It's time for Round 2 In the Shoe'!
On September 12th, 2009 two perennial College Football gauntlets meet in the Historical Horseshoe. The Trojans come into the game ranked 3rd in the nation, and undefeated against the Big Ten under Coach Pete Carroll.
The Buckeyes of The Ohio State University come into the game ranked 8th in the nation, and what seems to be the laughing stock of College Football.
In what seems to be the most anticipated College football game of 2009 many are expecting an easy Trojan win, however I have 5 reasons the Buckeyes will regain respect, and show the nation that they can win the big game.
There might not be a tougher venue to play in than the Horseshoe, and if you add in the factor that the game is at night the Buckeyes are damn near unbeatable (Their only loss at night coming to the 2005 Longhorns who went on the win the title). In fact, Vince Young once referred to Ohio Stadium as "the loudest place I've ever played." Another "fun" statistic is that the Buckeyes are actually 46-1 against Nonconference opponents at home.
The fans definitely won't be welcoming in The Trojans and regardless of what Matt Barkley says he will be quite intimidated by the crowd of 105,000+, and will most likely have trouble audible, and checking up at the line of scrimmage.
It would be silly to think that the players and coaches of Ohio State haven't heard the bashing of countless Reporters and Sports Writers for the past few weeks.
Not many people are giving the Buckeyes much of a chance and the Bucks will use this as inspiration. Ohio State has been labeled as "The Team who can't win a big game" and even Tressel has admitted that it is fair to say that, but it's time for that label to be lifted. The Buckeyes have the Big Ten's respect on their backs, and will be extremely motivated to show the World what Buckeye football really is.
Ohio State has the advantage of the better Quarterback in this game without a doubt. Terrelle Pryor is the ultimate X-Factor and for the Buckeyes to be successful he will need to have a monster game, which he is more than capable of doing. Pryor's mobility is what is going most important here, because with Ohio State's question marks in the running game, having Pryor as a dual threat should at least help in keeping USC's defense honest, and open up more passing opportunities. Historically the Trojans have had a bit of trouble with Mobile quarterbacks (Vince Young ring any bells) and Terrelle is very comparable to Vincent now that he has tuned his passing game, and is capable of making plays through the air.
Ohio State's defense has something to prove, it had a sloppy game against Navy last week against a Gimmicky Triple Option. The Defense is one of the fastest in the nation and is led by Thaddeus Gibson and Kurt Coleman two of the top players in their own positions. The defense will be flying around the field and will be looking to pressure the young Quarterback on his first road game of his career infront of a National Audience. The Buckeyes must stop the running game and USC's stable of running backs and make Barkley beat them through the air.
The Fifth and Final reason are the playmakers that Ohio State possesses.
While Ohio State doesn't have too many Household names (Minus Pryor, Gibson, and Coleman) they have playmakers at every position that are young, and hungry to make big plays. Whether it's Duron Carter son of Buckeye Legend Cris Carter who is starting as a Freshmen or Boom Herron who has proved quite a lot last year in the run game as a backup to Beanie Ohio State isn't short of talent. Playmakers on both sides of the ball will be looking to make big plays infront of a national audience, and show the Nation the pride that accompanies an individual that plays for the Scarlet and Grey.