The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Barrett Leads Buckeyes To Win Over USC

Barrett Leads Buckeyes To Win Over USC

 

The 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic was an opportunity for the Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes to show the country – and maybe the College Football Playoff Committee – why they feel that they were one of the best four teams in college football. JT Barrett led the OSU offense with two touchdowns and the defense nearly shut down the scoring of the Pac-12 Champion USC Trojans to a final score of 24-7 to finish their season at 12-2. USC falls to 11-3 on the season.

While Barrett had his final game as a Buckeye, it was the defense that was the story as they forced turnovers and gave star quarterback Sam Darnold so many issues in the pocket. The Trojans lost the ball on their opening possession as receiver Deontay Burnett fumbled the ball to give OSU great field position and they took advantage with a rushing touchdown by Barrett. The defensive line was the key to getting Darnold to throw an interception by Damon Webb that was returned for a touchdown, and Sam Hubbard and Joey Bosa combined for four sacks total between the two as the Buckeye defense had eight sacks on Darnold. If it was not for a fumble by KJ Hill from a punt, the Trojans may have been in danger of being shut out.

After the game, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer gave comments that seemed as though the team was able to execute the game plan that they planned out for the Trojans. They wanted to make sure that Darnold didn’t have that much time in the pocket, and that led to the mistakes mentioned earlier.

“That defensive line took a quarterback that we have a tremendous amount of respect for and he didn’t set his feet all night,” Meyer said. “That’s the way we won that game.”

Coach Meyer was happy with their finish even though they did not make the College Football Playoff.

“The mindset was obvious. We wanted to go down as one of the great teams at Ohio State, Big Ten champions, obviously a top five finish,” Meyer stated. “This will go down as one of the best teams I’ve ever coached and one of the best groups of young people I’ve ever been around.”

Sam Darnold may have played his final game in a USC uniform, as many feel that he will be a top five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. It was not a good performance as he had three turnovers which placed his team in a bad situation. Trojans head coach Clay Helton pointed out how much that affected his team.

“We kind of shot ourselves in the football in this game,” said Helton. “You’re putting a hurt on your defense, and it led to points early in the game, and separation early in the game.”

2018 will be interesting for both teams as they will lose key players on both sides of the ball. They may end this season as top ten teams, but with key departures it may be a mystery as to where these teams will start.

[Photo: USA Today/Reuters]

Barrett Leads Buckeyes To Win Over USC
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Barrett Leads Buckeyes To Win Over USC

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