OSU-USC: A Little History

The numbers themselves are staggering ...

  • More than 300 all-time First-Team All-Americans
  • Almost 150 NFL total First-Round Draft picks
  • Close to 60 combined College Football Hall of Famers
  • 46 total Rose Bowl games
  • 18 combined recognized national titles
  • 7 Heisman Trophy winners ... each!

Ohio State and USC. Is there a better combination of talent and history? That's debatable, but come Saturday the only number that matters is 1 ... as in 1 more classic clash!

Here's a look at the series ...

Southern California leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes by a 12-9-1 count. The first meeting between the two schools was a 13-12 USC home victory in 1937. The latest meeting at Ohio Stadium came in 1990, a 35-26 USC victory in Columbus. Ohio State's last win was a 42-21 victory in the Rose Bowl following the 1973 season.

The winner has averaged 25.3 points per game during the series, with the losing team averaging 8.6, making the average margin of victory 16.7 points. Seven of the previous 22 meetings have been shutouts. Six games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The home team has won nine of the 15 regular season matchups.

Ohio State is 50-24-2 overall against the Pac-10; the Buckeyes have faced every conference school at least twice in football. In regular season games, Ohio State is 44-17-2 against the Pac-10.

The OSU-USC Series:

1937 at USC 13, Ohio State 12
1938 USC 14, at Ohio State 7
1941 Ohio State 33, at USC 0
1942 at Ohio State 28, USC 12
1946 Ohio State 21, at USC 0
1947 USC 32, at Ohio State 0
1948 at Ohio State 20, USC 0
1949 Ohio State 13, at USC 13
1954 Ohio State 20, USC 7*
1959 at USC 17, Ohio State 0
1960 at Ohio State 20, USC 0
1963 at USC 32, Ohio State 3
1964 at Ohio State 17, USC 0
1968 Ohio State 27, USC 16*
1972 USC 42, Ohio State 17*
1973 Ohio State 42, USC 21*
1974 USC 18, Ohio State 17*
1979 USC 17, Ohio State 16*
1984 USC 20, Ohio State 17*
1989 at USC 42, Ohio State 3
1990 USC 35, at Ohio State 26
2008 at USC 35, Ohio State 3
*Rose Bowl

Jack Tatum - Saturday's honorary captain
Defensive back 1968-70

Jack Tatum was one of the dominant defensive players and most intimidating forces in college football during his career at Ohio State. A three-year starter, a two-time All-American and the national Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, he was known for his tenacity and fierce style of play. The 6-1, 208-pound Tatum came to Ohio State as a running back, but moved to defense in the spring of his freshman year. He was a mainstay of the defense for the next three seasons as OSU rolled up a 27-2 record and won the 1968 national championship, two Big Ten titles and played in two Rose Bowls. The Oakland Raiders selected him in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft. In his nine-year career, he was named to the Pro Bowl three times and was a member of the 1976 Super Bowl champion Raiders. He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

USC Coach Pete Carroll Connected with OSU

Pete Carroll, current USC head coach, was an assistant for the Buckeyes in the 1979 season under Earle Bruce. Carroll, who coached the defensive backfield helped guide the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl that season, ironically losing a tight 17-16 decision to USC. Read Carroll's bio from the 1979 season below.

1979 Season Glance

Former Ohio State player and assistant coach Earle Bruce is named head coach.  The Buckeyes finish the regular season 11-0 and come within a point of a national championship, falling 17-16 to Southern California in the Rose Bowl.  Bruce is named the Big Ten and national coach of the year in his first season.

1980 Rose Bowl Recap

No. 1 Ohio State 16
No. 3 Southern California 17

Jan. 1, 1980, Rose Bowl, 105,526

PASADENA, Calif. - Unranked in the preseason polls, the Buckeyes posted an 11-0 regular season record, but thanks to Charles White, their fairy tale season came to an end in the Rose Bowl.

White, the Heisman Trophy winner, shattered the Rose Bowl rushing record with 247 yards, including 71 yards on USC's game-winning drive.

Trailing 16-10 with 5:21 to play, the top-ranked Trojans marched 83 yards in eight plays, with White diving over from the 1 for the score. The all-important point after knocked the No. 2 Buckeyes out of national championship contention.
USC outgained OSU, 519-412, in total offense.

First Quarter
USC - Hipp 41 field goal, 4:37

Second Quarter
USC - K. Williams 53 pass from McDonald (Hipp kick), 9:11
OSU - Janakievski 35 field goal, 3;10
OSU - Williams 67 pass from Schilchter   (Janakievski kick), 0:21

Third Quarter
OSU - Janakievski 37 field goal, 10:53

Fourth Quarter
OSU - Janakievski 24 field goal, 9:42
USC - White 1 run (Hipp kick), 1:32

Rushing (att.-yds.-TDs) - USC: White 39-247-1, Allen 9-43-0, Hayes 3-8-0, McDonald 1-(-13)-0. Ohio State: Murray 18-73-0, Spencer 4-15-0, Campbell 5-12-0, Hicks 2-15-0, Volley 2-6-0, Schlichter 9-(-6)-0.

Passing (comp.-att.-int.-yds.-TDs) - USC: McDonald 11-24-1-234-1. Ohio State: Schlichter 11-21-1-297-1.

Receiving (no.-yds.-TDs) - USC: K. WIlliams 2-70-1, Garcia 2-57-0, Butler 2-45-0, Allen 2-41-0, White 2-7-0, Brenner  1-14-0.  Ohio State: Donley 4-110-0, Williams 3-131-1, Murray 2-31-0, Hicks 1-21-0, Volley 1-4-0.