Tempers flare late between USC and Ohio State

Ohio State running back Mike Weber has his face masked pulled by USC cornerback Isaiah Langley during a first-half exchange in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas on Friday Dec. 29 2017

This year's Cotton Bowl features a pair of 11-2 teams as Pac-12 champs USC take on Ohio State in what will be their eighth time playing each other in a bowl game. A defensive score like this was crippling to the psyche of the Trojans, who never recovered.

Although the defense will be responsible for securing a win, the rushing attack for Ohio State will have to gain momentum early in order to set up the rest of the offense. He's a legend at Ohio State and he'll go down as one of the winningest quarterbacks ever to play here. The Buckeyes forced another fumble on a Darnold sack to take over with 8:04 remaining and tallied three sacks on USC's final drive of the game. The Big Ten champion Buckeyes haven't lost more than two games in any of their six seasons under coach Urban Meyer. The senior class also won its 27th game for the best stretch in more than a decade.

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett ran the ball in on a read option for the Buckeyes first score and Ohio State jumped out to an early lead. "They've been outstanding the last few weeks because we've been giving them a lot of reps, too". "So I really wanted to see him get that championship. Our offense didn't play very well", he said. They had the star quarterback who was the favorite to win the Heisman and projected to go #1 in the 2018 NFL Draft.

"This was a very hard decision that I ultimately had to make", Ward wrote on social media. "I feel like I put up some good numbers and just tried to lead out there". "I'm definitely ready to play this game".

Ward's father, Paul, a middle school principal in Bedford, Ohio, died previous year of a heart attack at age 46. This was exacerbated on Friday by where Ohio State got the ball when USC gave it away.

With just two minutes remaining in the second quarter, USC was able to get on the scoreboard. Darnold had an up-and-down first full season as a starter (9 games last season), completing 63 percent of his passes for over 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Wide receiver Parris Campbell was Ohio State's second-leading rusher with 42 yards on three carries on three carries.

Runnin' Wild: Trojans RB Ronald Jones II has run for 120 or more yards in each of his last five games. Ohio State went 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS after that loss en route to the conference title.

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USC coach Clay Helton got his first big coaching job at the University of Houston under his father, Kim, a football lifer who coached for more than four decades, mostly as an assistant. "You're putting a hurt on your resistance, and it prompted focuses ahead of schedule in the diversion, and partition right on time in the amusement".

Prior to the second half starting, the unknown was whether or not Ohio State could continue to keep their momentum along with their dominating, outstanding defense?

Across the entire day, ESPN's three college football bowl telecasts were the three highest-rated bowl games across the sport's four-game slate.

USC: Darnold, who became the first Trojans quarterback ever with more than 4,000 yards passing in a season, has until January 15 to decide if he will head to the National Football League or return to USC for another season.

Ohio State was also left on the outside looking in after they defeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship. And it didn't have to wait long. Christian Kirk caught 13 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

But if you were expecting that classic from Pasadena last season - USC 52, Penn State 49 - sorry, this didn't live up to the hype.

A 16-yard pass from Barrett to Mike Weber, with a 15-yard face mask penalty added on, plus a 28-yard touchdown run by Barrett made it 24-0.

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