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Saturday, September 12, 2009
Halftime analysis: Ohio State 10, USC 10

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A few quick items at halftime of the USC-Ohio State clash at Ohio Stadium.

Turning point: After a slow start, USC quarterback Matt Barkley showed why he's considered such a special freshman. Barkley led two impressive drives late in the second quarter, and though the Trojans only wound up with three points, the freshman settled into an excellent rhythm throwing the ball. Ohio State's defensive front seven has been very tough, particularly linebacker Brian Rolle, but Barkley seems to have shaken the early jitters.

Stat of the half: Ohio State outgained USC 148-5 in the first quarter. The Trojans outgained the Buckeyes 178-12 in the second quarter.

What USC needs to do: The Trojans sparked their running game toward the end of the half, and Barkley got a lot more comfortable. USC's offensive line needs to dictate the pace and buy Barkley enough time to attack down the field.

What Ohio State needs to do: Aside from two big pass plays, quarterback Terrelle Pryor has struggled. But the Buckeyes got some decent play from sophomore running back Dan Herron. Ohio State can't get away from the run, and Pryor has to be more willing to take off and improvise. This game will still come down to his ability to make plays.