USC crushes Ohio State 35-3

Ohio State-USCThe USC Trojans proved Saturday night why they’re the top ranked program in college football, embarrassing the Ohio State Buckeyes 35-3 at the Coliseum. USC quarterback Mark Sanchez passed for 172 yards and four touchdowns as the Trojan offense amassed 348 yards of total offense.

Sanchez certainly quelled any doubts that he couldn’t win on a big stage. He looked incredibly comfortable picking apart a very good OSU defense and was effective spreading the ball around. It also helped that Joe McKnight (12 carries, 106 yards) shredded the Buckeyes for over eight yards a carry.

Without Beanie Wells, the Buckeyes could do nothing offensively. Jim Tressel’s strategy to rotate quarterbacks Todd Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor backfired, as the Trojans’ defense remained unfazed by both signal callers. (Although the freshman Pryor did flash some of his outstanding potential.)

USC was able to contain the run for the most part and was relentless crashing the pocket. Their overall speed on defense completely overwhelmed the Buckeyes and forced Boeckman into two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by standout linebacker Rey Maualuga.

Ohio State-USCEven though the score suggests otherwise, OSU’s defense didn’t play that bad; they just wore down in the second half after being left on the field entirely too long. Of course, the missed tackles didn’t help. The Buckeyes also committed 10 penalties, which often cost them vital field position.

You’d like to say that had Wells played, the outcome would have been much different. One would think he would have broken a run or two and kept USC’s defense honest instead of blanketing the pass as much as they did. So much for my prediction that Ohio State would keep this game close. USC made the Buckeyes look like a Pop Warner team.

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