100,100 people in Ohio Stadium plus the football team and coaching staff believed they had USC beat for fifty plus minutes of the football game. USC fought and scratched and never gave up and finally took the lead with less than a minute to play in the game. RB Stafon Johnson was held to 50 yards on 11 carries, but it was Johnson that gave the Trojans a 7-0 lead and put them ahead 18-15 in the fourth quarter. On the last drive it was the Joe McKnight show. McKnight caught passes and made a nice cut back run that set-up the go ahead score.
The whole country was waiting for Ohio State to fold as they have in their past meetings against top ten opponents. The Buckeyes did a tremendous job of erasing last season’s 35-3 loss to USC from their minds. Ohio State’s defense did a tremendous job of stopping the Trojans offense for the majority of the night. Matt Barkley was 15/31, passed for 195 yards and 1 interception. WR Damian Williams was held to 5 catches for 51 yards. The Buckeyes held the Trojans to 6/16 on third down conversions and kept USC in bad field position for the majority of the night. The Trojans are a team that usually dominates teams with their running game, but Ohio State only gave up 118 rushing yards.
USC had a number of reasons to lose that football game. Matt Barkley was inaccurate with a number of passes. The USC offensive line could not push around the front seven of the Buckeyes. There were a couple times that WR’s Williams and Ausberry should have scored TD’s, but they were an inch or two from staying inbounds. The first TD that Ohio State scored was a blown assignment by Taylor Mays. The Trojans were able to put all those miscues aside to put together the game winning drive. This game came down to what QB would make the most plays Pryor or Barkley. The bottom line is when you look back on this game two things will stand out, the last drive lead by Freshman QB Matt Barkley and Jim Tressel’s play calling that gave the Trojans the opportunity to tie the game before heading into halftime.