Overheard at USC... notes and quotes

September, 9, 2008
9/09/08
10:58
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

LOS ANGELES -- A full day's worth of notes and quotes as coaches Pete Carroll and Jim Tressel talked to reporters on both ends of the USC-Ohio State showdown.

RECRUITING BATTLE

Carroll and Tressel don't know each other personally but that doesn't mean they don't know each other.

"We know them through recruiting," Carroll said.

They don't steal prospects from each other's states very often -- Ohio State has three players from California, USC one from Ohio -- but both programs recruit nationally.

Tressel noticed some familiar names when he looked over the USC roster.

"Gosh -- all of those guys were on our wish list," he said.

He then ticked off some of those names: center Kristofer O'Dowd, tight end Blake Ayles, receiver Ronald Johnson, quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive guard Jeff Byers.

USC hasn't always won recruiting the recruiting battles either -- see Chris Wells and Ted Ginn, Jr.

CARROLL AND WOODY

The best anecdote of the day was Carroll talking about his year as an Ohio State assistant coach under Earle Bruce.

It just so happens that it was 1979, the season Ohio State lost in the Rose Bowl to USC and Charles White.

But Carroll's biggest thrill was looking out a window and seeing former coach Woody Hayes as he walked down the sidewalk.

"I had never seen him before," Carroll said. "So I dropped everything and took off across the parking lot and met him and I introduced myself."

Carroll said it was especially gratifying that Hayes knew who he was. They, of course, talked football.

"To me that was a really special moment," Carroll said.

QUOTABLE

Tressel to an L.A. audience about the poor performance in the 26-14 victory over Ohio on Saturday: "I've tried not to spend too much time looking back at that... We survived, I guess."

Carroll on the Ohio State-Ohio game:
"I don't think that has anything to do with it... They just won that game a little differently than everybody wanted them to and expected them to."

Tressel on the comments from Ohio State WR Ray Small suggesting that there is a "class" difference between the two schools: "It's disappointing when anyone talks... The only thing I can say about Ray is Ray doesn't have a malicious bone in his body and has no ill-intention... Those of us who speak to the press at times can error... Obviously it wasn't a good thing but he's a good kid."

USC safety Kevin Ellison, who was injured most of the 2005 season, on comparing OSU QB Terrelle Pryor to Vince Young: "I couldn't compare them right now. Vince Young was a totally different level. Terrelle Pryor is a freshman. I'm sure he'll be good a couple of years down the line. But you're talking about Vince Young, the second pick of the NFL draft."

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