COLUMBUS - For the second straight week, Ohio State junior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher from Central Catholic was involved in a big play in the first quarter for the Buckeyes.
On Ohio State's second possession against Southern California last night, Sanzenbacher took a quick pass over the middle from quarterback Terrelle Pryor, split the USC defense, and raced 56 yards before being dragged down from behind at the Trojans' 3-yard line.
The Buckeyes scored two plays later to tie the game 7-7 midway through the first period.
In last week's season-opener against Navy at Ohio Stadium, Sanzenbacher got loose over the middle and hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Pryor less than three minutes into the game to give the Buckeyes the early lead.
The 56-yard reception last night was the longest of Sanzenbacher's career. The 5-11, 175-pounder's previous best was a 53-yard catch against Penn State last season.
MAYS HURT: Southern California's All-American safety Taylor Mays injured his knee on a first quarter play when he tackled Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor after a nine-yard gain. One of Mays' teammates came in after the initial contact and struck Mays near the USC sideline. Mays remained in the game but was helped off the field two plays later.
Mays returned to the game late in the first half with an elastic wrap on his right knee.
NONCONFERENCE FOES: During the era of head coach Jim Tressel, heading into last night's game, Ohio State had a 24-1 record in Ohio Stadium against non-Big Ten teams. The only loss in that group came to No. 2-ranked Texas in 2005. The Vince Young-led Longhorns were 25-22 winners over the Buckeyes as Ohio State bounced back and forth between Justin Zwick and Troy Smith at quarterback. Ohio State owned a 28-3 overall record in the regular season against nonconference teams prior to last night's game.
PAC 10 MARK: Ohio State owns a 50-24-2 overall record against teams from the Pac-10 conference but is just 9-12-1 against Southern California, heading into last night's game. The home team had won nine of the 15 regular season matchups between Ohio State and USC, prior to last night.
HARMON GIFT: Jim and Jole Harmon of Toledo were honored at last night's game for a $5 million gift they recently made to Ohio State, with the donation designated to go toward the football facility's outdoor fields project. The Harmons presented a check to Ohio State President Gordon Gee, athletic director Gene Smith, and OSU senior vice president for development Peter Weiler during halftime.