Let me introduce you to Larry Tashjian and Roy Manukyan, two true-blooded USC football fans. Larry is a USC graduate that graduated in 1976 and has been a long-time Trojan ticket-holder and large supporter. Roy is a Los Angeles native and current USC student, experiencing the here-and-now of Trojan football.
I’ve asked the two of them a few questions regarding the up-coming game and here is what they had to say.
What do you think is going to be USC’s greatest strength against OSU?
LT: I don’t know a lot about OSU defense but our offense will be major strength. Mark Sanchez, our quarterback, is seasoned and ready to go. Joe McKnight, one of our running backs, was compared last year to Reggie Bush. Our receiver core is considerably stronger than last year. There will be some exciting plays on offense.
RM: Defense, defense, defense. If Ohio State even wants a chance of winning this game, they are going to have to get through the best linebacker corps in the nation, not to mention a freakishly athletic secondary. In their opening game, USC showcased their defensive talent by holding Virginia to a paltry 32 yards of rushing offense. I don't care who Ohio State puts in at running back, they are going to have a tough time getting through the rock solid USC linebackers.
What do you think is going to be USC’s greatest weakness against OSU?
LT: I really don’t think we have any weakness except the kids believing too much of the hype, especially after last weekend where OSU did not look that great against Ohio.
RM: Underestimation. After seeing Ohio State stumble against Ohio last week, USC has to be careful not to let their guards down. Also, many claim that USC has a weak offensive line. Although they performed adequately against Virginia, it's difficult to gauge whether they did a good job or if Virginia's defensive line just isn't very good.
What scares you most about OSU?
LT: This could be OSU’s biggest game of the year. They will come out pumped up while SC, after watching the Buckeyes last week, might not be ready to play up to their capabilities.
RM: Pass defense. Last year, Fred Davis was the only receiver who could make consistent catches for large gains. Hopefully Sanchez will be able to make something happen; it sure wasn't a problem against Virginia.
What do you think USC will be able to exploit?
LT: Hopefully we can exploit the OSU defense. We are a very fast team. As well, our linebackers are some of the best in the nation and will do some damage.
RM: Home field advantage. It's going to be tough for Ohio State to walk into the Coliseum and walk out with a win. Everybody in Los Angeles is ready for this game, and let me tell you, it's going to be loud.
What do you think Pryor will be able to accomplish against the USC defense?
LT: He will make some plays but will not have a big game.
RM: He will most likely be scrambling more than he wants to. If Pryor is going to succeed through the air, he needs to have the game of his life. The Trojan defense is not going to give up anything easily, especially the secondary and linebacker core. Also, it's tough to say whether a dual-quarterback system will work. Pryor definitely has the advantage on the ground.
LT: Our receivers.
RM: Joe McKnight. Look for this guy to be a major factor in the USC running offense. This guy is a playmaker. After him? The other 5 running backs that the Trojans can put in.
O.J. Simpson vs. Archie Griffin?
LT: Hollywood vs. a Mack Truck
RM: O.J. Simpson. Just because.
Woody Hayes vs. John McKay?
LT: I do remember the 1974 Rose Bowl, where Pat Haden hit JK McKay (coaches son) with less than one minute left in the game for a touchdown. USC was down by 1. Coach McKay decided to go for two to win the game, which they did 18-17. After the game somebody asked him why and he said, “a tie is like kissing your sister”.
RM: Pete Carroll.
LT: USC 34- OSU 19
RM: USC 24- OSU 10
This article was originally published at www.buckeyecommentary.com, where Molly Gray is a regular contributor.
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