December 17, 2018

Newberry: Barrett, Buckeyes dominate USC in 82nd Cotton Bowl

14 January 2018, 12:35 | Pamela Mathis

USC safety Chris Hawkins has a lot of respect for the speed of the Ohio State

USC safety Chris Hawkins

One of the most historic bowl games in college football history is the Cotton Bowl It will be the 8 ranked USC Trojans versus the 5 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. "As soon as this game is over, I'm going to try to get in the middle of that one and find out because of our love we have for Eli". The Trojans' only points were also gift-wrapped, converting a muffed Ohio State punt into a 15-yard scoring drive.

Balancing act:The early signing day - December 20 - combined with the Cotton Bowl practices to test the stamina of Ohio State's coaches, who had to work on recruiting without ignoring an important developmental time for their team. He will need to play mistake-free ball if USC hopes to upset the Buckeyes in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

"There will be a wall for this team", coach Urban Meyer said the day he learned that his team would be facing No. 8 USC in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic instead of playing in its third semifinal game in the past four years.

"Our defensive line won that game". "The best way to disrupt a quarterback is to get after him and we did".

Darnold was responsible for a pair of irresponsible turnovers, and Trojans fans are correct in calling him out for it, but he didn't get much help Friday night. On the other side, the Buckeyes are 10-2-1 against the spread in their last 13 games against Pac-12 opponents and have covered six of seven at neutral site venues.

DEFENSE: A. Simply dominating. Without Ward, adjustments were made and not enough good things could be said about how the defense played. Ward, a native of Nordonia, is projected to be a first-round pick and one of the first players at his position selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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He made an announcement prior to the game and while he didn't specifically state that was the reason, it makes all the sense in the world that was the reason why. "I feel like I put up some good numbers and just tried to lead out there". "I had countless conversations with my coaches about this decision well before the game".

Ward's father, Paul, a middle school principal in Bedford, Ohio, died past year of a heart attack at age 46.

Key matchup: All-America center Billy Price (Austintown Fitch) and Ohio State offensive line vs. USC front seven. Against Iowa, the Buckeyes had 17 points with 10 minutes left in the first half but scored only a meaningless fourth-quarter touchdown the rest of the way. Quarterback Sam Darnold has thrown for 3,787 yards and tallied 31 total touchdowns this season. This set up a dive to J.K. Dobbins that went for 77 yards because LT Jamarco Jones was able to kick-out that end and part the Red Sea. Parris Cambell also led the unit with 576 yards and he also reached the end zone three times. Ronald Jones gained 64 yards on 19 carries and scored the Trojans' on TD on a 1-yard run. He has thrown 8 INTs in his last five games, including two in the Big Ten title game vs Wisconsin.

"He would lose a year of eligibility if he plays in that game, and we didn't have it ready, but it was always kind of in the back of our minds".

"In the first half we had turnovers and didn't really get our offense going". The Buckeyes finished eighth in the nation in run defense, allowing just 108.8 yards per game. The Irish ran dives and sweeps similar to what Ohio State likes to do which sets up play-action passes. And it didn't have to wait long.

Tyquan Lewis sacked the third-year junior and jarred the ball loose and Jerome Baker recovered it at the Buckeyes' 41-yard line.

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