Boy, those Vegas oddsmakers sure know there stuff. Coming in 9 1/2 point underdogs to the USC Trojans, the Nittany Lions played that role to perfection. Pete Carroll’s Trojans and their highly lauded defense rolled over Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions at the 95th annual Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California by a score of 38-24.
The Trojans came out firing with their quarterback, Mark Sanchez, delivering 413 yards on 28-35 passing for 4 touchdowns, and rushing for a touchdown in the second quarter. His brilliant performance is even more revered, once one takes into account that the Penn State defense had only given up season highs of 2 TDs and 287 yards through the air. Truly, Sanchez’s performance was the difference maker in this one.
The game was essentially over by halftime, with the Trojans leading 31-7 going into the break. To Penn State’s credit, however, they never did give up, outscoring USC 17-7 in the fourth quarter. Despite their valiant effort, it was not enough to overcome their 24 point deficit.
Even JoePa himself agreed that USC was more talented, more ready to play, and executed better. On his team’s costly mistakes and errors, Paterno said, “Playing a team as good as Southern Cal, and they played very well, and they are obviously an outstanding football team, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
Paterno continued, “And I don’t want to take anything away from Southern Cal cause they played a heck of a football game, and that quarterback played a great game… they certainly deserved to win it.”
USC’s huge second quarter, in which they exploded for 24 unanswered points, left little question as to the outcome of the game. Although the score may show a decently competitive game, there is no doubt as to who was the better team today.