Here is my analysis of this week’s bout between Ohio State and USC:
1) Passing Game: USC
With Mark Sanchez at the helm, USC should be able to attack Ohio State through the air with ease. USC’s big receivers should only make their passing game more dangerous.
2) Running Game: Ohio State
Beanie Wells may be the rest running back in college football, and if he plays, he’s a force to be reckoned with. In addition, Ohio State’s backup quarterback, Terrell Pryor, has the speed to make some serious contributions on the ground if utilized the right way.
USC has a history of struggling against mobile quarterbacks, and therefore I am giving the advantage in the running game to Ohio State. However, if Beanie Wells does not play due to injury, the balance in this facet of the game will undoubtedly change.
3) Pass Defense: USC
USC’s defense has the speed to defend against Ohio State through the air. Ohio State will have to rely heavily on their running game if they hope to get past USC’s dominant defensive unit.
4) Run Defense: Ohio State
This was a very close one, as each team features several dominant linebackers that excel at stopping the run. However, I am giving the edge to Ohio State in this category, as their defense led by James Lauraneitis is just a little tougher to penetrate.
5) Special Teams: USC
USC has always excelled in strong special teams play, and I do not expect that pattern to change this year.
Verdict: USC by 10