The game Saturday night will pit against each other the two most-recent No. 1-ranked quarterback recruits in the country. Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor was Scout.com's top-ranked signal caller in 2008 while Matt Barkley of USC took home that honor this past recruiting season.
Ohio State has lost consecutive night games at Ohio Stadium after winning the first six ever played there.
USC owns a six-game winning streak over the Buckeyes that began with the 1975 Rose Bowl.
Ohio State has played eight games against teams with a freshman starting quarterback in the previous five seasons (2004-08), and the Buckeyes are 8-0 in those games. The victims: Chad Henne (Michigan, 2004), Donovan Woods (Oklahoma State, 2004), Colt McCoy (Texas, 2006), Kellen Lewis (Indiana, 2006), Juice Williams (Illinois, 2006), Jake Locker (Washington, 2007), Adam Weber (Minnesota, 2007) and Nick Sheridan (Michigan, 2008).
USC tailback Joe McKnight averaged 8.8 yards per carry against the Buckeyes last season. He picked up 105 yards on just 12 rushes.
Ohio State and USC have combined to play in 13 BCS bowl games under head coaches Jim Tressel and Pete Carroll, respectively.
Grant Schwartz, who wears No. 17 on his jersey, is the only Buckeye from California. He is from Dana Hills. The only Trojan from Ohio is Billy O'Malley of Novelty who prepped at Cleveland St. Ignatius.
Entering the contest Saturday with USC, 29 Buckeyes have started at least one college game. Topping the list with the most starts is safety Anderson Russell with 31.
Ohio State is 32-12 against top 25 teams under Tressel.
With 72 wins since the 2003, USC stands above the rest of Division I-A. Ohio State is tied with LSU for fifth in that timespan. The Buckeyes and Tigers both have 64 victories.
The Buckeyes and Trojans have played 22 times before with 16 of the games decided by more than a touchdown. The average margin of victory is 16.7 points.
Carroll was an assistant to head coach Earle Bruce at Ohio State in 1979 when the Buckeyes posted an undefeated regular season.