Pac-12: Ray Small

Ohio State-USC: Second-quarter reflections

September, 13, 2008
9/13/08
9:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

LOS ANGELES -- Some quick hits at the half:

  • It became clear at USC practices that both FB Stanley Havili and RB Joe McKnight were big parts of the game plan.
  • McKnight has rushed five times for 49 yards -- his 24-yard run on the TD drive gave USC the ball on the Buckeyes 26 -- and Havili has caught two passes for 47 yards and a TD.
  • The Buckeyes answered but another good drive -- which even featured a 13-yard run from Terrelle Pryor -- was killed by a pair of holding calls. The result was a missed 46-yard field goal.
  • Ohio State isn't haven't much trouble getting first downs. The Buckeyes have 11 with three minutes left before the half.
  • Maybe I'm wrong and the Trojans are going to blow this thing open.
  • It is worth noting that the Buckeyes have outgained USC 156 yards to 149 as of the pick-six.
  • Also, Pryor is going to be a weapon. He's 2 for 3 for 23 yards and has rushed six times for 41 yards.
  • Turnovers are killers against the Trojans. New exhibit: Boeckman fumbles on a sack from Clay Matthews and the Trojans, now winning the turnover battle 2-0, take over on the Buckeyes 28 with a minute left before the half.
  • Joe McKnight goes 15 yards on a third and 7 for a first down on the 20. He's averaging over 11 yards per carry and has 82 yards rushing.
  • The Buckeyes probably won't feel physically overwhelmed it the locker room.
  • Still think this might turn out to be interesting but my confidence is not as high as it was a hour and a half ago.

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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