Quarterback J.T. Barrett is looking to lead Ohio State to a win over USC in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Getty

In one of the college football season's most anticipated bowl games, traditional powers USC and Ohio State are set to meet Friday in the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Ohio State opened as a 7-point favorite on Dec. 4, according to Westgate Superbook. After jumping to 8 points on Dec. 19, the line has settled on the Buckeyes as 7.5-point favorites since Dec. 23.

Ohio State has a 6-7 record against the spread. USC has just a 3-9-1 record against the spread.

Oddsmakers are expecting a shootout, with the over/under holding firm at 64.5 points. Ohio State has averaged 42.5 points per game, while USC has averaged 34.5 points.

Urban Meyer's squad enters the high-profile matchup with something to prove. Ohio State was denied a trip to the College Football Playoff, finishing fifth and just behind Alabama in the CFP rankings. A convincing victory over USC would offer some redemption to a program that was seeking its second national championship in four years.

“Was there disappointment? I'm sure there was,” Meyer said of missing out on the CFP.

There is also plenty of motivation for USC. The Trojans lost a tight road game to Washington State in September and then suffered a humiliating road defeat to rival Notre Dame three weeks later to essentially end their CFP bid.

An upset victory over Ohio State could provide a big lift to USC's recruiting, as head coach Clay Helton may lose his two best offensive weapons to the NFL Draft: quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones. How the Trojans perform against the Buckeyes might influence Darnold's decision to go pro, though he has publicly stated that his mind is on the Cotton Bowl and not the NFL.

“I can’t be thinking about other things when I’m trying to prepare for a defense like Ohio State,” Darnold said.

The Buckeyes defense has looked sharp since suffering a painful defeat to Iowa on Nov. 4. In the last four games, Ohio State hasn't allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points, while USC has averaged 38.8 points over the past five games.