Ohio State football: 5 reasons the Buckeyes will beat USC

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback J.T. Barrett
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Quarterback J.T. Barrett /
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SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 21: Sam Darnold

4. The Trojans have struggled against out of conference opponents.

There’s a common agreement in college football which is some conferences are simply better than others. Arguments are made about which exactly are the absolute best but the fact remains that they are not all even. The Power 5 conferences contain the best in the FBS.

The Trojans reside in the Pac-12 which hasn’t necessarily been on the decline but has hung near the edge in terms of conference hierarchy. In the past two seasons, the Trojans have fared well in conference play. They’ve accrued just three losses in the Pac-12 over that span.

However, the Trojans’ play outside the Pac-12 has wavered a bit. Their opponents outside of their conference have featured some of the top names from the top conferences in college football though. The Trojans began last season by getting beat down by Alabama on a neutral field in game one.

That loss didn’t shake their confidence though as it ended up leading to one of their best seasons since 2011. The Trojans’ final two games included wins over Notre Dame and Penn State. Though, it should be understood that their win over Penn State was in Pasadena, California which constitutes a home field advantage in their mere three point victory.

This season proved to be much different than the last. The struggles against out of conference opponents became far more apparent. The Trojans let up 31 points at home to Western Michigan in game one who has hardly a .500 record. It took overtime to defeat Texas, who is struggling to stay afloat, by three at home. Last but certainly not least, the Trojans put up just 14 points against Notre Dame and that was in the second half when the game was already out of hand.

The Trojans may have controlled the Pac-12 conference this season but their reign doesn’t move far outside of that. This game will be played in Texas instead of California for everyone pointing to the Trojans’ victory over Penn State last year as an indicator for a repeat performance against the Big Ten.

In case anyone is unfamiliar, this is also the same venue where the Trojans were blown out of the water by Alabama just one season ago. The Trojans won’t be able to use home field advantage to the same extent as they have in the past this time around. Expect the Buckeyes to reign superior on the neutral field against an over matched Trojans team.