The Ohio State-USC Cotton Bowl live blog, with score updates and more all game long

One of the more anticipated matchups of the college football postseason will kick off on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (live stream) when the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the USC Trojans for the 2017 Cotton Bowl.

These two teams have a long history in the postseason, and although it’s not the Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl, it’s sure to be a close game with two top-10 teams trying to prove a point. Both the Buckeyes and Trojans were vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff, and putting on a stellar performance here could help boost their chances next year. (Even though the CFP committee isn’t supposed to take prior seasons into account, it’s hard to think that they don’t with their choices for the final four teams in 2017.)

Time, TV channel, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
  • TV: ESPN
  • Streaming: WatchESPN
  • Odds: Ohio State opened as a 6-point favorite.

Ohio State vs. USC news:

  • These two teams met in the Rose Bowl three years in a row from 1973-1975.
  • Both programs have some of the top resumes in college football.

The two programs make up a combined 18 National Championships (USC-10 Ohio State- 8), 13 Heisman trophy winners (USC 6, Ohio St 7), 164 All Americans (USC-81, Ohio St-83) and 157 first round picks (USC-80, Ohio St-77)

  • Ohio State’s success will be based in large part on how well QB J.T. Barrett has rehabbed from a knee scope and which version of his game he brought with him to Texas.

Quarterback J.T. Barrett can go back and forth between Heisman-esque playmaker, and someone who could be a “Not-Top 10” highlight reel. In the Big 10 championship, he showed both. What could have been a potential cakewalk, Barrett single handedly allowed Wisconsin to get on the board with an easy pick-6. But only four minutes prior, Barrett unloaded an 80-yard bomb in the perfect position.

  • The USC offense has plenty of playmakers that could spell trouble for the Buckeyes.

After struggling earlier in the year when he threw nine interceptions in his first six games, Darnold has settled down and has thrown only three interceptions in his final seven games. The redshirt sophomore possesses more NFL traits than a guy like Baker Mayfield, making him the best quarterback that the Ohio State secondary has faced all season.

These two teams have a long history

This Cotton Bowl matchup marks the 24th time the Buckeyes and Trojans will meet, with USC leading the overall series, 13-9-1. The West Coast squad has bested Ohio State in the past seven matchups from 1975-2009, most recently in a home-and-home series in 2008 and 2009.

The last time Ohio State won was in 1974 under head coach Woody Hayes — who claims five of the nine total wins against the Trojans for the Buckeyes. With over 40 years since their last win against USC, Ohio State’s postseason reputation could use a boost with a win over another top-10 team in the 2017 Cotton Bowl.

Ohio State vs. USC prediction:

The Buckeyes have been consistently good under Urban Meyer the past few seasons, and the next thing for the head coach to tackle will be Ohio State’s losing streak against the Trojans. Ohio State leaves Texas with a win and gets back on track in the postseason.

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