...predicts war in Columbus September 8, 2009 Source: Toledeo Blade - "...''I was a rookie in that game, so I learned a lot of stuff from last year's game — how fast everything is, and how quick you have to release the ball,'' Pryor said. ''It was a fun game last year, too, but we just fell short and had penalties and mistakes like that — you can't have mistakes against them.'' The Buckeyes turned the ball over three times, and took 10 penalties in the 35-3 defeat...''It's going to be a fight, and it's going to be a war. I'm looking forward to it,'' he said. ''It's what you dream of — it's going to be a real fun game.''...In eight seasons under Tressel, Ohio State has a 24-1 record in Ohio Stadium against nonconference opponents. The only loss came in 2005 when No. 2 Texas beat the Buckeyes 25-22..."
Pete Carroll and Jim Tressel talk about the upcoming USC - Ohio State matchup. Find out what the head coaches have planned for the 'Collision in Columbus.'
Ohio State Preview: Coaching September 9, 2009 Source: Ohio State Preview: Coaching - "SCPlaybook’s Lyle Everett previews Ohio State University in the days leading up to the most anticipated game of the early season. Jim Tressel returns to lead his beloved Buckeyes against the Men of Troy this Saturday night in the Horseshoe...After eight seasons as leader of the Buckeyes, Tressel has elevated a storied program to even greater heights. Since taking the reins in 2001, he has guided the Bucks to a 84-18 record, including seven bowl appearances, five BCS games, six 10-win seasons, five Big Ten titles and a national championship. The numbers are plentiful and impressive indeed: five finishes in the Top 5, including the 2006 and 2007 squads that played for the national title; a .500 record (4-4) in bowl games; 3-3 in BCS games; two streaks of 19 consecutive victories; and an astoundingly impressive 7-1 mark against Michigan in one of college football’s most storied rivalries...."
Ohio State again faces its Big Game jinx as USC comes to town September 8, 2009 Source: USA Today - "Imagine how confused the players must be at Ohio State. They beat Michigan five straight years — the Buckeye equivalent of sainthood — and all the outside world has is questions.
It's this big-game … thing. The elephant in the room whenever Ohio State goes against a national power — a pertinent subject since USC comes to town Saturday night...Clearly, the Buckeyes understand what must be fixed. Ohio State's glittering football world has a gaping hole. Beating Michigan is not enough..."
USC-Ohio State clash might be decided on the ground September 9, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "As Navy rolled up first down after touchdown at Ohio State on Saturday, the joke went like this: Maybe USC, the Buckeyes' opponent this weekend, should install some option plays for similar success. The playbook remains intact in Los Angeles. But know the Trojans saw how much a solid run game can hurt an inexperienced Buckeyes defense.
All the pregame talk before Saturday's showdown at OSU's Horseshoe figures to center around young quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Matt Barkley. They key, though, might be whether Ohio State can make sure the Trojans don't run as wild as the Midshipmen (186 yards rushing) did last weekend. The Trojans rocked overmatched San Jose State for 342 rushing yards, an average of 7.6 yards per carry, and six touchdowns in their 56-3 victory. Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel raved about the USC offensive line, which cleared paths for all those gains.
"It's very veteran, lean and quick," he said on a teleconference Tuesday. "And they don't make errors. They're deep, and they've had some injuries that have allowed other guys to get some experience."..."
Tressel must beat USC to keep OSU fans happy September 10, 2009 Source: FOXSports.com - 97.1 The Fan's Bruce Hooley writes: "After 105 games, just into his ninth season, the man who's always had the majority of OSU fans in his corner suddenly seems backed into that very spot. Make no mistake, Tressel will not acknowledge this tenuous perch in advance of USC coming to town for an 8 p.m. Saturday kickoff. Likewise, there's no scientific way to measure his approval rating.
But the clear vibe in Columbus these days is that if he doesn't win Saturday against the Trojans, Tressel will — for the first time — inspire more grumbling than confidence among Buckeye Nation. John Cooper, Earle Bruce and Woody Hayes all met this moment far earlier in their Ohio State coaching careers and all were eventually undone by it. Tressel certainly won't be fired for losing this game, nor is he in any danger of being forced out any time soon — if ever..."
OSU Vs. USC: Quite A History September 8, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "We look back at the 22 previous meetings between Ohio State and USC in preparation for Saturday's showdown at Ohio Stadium...Prior to USC’s 35-3 win last year at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the teams had not met since the 1989-90 seasons when USC swept a series at Los Angeles (42-3) and Columbus (35-26). OSU has a 4-3 edge in home games played at Ohio Stadium. The Trojans also have a 4-3 edge in the seven Rose Bowl games played between the schools in Pasadena, Calif..."
Last Time Out... September 8, 2009 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "The Buckeyes will have a chance to avenge a lopsided loss when the Trojans of the University of Southern California invade Ohio Stadium this weekend. Look back at how USC handled the Buckeyes last season..."
Forecasters calling for another USC rout September 8, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "I have consulted the ranking members of my college football staff -- P.J. the pre-teen (a.k.a. "Staff") and Keith the Plumber (KTP) -- over the holiday weekend. We did not indulge in hope. We did not wallow in despair. We attempted, merely, to predict the final destination. It is this: USC is going to crush the Buckeyes.
"I saw an Ohio State defense getting manhandled by a smaller offensive line," KTP said. "Those Navy boys were in good shape and they were strong, and they took angles and beat our guys like a drum. I'm 50 years old and I can't remember seeing a team going 99 yards against Ohio State's defense, not in The Shoe. That's demoralizing. "Boys against men. I think we'll get beat about 56-10 before Pete (Carroll) calls the dogs off."...
Staff projects a nightmare for Pryor. "If SC's linebackers are in sync, Ohio State won't be able to run effectively, so Pryor will have to throw," Staff said. "USC has outstanding corners who require no help. So, if you close your eyes, you can see Pryor flushed from the pocket and scrambling -- and (safety) Taylor Mays free as a bird dog. Taylor Mays is a freak, an absolute freak. I see interceptions and violent collisions."..."
Friday Walk-through September 11, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Brandon Castel's detailed position-by-position weekly sum-up of where the Buckeyes stand heading into the game..."
Reserve safety Aaron Gant remains out, and had arthroscopic surgery this past week...not exactly sure what was scoped, but definitely lower body, so likely a knee. That normally is a 2-4 week injury. -- Saw backup left tackle J.B. Shugarts with a boot on his right foot. It wasn't a big boot, like those walking cast things, but it definitely was something out of the ordinary, let's put it that way. -- WR Taurian Washington has a brace on his right wrist. -- Tressel said receiver Ray Small would be among OSU's top four receivers Saturday. -- WR DeVier Posey, limited last week by an ankle injury, is fine... -- Reserve DBs Ohrian Johnson and Travis Howard will be back. That helps the depth situation a lot... -- DT Dexter Larimore (sore legs from being cut-blocked last week) should be fine. Source: Columbus Dispatch
USC vs. Ohio State Fearless Prediction September 10, 2009 Source: College Football News - "It's breakout and breakthrough time for two of college football's brightest young stars, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and USC's Matt Barkley, but it's an even bigger game for the Buckeye program and the Big Ten. Can USC finally be conquered in a regular season, non-conference game? Check out the breakdown and analysis for one of the season's defining games.
Why to watch: Alright, Big Ten, it’s finally time to slay the demon. Ohio State might not have the veteran talent of the last three teams that ended up in the BCS, including two national title appearances, but it’s good enough to be considered by most to be the favorites to win the Big Ten title...
Why USC might win: The USC offensive line should flatten the Ohio State defensive line...This year’s defensive line isn’t special, but the USC offensive front is...
Why Ohio State might win: Barkley throws interceptions. At least that’s the knock on him...
Who to watch: Who to watch: Terrelle Pryor, you’re up. Everyone’s superstar, unquestioned No. 1 prospect coming out of high school last season...
What will happen: You know what’s going to happen. You know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s USC in a really, really big game, and it’s going to play like USC...
CFN Prediction: USC 34 … Ohio State 17..."
Ohio State vs. USC Preview September 10, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the USC game...Throughout the spring and summer, the Ohio State coaches have openly talked about how the read-option really has no place in this offense; and that held true to form against Navy. However, don’t be surprised if the coaches were protesting just a bit too much and maybe we see some against a USC defense that is starting three new linebackers and two new defensive ends—including a redshirt freshman..."
Preview: #10 Ohio State vs #3 Southern California September 11, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...There may not be a team with more offensive weapons than USC has. Going five running backs deep, their running game is one of the best in the country. Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson, Allen Bradford, CJ Gable, and Marc Tyler make up the Trojans’ stable of backs that combined for 337 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns against San Jose State last weekend. They are an electric group of players that can beat you in a variety of ways, and expect Pete Carroll (a member of the ‘79 Ohio State staff) to use each of his backs to their strengths. Don’t forget about full back Stanley Havili either..."
2009 USC Trojans Game Preview September 10 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: ...If the first weekend was any indication of things to come, the Trojan offense will not miss a beat in 2009. USC cranked out 620 yards on Saturday against San Jose State after a somewhat lethargic start in the 1st quarter, good for 4th best in the country in week 1. They had a deadly balance of run (342 yards, 7th nationally) and pass (287 yards, 26th) and racked up 56 points (6th in the country in week 1). They had 22 first downs (T32nd), but converted only 2 of 9 3rd down attempts (22.2%, 97th)...USC Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..."
Captain's Corner: Keys To The Game September 10, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "There are plenty of reasons to agree with the odds-makers when it comes to the Ohio State-USC gamea, but there are also a few reasons to disagree. A couple top of mind thoughts from my side…If USC plans to make Terrelle beat them through the air, then they will see a mirror-image of our game plan. As I watch the 2008 match-up of OSU/USC, the single biggest factor was their o-line was moving our d-line. Those USC tailbacks could find vertical creases which made the field downhill and full of space. We weren’t bouncing the ball..."
A Closer Look: No. 3 USC Trojans September 10, 2009 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Eighth-ranked Ohio State's season continues into its second week with the game people have been waiting for: a national televised showdown with third-ranked USC under the lights in Ohio Stadium. USC's talents are already well known, and BuckeyeSports.com takes a deeper look at what the Trojans will bring to the table Saturday...."
Matt Barkley had an impressive debut for the Trojans, but how will he fare against the Ohio State Buckeyes? Jason Horowitz and Spencer Tillman go inside the numbers to break down this battle of elite teams.
Preview: Ohio State vs. Southern California Source: CBS Sports
Dr. Buckeye: Showdown in the Shoe September 10, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...Whether or not the Buckeyes achieve their goals rests solely on the shoulders of sophomore QB Terrelle Pryor, aka T.P. The moniker might as well stand for Tremendous Potential, as he was the main reason for the preseason predictions surrounding the Bucks and why Buckeye Nation believes it can move on and bury past performances. He has proven he can run and is fast, but how much his passing game has improved will be the true test as to how successful the Buckeyes will be in 2009..."
Weekend Preview: Pressure on Ohio State with USC in town September 11, 2009 Source: USA Today - "1. Trojan horseshoe: While it might be too early to consider No. 3 Southern California's prime-time showdown at No. 7 Ohio State an elimination game, the loser would need a lot of help to climb back into the top two by season's end. That is especially true of the host Buckeyes, whose stock already took a hit in a close call against Navy. USC looked the part of a title contender in its debut outing with a seemingly endless supply of running backs and poised freshman Matt Barkley at the controls. OSU QB Terrelle Pryor must be just as efficient with his offense."
No, sir; not in Ohio State’s house September 11, 2009 Source: Dayton Daily News - "Last I checked, the University of Southern California’s quarterback is not named Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. And he’s not named Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick. He’s Matt Barkley, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound blond bomber from Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, Calif., college football’s newest matinee idol with several “firsts” on his resume. http://www.mattbarkley.org/
• He’s the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener for the Trojans.
• He’s the first true freshman to start the opener for a preseason top-five team since Rick Leach guided No. 3 Michigan in 1975.
• He’s the first non-high school senior to be named the Gatorade national player of the year (2007 as a junior).
Barkley has the five ingredients of quarterbacking greatness — size, arm strength, poise, charisma and leadership. But before he wins the Heisman Trophy and before he becomes the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, and before he joins fellow Trojans QBs Carson Palmer, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart and Matt Cassel in the bigs, Barkley must first lead the No. 3 Trojans past the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday at Ohio Stadium in Columbus (8 p.m., ABC-TV). As good as he is and as great as he will be, Barkley is still just a freshman, one game deep into his Trojans career..."
USC at Ohio State: Who has the edge? September 11, 2009 Source: OC Register - "OFFENSE: Ohio State is better at quarterback; USC is better everywhere else. The question is whether that quarterback, dual-threat sophomore Terrelle Pryor, can do enough to lead the Buckeyes to an upset...he'll need a lot to keep the Trojans off-balance. Expect USC to continue to pound away with its bevy of tailbacks and veteran offensive line. The Trojans rushed for 342 yards last week i...DEFENSE
Ohio State's defense struggled at times against Navy, although USC's coaches said they didn't put too much stock in that film...USC's defense picked up where it left off in '08 despite losing eight players to the NFL draft. And the unit should be even stronger Saturday with DT Averell Spicer (ankle) and nickel CB Brian Baucham (flu, right) returning..."
Weekend Forecast: Ohio State vs. USC September 11, 2009 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com - "Kevin Noon:...The game will be won or lost in the trenches and while fans should feel good about the defensive line and where they stand there is still an incomplete grade when it comes down to Ohio State's offensive line. This is not the test that anyone wants to take going against USC and if the OSU line plays up to full potential things could be magical. Just call me skeptical for now? USC 31 Ohio State 27...Ari Wasserman:...it makes it hard to believe that Ohio State has a shot. However, there is just something about the way this game lines up that makes me think the Buckeyes could pull it off. USC is going to get their points, but if they can force an early turnover or create some momentum, they may put themselves in a good position. Ohio State 28 USC 27...Brian Snow:...Odds are they make a big play or two, and pull out some stops, but until this team proves they can win a big non-conference game, it is tough to pick them to win. USC 23 Ohio State 13...Andy McLachlan:...The Trojans may be entering with a bit of a chip on their shoulder as well. Being denied of a shot at the national title last season, it has now been four years since USC has played for the title and five years since they won. Entering the game with a true freshman quarterback and a long list of injuries, one can make the argument that the Trojans also will need to prove quite a bit on the national stage...This game will be closer than most experts think with USC getting a late touchdown to seal the victory. USC 31 Ohio State 24..."
Weekly Matchups: All Eyes on the Horseshoe September 11, 2009 Source: New York Times - "U.S.C. heads to Columbus for the first time since 1990, when Todd Marinovich was under center for the Trojans and Greg Frey was the quarterback of the Buckeyes...U.S.C. features a stout defense led by safety Taylor Mays that will have to be disciplined if it is to contain Pryor once he gets outside of the pocket. Ohio State’s offensive line looked a little suspect against Navy last week, which might make things difficult for Pryor and a young pair of running backs, but Pryor is one of those special players who seems to perform best on the biggest stage. Look for Pryor to impress. Other than Pryor, Ohio State has talent on offense, but not much experience. Running backs Dan Herron and Brandon Saine and receivers DeVier Posey and Duron Carter will have to step up and play like veterans if the Buckeyes are going to compete in this one..."
Carroll Returns September 11, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "The USC Trojan football team arrived in Columbus early Friday morning, but waited until 5PM for a walk through Ohio Stadium. Head Coach Pete Carroll returned to the Horseshoe for the first time in almost 30 years, since he was the defensive secondary coach for Earle Bruce."
After 30 years away, Pete Carroll returns September 12, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Pete Carroll left Columbus for the Rose Bowl 30 years ago and didn't come back until Friday night. The USC head coach led his team through a walkthrough at Ohio Stadium that, as is typical with the Trojans on the road, looked more like recess. The linemen played a version of slow-motion touch football, where no one can move faster than a speedwalk. The linebackers gathered in a circle and batted around a pigskin in football's version of pepper. And the punters worked on their 40-yard passes. "Our work on the field is done," Carroll said. "We want to understand what the locker room is like, have a light-hearted time and get out of here. We did that." Carroll, at least, may have taken a look around. As a 28-year-old, Carroll spent a single season in Columbus as the secondary coach in 1979, following Earle Bruce here from Iowa State as Bruce took over for Woody Hayes. Carroll remembers chasing Hayes down in a parking lot outside his office soon after he arrived. "I talked to him for the first time, and I was like a little kid," said Carroll, "which I was at the time." After that season, which ended with the No. 1 undefeated Buckeyes losing to USC in the Rose Bowl, 17-16, Carroll left for North Carolina State. And he hadn't seen Columbus since..."
Pete Carroll-Jim Tressel Press Conference Quotes September 8, 2009 Source: USC Official Site - "...Q. Your comments on Pryor being difficult as a running quarterback. If this is true, would you see yourself adopting an on offense like this? COACH CARROLL: No, we don't have an athlete like that, you know. I think you play with what you've got. I've always said that the most difficult aspect of defending an opponent is when they have a quarterback that can run and run on plays that aren't designed to be quarterback running plays. When a pass starts and it breaks down and it takes off, it becomes a sweep or a draw or a scramble situation. It's just so out of the normal structure, that, you know, anything can happen. So that's an X factor that a running quarterback presents. I particularly like running quarterbacks, I would love to have a guy in our system. But we always come up with guys that are not of that make up. That's why we're so excited about Aaron Corp and the fact that he brings because he can run very well. (Watch the Carroll Press Conf vs Ohio State FREE (19:00)) ..."
Carroll opens up about Ohio State September 9, 2009 Source: USCFootball.com - "Through the early days this week, Pete Carroll and the Trojans have been asked about how they will deal with the noise in the Horseshoe will be on Saturday. Or how they will stop Terrelle Pryor. Or how true freshman Matt Barkley will handle leading the Trojans on the road for the first time..."
Carroll said Pryor -- the sophomore quarterback who will lead Ohio State against USC on Saturday night in Columbus -- reminds him of Young in several ways. "He's a deceptive runner because he's so tall," Carroll said Sunday of the 6-6 Pryor. "He doesn't look like he's going that fast because he's a long strider. He's very much like Vince Young in that regard. And guys bounce off him and slip off him all the time."..."
"Everybody says, 'Oh, it's at the Horseshoe.' I don't know what's so special about that place. Didn't Texas beat them there? I'm not trying to be a jerk. It just shows that they could lose to any team." ((Rey) Maualuga Fires Off A Round Source: Bucknuts)
USC's Matt Barkley to face a tough crowd next at Ohio State September 7, 2009 Source: Los Angeles Times - "USC Coach Pete Carroll knows how intimidating the venue can be for opposing quarterbacks. Carroll was Ohio State's secondary coach in 1979, which was a year the Buckeyes went 11-0 before losing to USC in the Rose Bowl. "It was a great crowd then and it's even better now," Carroll said Sunday. "Their fans are loud and awesome. If they get it going, it's really hard."...
USC has been studying Ohio State since the end of last season, but Barkley's inexperience, the Ohio Stadium atmosphere and the lack of extra time to prepare could make this Carroll's toughest nonconference road test. "It's the state school," Carroll said of playing before the Buckeyes' rabid following. "It's the real deal."...
So, apparently, is Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The sophomore led the Buckeyes to a 31-27 victory over Navy on Saturday, passing for one touchdown and running for another. "[Pryor] is almost untackle-able, if that's a word," Carroll said. "We have to work on the tackling."..."
Matt Barkley is just a tad bit confident September 7, 2009 Source: NBC Sports - "Among other things, Barkley was asked by a reporter on the field what he had learned about himself as a quarterback. "That this is fun. This is easy. This is what I was made to do," Barkley said. I asked Barkley if there was anything that was difficult. "The run up the tunnel at halftime," he said. "That was brutal."..."
Stopping run USC's Pryor-ity September 6, 2009 Source: Los Angeles Daily News - "...stopping a running quarterback and making the BCS title game go hand-in-hand this week as the Trojans' ability to stop sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor and No. 6-ranked Ohio State could determine if USC plays for the national title. "He's getting more comfortable and sure of himself," Carroll said of Pryor. "He's an accurate thrower. He's really fast but doesn't look it because of his long stride, like Vince Young. He's hard to tackle."...
The game will be a trial for USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley. Carroll said Barkley's 15-of-19 performance included two passes thrown away, a drop and one missed pass on a fade route in the end zone. "I don't think that will make a difference," Barkley said of the Columbus crowd. "The atmosphere will be nuts. I probably don't even know how it will be. That won't faze me."...
"Remember the Ohio game last year and they went on to win everything after that," Carroll said. Over the summer, Carroll watched every play of every Ohio State game last season and then watched the Navy game tape Sunday..."
#4 Joe McKnight POSITION: RB
CAREER: He has 1,199 career rushing yards and 3 career 100-yard rushing games. He has 8 career games with at least 100 all-purpose yards. 2009: The exciting, elusive and versatile McKnight again will be a significant contributor both running and receiving from the tailback position and as a returner as a junior in 2009. 2008: McKnight was used in a variety of ways while being a key component in USC's tailback rotation as a sophomore in 2008. He also again spent some time returning punts. Overall in 2008 while appearing in 11 games (all but Washington State and Washington) and starting the Oregon State game, he had 659 yards on 89 carries (7.4 avg.) In the Spotlight: Joe McKnight September 10, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Anthony Davis, Ricky Bell, Charles White, Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush. Five of those former Southern California running backs won the Heisman Trophy, and the other two (Davis and Bell) were runners-up. And yet, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he thinks current Trojans tailback Joe McKnight "is as talented as perhaps they've had..."
#4 Taylor Mays POSITION: S
2009: The hard-hitting Mays, a 2-time All-American first teamer who is a leading candidate for the Thorpe Award, returns for his fourth season as the starting free safety as a senior in 2009. 2008: Mays started for his third season at free safety as a junior in 2008 and had a highly-decorated season. Overall in 2008 while starting all 13 games, he had 53 tackles, including 2 for losses of 7 yards, and a team-high 9 deflections. He was named a 2008 consensus All-American first teamer (AP, Football Writers, Walter Camp, Sporting News, ESPN.com, SI.com, CBSSports.com, Phil Steele's, Pro Football Weekly, Collegefootballnews.com) and All-American second teamer (Rivals.com), was among 3 finalists for the 2008 Thorpe Award, made the 2008 All-Pac-10 first team
2009: Barkley, who enrolled at USC in the spring of 2009 after graduating a semester early from high school, will compete for the starting quarterback job as a first-year freshman in 2009. He had an impressive showing in 2009 spring practice. HIGH SCHOOL: His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Scout.com All-American first team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team and All-Trinity League Co-MVP as a senior quarterback at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). He completed 177-of-325 passes (54.5%) for 2,877 yards with 23 TDs and 18 interceptions in 2008.