If Friday was Sam Darnold’s final audition for the Giants earlier than he probably enters the NFL Draft, it could not have gone a lot worse.
Darnold and No. eight USC (11-Three) didn’t get something occurring offense in an embarrassing 24-7 blowout loss to No. 5 Ohio State (12-2) within the Cotton Bowl.
Regardless of taking part in with out high cornerback Denzel Ward — who sat out the competition to be able to keep away from damage previous to the draft — Ohio State was capable of simply stifle Darnold and the Trojans’ offense.
The redshirt sophomore accomplished simply 57.eight% of his passes for 356 yards , no touchdowns and one interception. He was additionally sacked eight occasions and misplaced two fumbles — together with one at Ohio State’s 12-yard line halfway by way of the fourth quarter, killing any remaining hope of a possible USC quarterback.
With Ohio State leaping out to a 24-7 halftime lead, the overwhelming majority of Darnold’s passing yards got here on account of the Trojans taking part in from behind and abandoning the run.
It was one of many worst performances of Darnold’s Trojans profession by way of completion proportion.
Darnold and USC’s offense struggled proper from the beginning. The Trojans’ first seven drives went as follows: fumble, punt, punt, pick-six, punt, fumble and turnover on downs.
Darnold accomplished simply 12-of-22 passes for 170 yards and an interception and a misplaced fumble on the break.
The one Trojans got here late within the first half after an Ohio State muffed punt, permitting USC to begin their subsequent dive on the Buckeyes’ 15-yard line.
USC’s ineptitude on offense allowed Ohio State to leap out to a 24-7 halftime lead, one the Buckeyes wouldn’t come near relinquishing.
Regardless of Darnold’s poor Cotton Bowl efficiency, the 6-foot-Four, 220-pound quarterback will doubtless nonetheless be a top-5 decide if he declares for the draft. Darnold is presently ranked because the No. 2 quarterback on this 12 months’s draft by each Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, behind solely UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
At 2-13, the Giants will both have the second or third decide on this 12 months’s draft, relying on how Week 17 performs out. Darnold and Rosen are anticipated to be the primary two quarterbacks taken in the event that they declare. The Giants scouted each quarterbacks when USC performed UCLA in November.
Whereas new Giants GM Dave Gettleman could have stated “as of now” Eli Manning is the Giants’ beginning quarterback for 2018, that does not preclude him from probably drafting the 37-year-old Manning’s successor.
Darnold accomplished 63.7% of his passes for Three,787 yards and 26 landing passes this season. He additionally threw 12 interceptions.
The USC quarterback first made his presence felt final season after he threw 31 touchdowns to simply 9 interceptions, capitalized by his dazzling efficiency towards Penn State within the Rose Bowl.