Ohio State defensive front dictates the pace

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The key matchup of this game pitted strength against strength, Ohio State's defensive front vs. USC's offensive line.

So far, the Buckeyes have won the battle decisively. Ohio State is getting penetration on almost every play, consistently putting pressure on USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley. In fact, Barkley has done an incredible job of avoiding sacks, taking only one.

The Trojans' athleticism up front hasn't shown up enough, and Ohio State has used its speed from end Thaddeus Gibson, tackle Doug Worthington and others. The Buckeyes linebackers also have been solid in tackling, particularly Brian Rolle.