Two victories and two bye weeks: that's what USC has to show for this season. A brief recap of their season thus far:
USC at Virginia, August 30
In Mark Sanchez's debut as leader of the USC offense, he led the Trojans to a 52-7 dismantling of the Virginia Cavaliers. Sure, Virginia was no, err, Ohio State, but the Trojans did everything they needed to do on the east coast.
USC QB Mark Sanchez was 26 of 35 for 338 yards and three touchdowns, which was good news for the Trojans after a disloacted kneecap kept him out of some of fall camp. He led the Trojans on three touchdown drives in the first eleven minutes of the game, and it was over from there. Backup QB Mitch Mustain threw for a touchdown on his only pass of the day.
USC spread the ball around on the ground, with four players gaining substantial yards. Sophomore C.J. Gable led the attack with 78 yards on 9 carries. McKnight had 60 yards on 6 carries.
The drive chart:
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Even though the victory was a great start to USC's season, head coach Pete Carroll seemed a little pessimistic about the season:
We're #2?!?! (via Don Petersen/ AP)
Ohio State at USC
In a battle between two teams who had been involved in the National Championship the last four years (one or the other, that is), USC proved dominant.
Ohio State got on the board first with a field goal, but USC wound up leading 21-3 at halftime. In the second half, it was USC with 14 points in the third quarter to seal the game. The drive chart:
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Mark Sanchez was 17 of 28 for 172 yards on the game with four touchdowns. Joe McKnight went just over 100 yards on 12 carries.
Ohio State was playing without star running back Beanie Wells, and as a result had 78 rushing yards, for a 2.1 yards-per-rush average.
I admit it I am mother hen, as I really thought this was going to be close. Ohio State had some groove going in the first quarter but once the SC defense settled down from being a little too amped up they were methodical and simply over powered the OSU (tOhioSU, that is --ed) offense. (...) The defense did exacatly what we hoped they would do. Their speed was incredible, not that we didn't know that, but against a "better" offense they just rolled. (...) The offense, after a sluggish first series, went on to really get in a rhythm. The offensive line is for real, The stood up to the challenge and kept the pressure off of Sanchez. (...) Sanchez played marvelously
No big deal, right?
Previously: Hawaii Weekly