(Henceforth to be known as 'the Mauling on MLK')
The USC Trojans held the Beanieless Buckeyes to 207 total yards and 3 points, denying Ohio State 35-3. Buckeye QB Todd Boeckman coughed the ball up once and threw two interceptions, one of which was run back for a 48-yard touchdown by USC defensive captain Rey Maualuga. Boeckman was the target of a cardinal-and-gold wave that his offensive line were completely unable to stem. QB Terrelle Pryor was rotated in by coach Jim Tressel periodically, a strategy which seemed to slow the USC defense temporarily. By the second half, though, USC had obviously adjusted, and Pryor became far less effective. OSU gained a paltry 35 yards in the second half.
Mark Sanchez threw for 172 yards with four touchdowns, and an interception in the front corner of the end zone on USC's final drive of the first half. Joe McKnight torched the Buckeye defense for 105 yards (an average of 8.8 yds/carry). Neither hurt their case for the Heisman. Damian Williams caught two of Sanchez' TD's, one of them a snaky run inside OSU's 10 avoiding a half-dozen Buckeye tacklers. The Trojans offense didn't execute perfectly, but they were clearly in control from their second drive of the game.
Pete Carroll seemed to have Jim Tressel outclassed, and the Trojans looked better-prepared than their counterparts. The Trojans' offensive line generally did a good job of containing the rush, though Sanchez was hurried at times and sacked once. The USC defense notched 5 sacks, four of them against Boeckman and one against Pryor.
USC will be number one this week, and Ohio State is unlikely to qualify for the BCS championship game because of this resounding drubbing. It remains to be seen how far the Buckeyes will drop in the poll rankings, and how much effect Beanie Wells' absence will have on the voting. Here's hoping Pete Carroll can keep his guys healthy and on the road to another undefeated season and BCS Championship.
FIGHT ON MEN OF TROY!