Actually, the Southern California Trojans have already won this game by 24 points, but the NCAA by-laws dictate they have to go ahead and play the game anyway. Everybody important is at the game, except you. And, well, me. So let's get through this impending Buckeyes massacre together, shall we? Oh, good, you brought queso. Then it looks like we'll ... have ... to ... JUMP. * * *Fourth Quarter 11:27 — And OSU finishes on a high note by tackling some guy really hard with three linebackers. And that's the game. If I could have made it more interesting, I would have. Translation: I would have flown in Georgia. See y'all next live blog. 11:22 — Herbstreit believes Tressel should stick with Todd Boeckman and use Terrelle Pryor sparingly. Perhaps using both is the way to go. How about the A-11? 11:19 — A Trojan punt. With four and a half minutes to go, THE COMEBACK STARTS NOW. Stipulation: OSU adds all its excess points against Troy next week to this current game. Winner stays alive in the BCS title game. 11:16 — Oh, by the way, Aaron Corp replaced Sanchez on the field, with the task of destroying the clock much like all the students in the Coliseum will destroy their livers. Or have destroyed. 11:13 — So ... Ohio State has the ball. Honest to God, what else is there to say? What insight could possibly be shared to enlighten the rest of your lives? Other than "just run the ball out and cut your losses." 11:08 — Maybe it's about time Todd Boeckman begins learning the life lessons of Justin Zwick. Translation: actually go to class, maybe get a job in finance. 11:06 — Sorry, I can't think of that Pizza Hut commercial without thinking of this: 11:04 — A huge sack by Ohio State on third down. Well, that's just going to delay the end of this game by leaps and bounds. 11:00 — After a bit of sidestepping, Herbstreit finally admits Mark Sanchez will probably be a Heisman finalist. 10:59 — A cunning strategy. Boeckman, instead of throwing poor balls that turn to interceptions, now seems to be throwing intentional picks on the off-chance that the USC defense gets disoriented and runs the wrong way to the end zone. If they get so many passes headed their way, it just may work. Now, the score by then may be 92-10, but that particular play will be successful. And at this point it's about moral victories. 10:56 — And there's Terrelle Pryor in the game again, this time as a secondary referee. Perhaps a missed call on pass interference. Then again, it's a 32-point game. Missed calls are done out of apathy and a desire for the officials to go to Shoney's as soon as possible. 10:55 — Nothing's really happening. Third Quarter So Boeckman can't throw it. Pryor gets smothered behidn the line of scrimmage. Probably for the best to end the quarter right here. 10:46 — Damian Williams did that thing again where he got the ball in the grass that was painted completely crimson. The ROTC is now getting a lot of push-ups experience, which will serve them well in the subsequent keg stands tonight. 3
3510:43 — Salters! Give us whatcha got. Mark Sanchez told every offensive starter the same lines: "This ain't it. We are not done." On the other side, Boeckman is telling every starter: "There's always the Big Ten Championship." 10:41 — Followed by a third down sack. Sheesh, even the Trix Rabbit was within scoring distance of his favorite cereal more than the Buckeyes were near the end zone tonight. 10:40 — And now for "OSU's Comeback, For Rills This Time, Part V." This week's episode: intentional grounding brings up 3rd and long. 10:34 — "OSU is trying to get back into this game." Then I suppose that touchdown catch by Damian Williams probably won't help that cause, correct? 3
2810:32 — Turns out that, yes, Auburn beats Miss. State 3-2. Instead of points, they just went by statewide literacy rates. 10:30 — Joe McKnight breaks 43 tackles in one play. "Does he think he's playing a video game?" Yes. He think he's playing Mega Man III, and he's Top Man. 10:29 — "Tommy Trojan, pointing toward Miami." And his sword, from that angle, is ... oh. Oh .. GOD! Move the camera! Hide the children! 10:26 — Quick! Punt it out of the end zone! USC gets the ball already on the right side of the field. (Aw, hell, they'd get there soon enough anyhow.) 10:24 — Ohio State will attempt a comeback by using an unproven freshman at quarterback. (But, he's fast!) 10:20 — UNNECESSARY ZOOM into Sanchez's eyes. Hey, his eye black has words on it. But I let my decoder ring back at the hotel. 10:17 — In close football news, Auburn leads Mississippi State 3-2. SEC Calvinball rules in full effect. 10:15 — The difference in this game, by the numbers: turnovers and points. In conclusion, this is a football game. Halftime Entertainment Maybe this is more pertinent if one of the teams was the Yellow Jackets, or the Hornets. But Eddie Izzard is evergreen comedy.
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9:55 — We secretly replaced your restaurant entree with Pizza Hut pasta. It tastes great! (We all know that.) But prepare for the shits in about, oh, now. Second Quarter 9:53 — YOU TOO, LISA. FUCK THE SHOES. REPORT THE NEWS BAREFOOT. 9:53 — RUN AND CATCH THE COACH, ERIN. 9:52 — Remember that missed field goal? Chimdi Chekwa might as well be credited with a made FG since he yanked that pass away from Damian Williams in the end zone for a touchback on third down. 9:49 — It appears USC also wants to move backward in the red zone. They were just copying what they saw on the other side of the field. 9:47 — In case you bet on the "at least 50 points" parlay, USC is going to try for a few more points right before the half. They're probably in field goal range by now. 9:44 — An "overrated" cheer from USC. Um, they're rated lower than the Trojans. 9:43 — Fum. Fum. FUMBLE. It's USC's. No, it's Ohio St... no, it's USC's. 9:43 — Almost a minute left, and Ohio State continues to gain about two yards per play. Ever the consistent gazelle. 9:39 — Well, hell, just make Pryor the quarterback the rest of the game. Give everyone a reason to watch this game beyond Boeckman try and make his passes higher rated on the Krenzelian Scale of Senior Leadership. 9:34 — If Lisa Salters got that anecdote out sooner, she wouldn't have been rudely interrupted by linebacker Rey Maualuga, who returned Boeckman's pass for a meaty old touchdown. OR IS IT? Well, yeah. 3
219:32 — Oof. They just shared a quote by Ray Small: "Here at Ohio State, they teach you to be a better man," Small said. "There, it's just all about football." Your move, Carson. 9:30 — How selfish of the OSU punt returner to catch the ball, immediately get tackled, and not give it back to the Trojans. If it were me, I'd always always ALWAYS call for a fair catch. Then again, I fear physical contact. 9:28 — I'm sorry, I think Musberger just said something about Taiwanese girls. I'll allow it. 9:27 — Let's turn it over to live blog sideline reporter twoeightnine: "So I'm at a Rochester area bar and the guy across from me is wearing an ND hat and cheering for OSU. Odds that he went to either school? -76%" 9:26 — New! The Volcano Taco, now only 99 cents. How brazen of Taco Bell to market the aftereffects of their food. 9:23 — Well, that's quite the bad sign. Even the field goals aren't falling for OSU. Possession: USC. 9:21 — Aw, you wouldn't believe how much OSU loves these holding penalties on this goal line series. A touchdown to Robiskie is called back on a penalty that Herbstreit clearly disagreed with. The nerve. 9:19 — Oh, Brutus Buckeye. I've always admired the audacity to make your mascot a nut. Stanford has the entire tree. Ohio State just needs the stuff that falls from the trees. 9:19 — Terrelle Pryor runs right for 12 yards, right into a Michigan Wolverines open wound. 9:16 — Please, whatever you do, I warn you not to check the Boise State-BGSU score. It could be hazardous to your health. Also, it will make babies cry. Keep your eyes on this game. 9:15 — It wasn't Tom Brady's knee, but Matt Cassel made the trivia question, and therefore was uttered before Brady ever was. 9:10 — Sanchez tosses the ball to Blake Ayles, who accidentally stood all alone underneath the goalpost. That's worth six. An extra point goes to the Trojans because a lot of celebrities root for the team. 3
149:08 — A broken play screen pass. Then a roughing the passer. OSU has their own bingo card on how to blow the second quarter wide open the wrong way. 9:06 — Strong, strong burst by McKnight on the outside for about 25 yards. 9:05 — Sideline time. Salters is reporting that USC is so fired up, they want to "score 100 points." Erin Andrews on the Buckeyes side reports they just want to score lots of field goals. Dreamers and realists. It really is Oscar vs. Felix, isn't it? 9:01 — A Bellisarian throw by Boeckman turns a promising third down into a charitable fourth down. 8:59 — Great. Now I have to critique election commercials. Fine. The father of the "overtaxed family" in the McCain-Palin ad looked like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There, you happy now? First Quarter 8:57 — Catch. Tackle. Cheer. Coach. Song Girl. Sword. Montage. End of quarter. 8:53 — Why, I believe that was a wheel route. (Why it's called that, I never understood. Shouldn't the receiver just run around in a circle? Mark Sanchez aired it out to fullback Stanley Havili for the rather excitable touchdown. Well, shucks, now OSU's going to have to kick two field goals to compensate for that! (Spoiler: they probably will.) 3
78:52 — That's three offsides calls in this game, the most recent one courtesy of OSU. The grass is greener, I suppose. 8:49 — Direct snap to the running back McKnight. WHAT'S HE GOING TO DO WITH IT? 8:48 — Now USC gets their first down of the game with less than three minutes left in the quarter. 8:45 — Point of order on these Mac vs. PC commercials. When is "running Microsoft Office" a positive thing? Please, kind computer man. Give me a large, bulky word processor with more features than a cartoon swiss army knife. This TextEdit program is too convenient and lightweight! 8:44 — OSU's kicker wears number 85. This, oddly enough, makes him the most tolerable football player to wear that number in Ohio. The field goal salvages the drive. 3
08:42 — Boeckman also goes for a draw, and loses five yards. Yep, he'll do that. 8:41 — Pryor gets the 1st and goal call. He'll just accept being tackled right where he took the snap. What an obedient freshman. Back to Boeckman. 8:37 — Dan Herron is only 5'10" and 193 pounds. Which is my size. But what percentage of his body mass is pure Baked Ruffles? I thought so. Advantage: Sussman. 8:36 — USC linebacker flies out of nowhere and over the line of scrimmage before the snap. Herbstreit credits Jim Tressel for that. !?! 8:34 — Maurice Wells is another running back for OSU. He doesn't get a nickname, so they can differentiate him from the other Wells. 8:31 — BRAY-KINGH NOOZ: Terrelle Pryor takes a snap and does something mildly insignificant. Then he goes back to the sideline. 8:30 — There goes the HD feed for me. Guess I'll have to watch the game like a poor person. 8:28 — Slightly unexpected. The Trojans also run three plays and punt. 8:27 — Impact player on the USC offense: R&B artist Joe McKnight. 8:25 — Like a Band-Aid™, the Buckeyes get their first three-and-out out of the way. 8:24 — Herbstreit slipped and called Herron "Dan." So long, alumni pancake breakfast. 8:22 — I guess they are officially going with Boom Herron as his name. He and Hurtmore Saine are back to field the kick. Boom takes the ball and gets Thordained on the 10-yard line. Pregame 8:21 — Whoa! It's suddenly 23-6! Oh, those are Rose Bowl wins for each school. 8:19 — Now for the coin toss. It takes 22 men on the field to complete a football play. It takes eight to flip a goddamn coin. 8:18 — AND HERE COME THE TROJANS! Ohio State suddenly trails 10-3. 8:17 — Lisa Salters reports, among other things, you can "almost touch the swagger" on the USC sideline. The trick, though, is to ask politely. 8:14 — In a case of delayed reaction livebloggery, a few minutes ago Kirk Herbstreit alluded to one of OSU's backup running backs, Dan Herron. He called him "Boone" or something, which I thought was a great old timey-sounding name, but it turns out his nickname is "Boom." Not everyone gets their own nickname that is also a magic spell from theDragon Warrior series. So the fate of the running game rests on Herron and Hurtmore Saine. 8:11 — ABCSPN brought everyone to cover this game. Saunders, James, and Flutie. Fowler and Corso. Musberger and Herbie in the booth. Erin and Lisa on the sidelines. They're going to be immensely disappointed when the winner of this game goes onto lose a conference road game next month. 8:08 — Now for some Notre Dame-Michigan highlights. (Oh, silly me. I thought the game started at 8 p.m. Now I probably have to sit through three Matthew McConaughey movie trailers.) Jimmy Clausen looks like the unplanned, unwanted son of a first generation American Gladiator. 8:04 — BREAKING NEWZ!!1 Terrelle Pryor will see action in the game. Actually, I'm pretty sure we knew that. 8:02 — The USC Trojan sticks the sword into the ground. This is also how the King of England resigns.
Pre-Game Babble So, hey, does anybody know who's favored in this game? Because I've been trying all week to get a read on this matchup. So far, all I have is that if this game is turned into an ESPN original movie, Pete Carroll will be played by Jack Klugman and Jim Tressel is Tony Randall. Yes, one of them's dead, but that's largely irrelevant. Now, being the loyal Ohioan that I am, it's probably mandatory that I go 'n wish well for the Buckeyes, even though the outcome may not be what I hope. But residing in Michigan, I have no choice but to wear a Trojan during the game. I mean ... Trojan helmet. A Booty jersey. Condom. Ray Combs just asked me to show you bingo. Good answer, good answer!