breaking news

Kasich reverses his position on gun control, bashes Congress

Urban Meyer: Program has momentum after Cotton Bowl win

Buckeyes have won at least 12 games in five of Meyer’s six seasons


Another domino fell Saturday for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Defensive end Sam Hubbard, a redshirt junior, announced he will leave the program to enter the NFL Draft.

A day earlier, just before the Cotton Bowl began at AT&T Stadium, cornerback Denzel Ward announced his departure, while at the same time explaining his decision to not play in the bowl game in order to avoid the risk of injury.

» COTTON BOWL: Three reasons Ohio State won | Big game for Landers | Photos

Ohio State goes through this every season, and every season, the Buckeyes contend for championships as other players step up to fill the roles of the drafted players. A 24-7 victory against Southern California on Friday puts the Buckeyes in a strong position to enter the 2018 season as a top-10 team, no matter who else goes pro.

Well, momentum is very, very important,” Meyer said Friday in his post-game press conference. “We had an excellent signing day. We’re going to find out here shortly who’s going to leave early for the draft. That’s always one of those bittersweet moments. But it’s very healthy program. I just go through that locker room, and it’s probably not the politically correct way of saying it, but there’s not many people I don’t like. I like a lot of those guys. As a matter of fact, I love the majority of them and appreciate them. And that’s a good sign.”

The Buckeyes didn’t play a perfect game against USC and even lost the yardage battle by a wide margin (413-277), but they controlled the game from start to finish.

» RELATED: Quarterback derby begins when Cotton Bowl ends

The Trojans committed three turnovers in the first half. All three led to Ohio State touchdowns.

J.T. Barrett scored on a 1-yard run five plays after a fumble by USC wide receiver Deontay Burnett. After a 26-yard field goal by Sean Nuernberger, USC quarterback Sam Darnold started the next drive by throwing an interception. Safety Damon Webb returned it 23 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the second quarter, Ohio State defensive Tyquan Lewis sacked Darnold and forced a fumble. Linebacker Jerome Baker recovered the ball and returned it to the Ohio State 41-yard line. Two plays later, Barrett scored on a 28-yard run. That was all the Buckeyes needed, though no one knew that at the time.

Neither team scored in the second half.

“The name of the game was, in the first half, we had turnovers,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “We didn’t really get our run game started. The second half we get it down in the red zone three times and don’t come away with any points. That’s the difference in the game.

» PHOTOS: Faces of the Cotton Bowl

Ohio State closed the season with a 12-2 mark. It’s the fifth season with at least 12 victories in Meyer’s six seasons. The Buckeyes improved to 2-0 in the Cotton Bowl and won a bowl game for the first time since the 2016 Fiesta Bowl when they beat Notre Dame 44-28.

“This one is very personal,” Meyer said. “I’m from Ohio. I’ve been a Buckeye, I think, as long as I’ve been able to say the word Buckeye. So when I hear ‘Hang On Sloopy’ and see the former players and know that we in our own little way have done some very good things for this great university, that’s one of those feel good moments.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Humidor could help Greinke in Arizona this season
Humidor could help Greinke in Arizona this season

Zack Greinke is beginning his third season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and this time the right-hander will be throwing home games with baseballs that have been stored in a humidor.  The idea is to offset the extreme dry air of the desert and make Chase Field a little less homer-friendly than it has been, and that has to be good news for pitchers...
Matt Harvey begins with a ‘lot left in the tank’ and his manager’s support 
Matt Harvey begins with a ‘lot left in the tank’ and his manager’s support 

As the New York Mets were considering ways to upgrade the team in early December, they listened to trade proposals involving Matt Harvey, who was once called the Dark Knight and thought of as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Harvey was potentially expendable; he was one year away from free agency, and his innings pitched and injuries had taken...
Moneyball's endgame: when all the richest teams are also the smartest
Moneyball's endgame: when all the richest teams are also the smartest

Even as he began constructing division-winning teams in Oakland in the early 2000s with a blend of statistical savvy, business sense and ruthless efficiency that came to be known as "Moneyball;" even as the book and movie by that name brought him cross-cultural fame; and even as his proteges began carrying the strategy to other teams, Billy...
In the Olympic reality show, the co-stars are named 'Mom' and 'Dad'
In the Olympic reality show, the co-stars are named 'Mom' and 'Dad'

The mom already had hugged the dad, and already had received congratulations from people to her right and her left and behind her, and then she moved along the fence line. There had to be a break in the mesh, a gate, a way to get from where she stood to where she desperately needed to stand. "Excuse me," said Boran Yun Kim, directly to me...
Garoppolo's $137 million deal means there's a big payday ahead for Prescott 
Garoppolo's $137 million deal means there's a big payday ahead for Prescott 

Shortly after Dak Prescott's sensational rookie season, amid the hoopla of owner Jerry Jones being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Dallas Cowboys brass gleefully resigned themselves to the fact they would one day make a neophyte quarterback the highest paid player in the NFL. It made sense, considering the excitement surrounding his historic...
More Stories