Stadium memories differ for Ohio State, Southern Cal

Big Ten champion Ohio State will face Pac-12 champion USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29

Earlier this month, Ohio State center Billy Price said there was "not a chance" any of his teammates would sit out the Buckeyes' Cotton Bowl Classic against USC in order to protect their draft stock.

"He's been a great leader for our football team and really for our entire university", Drake said.

Schiano and the Buckeyes were ready for plays like this, a staple of the USC offense.

Yeah he's been the target of a ton of criticism with some outlandish expectations that nobody could live up to, but the fact remains that he'll go down as the best quarterback in Ohio State history, if not the Big Ten.

Barrett, who rushed for two touchdowns on the night, attended high school in Wichita Falls, Texas, just over two hours from the metroplex. While there were the bad plays, he made some exciting throws at times and even tried to cut the deficit late in the fourth quarter with some incredible passes, but another fumble would ultimately doom him. The 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic can be viewed on ESPN to wrap up a great day of college football.

Meyer has won three national titles during his coaching career and has constructed a juggernaut at Ohio State that is capable of competing for his next one every year. Whether it be Barrett on QB keepers, or the tandem of Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins out of the backfield on hand-offs, OSU will begin and end the game plan with trying to establish things on the ground first and foremost. But the Trojans don't win games by stopping other teams from being successful on offense. I want to hit as many as I can on the trip.

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The 8 ranked USC Trojans came into the 2017 season with a ton of hype.

As All-American junior defensive back Denzel Ward sat out the came in a controversial decision to protect his National Football League draft stock, it was teammate Damon Webb returning a Darnold pass for a touchdown - after he had earlier recovered a fumble to set up an early Buckeye TD. This is, however, the first time the two sides meet at this time of the year outside of Pasadena, CA, home of the Rose Bowl. But don't count on either team winning by a touchdown.

It's no guarantee either way. And he also will leave as Cotton Bowl champ.

"Our defensive line won that game", Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. The Trojans' 52-49 win over No. 5 Penn State in the Rose Bowl was at least one of the best two postseason games of the year. When the spread grew to 10, people were not only surprised that the spread somehow increased, but nearly guaranteed that Ohio State wouldn't be able to cover as 10-point favorites. They are led by their sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold who through the ball for 3,787 yards with 26 touchdowns and 12 picks. Barrett is a better runner than passer and that was evident once again as the second half progressed. The Buckeyes average 523.6 yards (7th in the country) and 42.5 points (fifth) per contest, while the Trojans put up 490.0 (ninth) and 34.5 (20th), respectively. An upset win over an angry Ohio State team would go a long way in boosting the conference's image heading into 2018.

In a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, OSU had a 13-10 lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter but had only a field goal in the last 23 minutes. Neither team cracked the scoreboard in the second half.

J.T. Barrett was out with an injury in 2015 but would love to end his college career by guiding his team to another win in the 'House That Jerry Built.' But Sam Darnold and the rest of the Trojans will have something to say about that.

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