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Friday, September 11, 2009

This week's games: USC at Ohio State

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Ohio State got better last year as Pryor learned the ropes in his new job. Considering that and the talent that USC lost last year to the NFL, one might be tempted to pick Ohio State in this rematch.

Not so fast, my friend.

Pryor, though dangerous in his own way, is limited. He is strong with the ball in his hands, and Tressel is finding new ways to keep the ball in his hands, but he's no Pat White. He's also much less scary when he tries to distribute the ball to his teammates. The USC secondary is good enough that the targets Pryor will need to hit will be miniscule-and I'm not convinced he can do that consistently.

And USC is a program that simply reloads. Freshman Matt Barkley has not yet faced a large, hostile crowd, but breakdowns in the Ohio State secondary and wide open receivers should help him feel right at home. As I've said before, USC will win this by 20.

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