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Playoff-snubbed Ohio State 24-7 over USC in Cotton Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Playoff-snubbed Ohio State got to raise another trophy in the building where the Buckeyes won a national championship.

While the streaming confetti this time was for a Cotton Bowl victory instead of a title celebration like three seasons ago, coach Urban Meyer still got a special feeling from the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' defensively dominant 24-7 win over No. 8 Southern California.

''The mindset was obvious. We wanted to go down as one of the great teams at Ohio State, Big Ten champions, obviously a top five finish,'' said Meyer, 73-8 in six seasons at Columbus. ''This will go down as one of the best teams I've ever coached and one of the best groups of young people I've ever been around.''

With Buckeyes All-America junior cornerback Denzel Ward sitting out after deciding to go into the NFL draft, fellow defensive back Damon Webb returned an interception for a touchdown after recovering a fumble to set up an early score.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 champions would usually play New Year's Day in Pasadena instead of deep in the heart of Texas, but the Rose Bowl is a College Football Playoff semifinal game this season.

Ohio State (12-2) instead quickly settled in at the NFL stadium where it won the first national championship in the four-team CFP format. The Buckeyes - with that bad loss at Iowa after an early setback to playoff team Oklahoma - were the first team left out this season.

USC (11-3), the Rose Bowl champion last season, lost for only the third time in its last 23 games. The Trojans had four turnovers that led to 21 Ohio State points in what could have been third-year sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold's final game.

''We kind of shot ourselves in the football in this game,'' USC coach Clay Helton said. ''You're putting a hurt on your defense, and it led to points early in the game, and separation early in the game.''

Ward was on the sideline in his No. 12 jersey over street clothes while Webb had a fumble recovery on the third play of the game. That led to J.T. Barrett's 1-yard keeper for a score that put the Buckeyes ahead to stay.

Webb's 23-yard interception return for a TD put Ohio State up 17-0 less than a minute into the second quarter. It was the first pick-six this season for the Buckeyes, and the team-leading fifth interception for Webb.

Ohio State was up 24-0 when Barrett ran 28 yards for another touchdown after the first of Darnold's two fumbles when stripped while being sacked. Darnold was sacked eight times overall.

''The strip fumbles, when I'm in the pocket, those are though,'' Darnold said.

''That defensive line took a quarterback that we have a tremendous amount of respect for and he didn't set his feet all night,'' Meyer said. ''That's the way we won that game.''

TAKEAWAY

Ohio State: Barrett, playing his final college game only about a two-hour drive from his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas, broke Drew Brees' Big Ten career record for total offense with 12,697 yards. Barrett played 50 games and was 38-6 as a starter. His 147 touchdowns (104 passing, 43 rushing) are also a Big Ten record, 41 more than Brees at Purdue.

''It's pretty crazy. I mean, since I was little I looked up to Drew Brees,'' Barrett said. ''To pass a record like that, just very grateful to the people that were around me.''

USC: Darnold, who became the first Trojans quarterback ever with more than 4,000 yards passing in a season, has until Jan. 15 to decide if he will head to the NFL or return to USC for another season.

''I'm really just focused on just hanging out with my teammates for the next couple of days,'' Darnold said. ''But it's tough. I'll look at everything and make my decision after that.''

Darnold was 26 of 45 for 356 yards passing, but his turnovers were costly.

NOT FOR THE ROSES

This was the eighth time Ohio State and USC met in a bowl game. The first seven were in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans had won seven straight in the matchup of powerhouse programs, including four regular-season matchups since their last meeting in Pasadena 33 years ago.

LATE SCUFFLE

There was a bit of a scuffle in the final two minutes after Buckeyes linebacker Malik Harrison delivered a late hit on Darnold, who was getting out of bounds along the USC sideline after scrambling for 7 yards. Several Trojans went to Darnold's defense, including one ejected for coming off the bench. Harrison was assessed a personal foul penalty.

UP NEXT

Ohio State will play its 2018 opener at home against Oregon State on Sept. 1, the same day Southern Cal is home against UNLV. The Buckeyes and Trojans both return to the Lone Star State for games next Sept. 15. Ohio State will be back in AT&T Stadium to play TCU, and USC will be at Texas that day to take on the Longhorns.

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Copyright 2017 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:59
40-C.McGrath extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
24
Touchdown 1:59
25-R.Jones runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
9
plays
36
yds
03:24
pos
6
24
Point After TD 5:27
96-S.Nuernberger extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
24
Touchdown 5:27
16-J.Barrett runs 28 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
44
yds
00:45
pos
0
23
Point After TD 14:42
96-S.Nuernberger extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
17
Touchdown 14:50
14-S.Darnold incomplete. Intended for 80-D.Burnett INTERCEPTED by 7-D.Webb at USC 23. 7-D.Webb runs 23 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
80
yds
00:00
pos
0
16
Field Goal 15:00
96-S.Nuernberger 26 yards Field Goal is Good.
13
plays
88
yds
04:24
pos
0
10
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 12:25
96-S.Nuernberger extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 12:25
16-J.Barrett runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
5
plays
19
yds
01:12
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 23 13
Rushing 5 6
Passing 16 5
Penalty 2 2
3rd Down Conv 6-19 2-12
4th Down Conv 2-3 1-2
Total Net Yards 374 255
Total Plays 81 55
Avg Gain 4.6 4.6
Net Yards Rushing 57 163
Rush Attempts 36 38
Avg Rush Yards 1.6 4.3
Net Yards Passing 317 92
Comp. - Att. 26-45 11-17
Yards Per Pass 7.0 5.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 8-39 3-22
Penalties - Yards 3-35 3-30
Touchdowns 1 3
Rushing TDs 1 2
Passing TDs 0 0
Other 0 1
Turnovers 4 1
Fumbles - Lost 3-3 1-1
Int. Thrown 1 0
Punts - Avg 6-34.3 7-45.9
Return Yards 80 24
Punts - Returns 2-2 1-1
Kickoffs - Returns 5-78 0-0
Int. - Returns 0-0 1-23
Kicking 1/2 4/4
Extra Points 1/1 3/3
Field Goals 0/1 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
8 USC 11-3 07007
5 Ohio St. 12-2 7170024
317 PASS YDS 92
57 RUSH YDS 163
374 TOTAL YDS 255
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
S. Darnold 14 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
57.8% 356 0 1 119.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.1% 4143 26 13 148.1
S. Darnold 26/45 356 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
R. Jones II 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
19 64 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
261 1550 19
R. Jones II 19 64 1 17
A. Ware 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
49 247 1
A. Ware 3 9 0 13
V. Malepeai 29 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
49 261 0
V. Malepeai 1 2 0 2
S. Carr 7 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
65 363 3
S. Carr 2 0 0 0
S. Darnold 14 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 -18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
75 82 5
S. Darnold 11 -18 0 14
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Burnett 80 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
12 139 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
86 1114 9
D. Burnett 12 139 0 25
T. Vaughns 21 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 119 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
57 809 5
T. Vaughns 6 119 0 37
M. Pittman Jr. 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 69 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 404 2
M. Pittman Jr. 3 69 0 32
D. Imatorbhebhe 88 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 25 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 144 0
D. Imatorbhebhe 2 25 0 14
V. Malepeai 29 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 5 0
V. Malepeai 1 3 0 3
T. Petite 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 307 3
T. Petite 1 2 0 2
S. Mitchell Jr. 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
41 644 4
S. Mitchell Jr. 0 0 0 0
J. Lewis IV 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 39 0
J. Lewis IV 0 0 0 0
S. Carr 7 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 188 0
S. Carr 1 -1 0 -1
Defense T-A SACK INT
Ca. Smith 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-2 1 0.0
Ca. Smith 8-2 0.0 0
I. Langley 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
I. Langley 6-0 0.0 0
J. Houston Jr. 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 1 0.0
J. Houston Jr. 5-2 0.0 0
C. Hawkins 4 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 1 0.0
C. Hawkins 5-1 0.0 0
I. Marshall 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
I. Marshall 4-1 0.0 0
A. Harris 27 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 3 0.0
A. Harris 4-0 0.0 0
M. Tell III 7 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 3 0.0
M. Tell III 4-2 0.0 0
U. Nwosu 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 1 2.0
U. Nwosu 4-0 2.0 0
R. Green 94 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
R. Green 3-1 1.0 0
J. Lockett 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Lockett 1-0 0.0 0
J. Fatu 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
J. Fatu 1-3 0.0 0
J. Iosefa 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
J. Iosefa 1-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
C. McGrath 40 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 1/1
SEASON FG XP
12/17 58/59
C. McGrath 0/1 0 1/1 1
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Budrovich 46 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 34.3 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
55 41.6 4
R. Budrovich 6 34.3 4 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
V. Jones Jr. 23 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 15.6 28 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
31 24.5 28 0
V. Jones Jr. 5 15.6 28 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Harris 27 CB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 1.0 1 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
14 5.1 1 0
A. Harris 2 1.0 1 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Barrett 16 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.7% 114 0 0 121.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.7% 3053 35 9 160.1
J. Barrett 11/17 114 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Barrett 16 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 66 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
165 798 12
J. Barrett 16 66 2 28
P. Campbell 21 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 42 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 132 1
P. Campbell 3 42 0 21
J. Dobbins 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
13 39 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
194 1403 7
J. Dobbins 13 39 0 7
M. Weber 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
101 626 10
M. Weber 5 18 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
A. Mack 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 56 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
24 343 2
A. Mack 3 56 0 33
M. Baugh 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 40 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
28 304 5
M. Baugh 4 40 0 20
M. Weber 25 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 16 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 94 0
M. Weber 1 16 0 16
K. Hill 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
56 549 3
K. Hill 1 3 0 3
T. McLaurin 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
29 436 6
T. McLaurin 1 2 0 2
J. Dixon 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 422 8
J. Dixon 0 0 0 0
R. Berry 13 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 100 2
R. Berry 0 0 0 0
P. Campbell 21 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
40 584 3
P. Campbell 1 -3 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
J. Fuller 4 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-1 2 0.0
J. Fuller 9-1 0.0 0
D. Webb 7 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 5 0.0
D. Webb 5-0 0.0 1
D. Arnette 3 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 2 0.0
D. Arnette 5-0 0.0 0
T. Lewis 59 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
T. Lewis 5-0 1.0 0
T. Borland 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
T. Borland 5-1 0.0 0
J. Okudah 29 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
J. Okudah 4-0 0.0 0
M. Harrison 39 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.5
M. Harrison 4-2 0.5 0
S. Hubbard 6 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 2.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 2.5
S. Hubbard 3-1 2.5 0
J. Holmes 11 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
J. Holmes 3-0 1.0 0
K. Sheffield 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
K. Sheffield 3-0 0.0 0
J. Baker 17 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.5
J. Baker 3-2 0.5 0
R. Landers 67 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
R. Landers 2-0 0.0 0
C. Worley 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
C. Worley 2-1 0.0 0
N. Bosa 97 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.5
N. Bosa 1-1 1.5 0
J. Cornell 9 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Cornell 1-0 0.0 0
C. Young 2 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
C. Young 1-0 1.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Nuernberger 96 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 3/3
SEASON FG XP
17/21 71/71
S. Nuernberger 1/1 26 3/3 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
D. Chrisman 91 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 45.9 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
51 44.2 3
D. Chrisman 7 45.9 3 54
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Hill 14 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 1.0 1 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
26 5.5 1 0
K. Hill 1 1.0 1 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:55 USC 14 1:06 3 25 Fumble
12:19 USC 16 3:04 7 39 Punt
6:33 USC 38 1:24 4 19 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:50 USC 18 0:00 1 82 INT
14:34 USC 28 1:39 4 17 Punt
11:05 USC 12 4:43 10 29 Fumble
5:23 USC 13 3:24 9 87 TD
0:59 USC 6 0:23 4 5 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:10 USC 42 0:56 3 2 Punt
9:03 USC 20 4:28 10 51 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
1:46 USC 24 1:04 7 66 FG Miss
9:49 USC 17 1:36 6 -13 Fumble
6:40 USC 29 6:03 17 53 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:37 USC 19 1:12 5 19 TD
9:07 OHIOST 10 2:27 5 7 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
5:01 OHIOST 8 4:24 13 83 FG
12:48 OHIOST 26 1:35 3 9 Punt
6:12 OHIOST 41 0:45 3 59 TD
1:59 OHIOST 35 0:51 4 16 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 OHIOST 25 2:44 6 33 Downs
11:06 OHIOST 25 1:54 4 21 Punt
4:28 OHIOST 15 2:32 6 27 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:03 OHIOST 20 3:04 5 21 Punt
8:04 OHIOST 14 1:14 3 9 Punt