Ohio State has faced the No. 1 team in the nation 12 times and come away victories in four of those contests. The Buckeyes beat Wisconsin 23-14 in 1952, Purdue 13-0 in 1968, Iowa 22-13 in 1985 and Miami (Fla.) 31-24 in overtime the Fiesta Bowl following the 2002 season. The bowl game, of course, was at a neutral site and the other three victories all came in Ohio Stadium.
Both head coaches in this game previously coached at Ohio State under Earle Bruce. Pete Carroll was a member of Bruce's 1979 staff while Jim Tressel served under Bruce from 1983-85.
Under Jim Tressel, Ohio State is 4-3 in its first road game of the year with victories over Cincinnati (2002), North Carolina State (2004), Texas (2006) and Washington (2007) and losses to UCLA (2001), Wisconsin (2003) and Penn State (2005).
USC has won the last five in the series, which began in 1937. Ohio State last beat the Trojans in the Rose Bowl after the 1973 season.
Ohio State has played nine regular season road games at night under Jim Tressel. After winning the first one and losing the next three in a row, they have won their last five.
Ohio State and USC have met 21 times previously in football. The Trojans lead the all-time series 11-9-1. The teams have split 14 regular season meetings with the home team winning eight times.
USC signed 28 Scout.com five-star prospects in its most recent four recruiting classes. Ohio State has 13.
Ohio State has played 30 games in the state of California, beginning with the Buckeyes' first trip to the Rose Bowl, a 28-0 loss to California after the 1920 season. OSU is 16-13-1 all time in the Golden State.
Over the past five years, Ohio State and USC are both 35-5, an .875 winning percentage that is the best in Division I-A college football.