Wednesday, July 23, 2008

10 Games in 10 Days: Ohio St. at USC

It's Day 2 of our '10 Games in 10 Days' promo. So let's roll...

Day 1: Kansas at South Florida

Ohio St. at USC

Both teams return plenty of talent and experience. OSU probably returns the most out of all the top teams with 18 starters back in all. The offense should be solid again with QB Todd Boeckman back. Beanie (Chris) Wells should be one the top RBs in the nation. The WR crew is pretty much all back with Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline returning. 4 of 5 OL are returning so expect the Buckeye offense to put up a good deal of points. The defense should be one of the best in the nation, they are loaded all over the place. The top LB in the nation in James Laurinaitis is back. The defensive line will be stellar with 4 solid experienced veterans in-tact. The secondary will be lights out as Malcolm Jenkins decided to stay and 3 other starters are back.

USC will be somewhat young in some spots but very, very talented. They need a QB to step up which looks like Mark Sanchez at this point. Only 4 starters are back on offense but they still have loads of talent. The Wideouts should be solid with Vidal Hazelton and Patrick Turner and the RB department will be the deepest in the nation led by Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable, and Allen Bradford. Look for the defense to be one of the best in the nation. The LB corps is loaded with Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing. The defensive line will be excellent with Everson Griffen leading the way. The secondary returns all 4 starters and it will be hard to pass on this bunch.

Offensive Player to Watch:
Joe McKnight, RB- USC

Defensive Player to Watch:
James Laurinaitis, LB- OSU

This could be the game of the season. The winner will have an inside track at a BCS National Title berth and a lock for the number one ranking (that's if none of them falter before then). Both teams are loaded with experience and talent, I expect this to be a defensive game as both teams return solid players on D, but don't expect a struggle to put up points. With the solid defensive and offensive play of both teams, it could all come down to special teams.

Early Prediction:
Ohio St.
26 USC 24
To tell you the truth, I have no idea who's going to win this game. It's a toss-up. Even though USC is playing at home, I think the lack of experience from Mark Sanchez will bring them down a notch below OSU. Todd Boeckman is a proven veteran and Mark Sanchez has limited starting experience under center for the Trojans. The lack of offensive experience still has me weary going up against a talented OSU defense. But expect this to be a close, close game with some unremarkable plays. Both teams are stellar on both sides of the ball, but could it be the other unit that gets it done?

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