Ohio State closed out its football season with a 24-7 win over Pac-12 champions Southern California. The Buckeyes did so with the help of a defense that forced critical mistakes by the Trojans and an offense that didn’t make those same kind of critical mistakes.
USC turned the ball over four times, leading to 21 Ohio State points. Three of those turnovers were committed by quarterback Sam Darnold, who fumbled the ball away twice and threw a pick-six interception. Darnold was also sacked eight times by a relentless OSU pass rush that kept Darnold off balance the entire game.
The Buckeyes took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter following a USC fumble that gave the Buckeyes the football on the 19-yard line. Five plays later OSU had a 7-0 lead.
The Buckeyes added 17 more points in the second quarter, 14 of them coming off of USC turnovers, to take a 24-0 lead. The Trojans got on the board late in the half when Buckeye punt returner K.J. Hill muffed a punt to give Southern Cal a short field.
The second half was a defensive struggle with both defenses pitching shutouts. USC moved the ball at times but was unable to score due to turnovers, sacks and a missed field goal.
Late in the game, OSU quarterback J. T. Barrett completed a pass to tight end Marcus Baugh. The completion made Barrett the career total offense leader in the Big Ten, a record formerly held by Purdue’s Drew Brees.