Ohio State got off to a really hot start in the Cotton Bowl thanks to some huge defensive plays.

The Buckeyes forced a USC fumble on the first possession of the game, giving the Scarlet and Gray excellent field position early in the contest. Ohio State capitalized on that strip when J.T. Barrett crossed the goal line for the first touchdown of the game.

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A few possessions later, the Buckeyes defense came up with another big play, this time courtesy of Damon Webb.

Trailing 10-0, USC needed a good drive to try and slow some of the bleeding. But on the first play of the Trojans’ fourth drive, Webb stepped in front of a Sam Darnold pass, caught the ball and returned it 23 yards for the touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 17-0 lead in the first half.

The interception was the fifth of the season for Webb, and his first pick-six. He also had 56 tackles for Ohio State this year.

Both Ohio State and USC entered the Cotton Bowl with 11-2 records and both were conference champions. Early on, though, the Buckeyes looked like a far superior team.