LOS ANGELES -- The techno music busting from Brian Cushing's black iPod dock had Rey Maualuga and Clay Matthews bouncing their long hair up and down as if they were at a rave.
"This is a now a new tradition," said Matthews, following USC's 35-3 win over Ohio State. "I don't know if you would call this techno or trance, but this is what we've all bought into."
The Trojans have bought into more than just the hypnotic sounds coming of Cushing's iPod these days. After years of not being able to force turnovers, a trademark of Pete Carroll's two national championship teams, this year's group has forced 7 turnovers in the first two games and allowed a total of 10 points, all in the first quarter.
"This team reminds me of that national championship team my freshman year," said defensive end Kyle Moore. "We were plus 20-something in turnovers that year and we always got a lot of turnovers. This group is the same way. We're always getting that ball."
The Trojans' defensive performance against Ohio State may have been one of the greatest Carroll's tenure at USC. While Beanie Wells was not playing, it may not have made much difference. With breathtaking speed and quickness, the Trojans held the Buckeyes to 71 yards rushing and 121 yards passing, most of it coming in the first half.
USC shut down Ohio State in the third quarter, holding the Buckeyes to only two yards. Here's a look at the Buckeyes' first three drives after halftime.
3 plays, 0 yards, 01:55, Punt
5 plays, -3 yards, 02:48, Punt
3 plays, 5 yards, 01:41, Punt
"We're taught how to finish, we finish games strong," said Moore. "We don't just have a great first quarter. You saw that tonight. We kept pounding them and pounding them and they just kept slowing down."
Sitting next to Mark Sanchez during the postgame press conference, Maualuga was asked who he thought was USC's Heisman candidate.
"You're looking right at him," said Maualuga, who had a 48-yard touchdown return in the second quarter.
"We might need to get him on offense," said Sanchez. "He's the heartbeat of our defense."