for this game

USC pounds Penn State in latest Rose Bowl rout

Jan 2, 2009 - 4:25 AM PASADENA, California (Ticker) -- It's a good thing Joe Paterno watched the Rose Bowl from the press box.

Had he been on the sideline, JoePa likely would have been run over with the rest of Penn State.

Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes Thursday as fourth-ranked Southern California crushed Paterno's sixth-ranked Nittany Lions, 38-24, to win the Rose Bowl for the third consecutive year.

It marked a bitter ending to what had been a storybook 43rd season at Penn State for Paterno, who coached the Nittany Lions (11-2) to a Big Ten Conference title and the school's first trip to Pasadena in 14 years.

"I don't want to take anything away from Southern Cal because they played a heck of a football game and the quarterback played a great game and they certainly deserve to win it," Paterno said. "But I'm a little disappointed we weren't a little bit more competitive."

Relegated to the press box due to a hip injury that required replacement surgery in November, the 82-year-old Paterno only could watch from afar as the Trojans (12-1) handed the Nittany Lions their worst bowl loss in 11 years.

Paterno, who signed a three-year contract extension in December, suffered his worst postseason defeat since the 1998 Citrus Bowl, when Florida posted a 21-6 victory over Penn State.

Conversely, USC made its annual case for the national No. 1 ranking with yet another blowout in the Rose Bowl.

The Trojans owned the top ranking and appeared to be a shoe-in for next week's BCS championship game before their lone blemish of the season, a stunning 27-21 loss to Oregon State on September 25.

Just over three months later, USC certainly looked like a championship-caliber team capable of beating either Oklahoma or Florida, who will square off next Thursday in the BCS title game.

"I don't think anybody can beat us," USC head coach Pete Carroll said. "I think we can beat anybody we play."

"I think we went out there and made sure that the country knew we belonged at the top," wide receiver Damian Williams added.

Paterno also was impressed by the Trojans, who have won each of their two Rose Bowl matchups with Penn State.

"I thought they were as good a football team as there was in the country this year," Paterno said. "I went in the game feeling that way. Whether they could beat Oklahoma or not, I don't know whether they could or they couldn't. It would take a heck of a football team to beat Southern Cal the way they played today."

Sanchez completed 28-of-35 passes for a career-high 413 yards and also ran for a touchdown for USC, which has won each of the last three Rose Bowls in dominant fashion. The Trojans rolled to a 49-17 rout of Illinois in last year's event, one year after crushing Michigan, 32-18.

This year's contest was no different as USC raced to a 31-7 halftime lead en route to its record 24th victory in the Granddaddy of Them All.

Sanchez opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 27-yard TD pass to Williams, who finished with 10 catches for 162 yards.

Penn State responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive capped by quarterback Daryll Clark's 9-yard TD run that forged a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter.

But it was all USC from there, as Sanchez quarterbacked the Trojans to scores on their next four drives. He scored on a 6-yard keeper early in the second quarter to give USC the lead for good and also threw TDs of 19 yards to Ronald Johnson and 20 yards to C.J. Gable.

Sanchez, who could possibly leave school early for the NFL draft, was serenaded by chants of "One more year!" from the raucous crowd of 93,293. The junior did not reveal his future plans after the contest, claiming he will wait to make his decision.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves draft eligible is January 15.

"I haven't thought about it," Sanchez said. "I'm going to celebrate this victory first and worry about it somewhere down the line.

"I'm excited that I have a great coach to talk about it with. He's the one who has brought up everything to me, and he'll give me all the right information. But it's going to be hard to say good-bye to this place. I don't think I can do it."

Carroll warned against making a knee-jerk decision based on Sanchez's performance, which earned him offensive MVP honors.

"We'll go through it and really take our time doing it," Carroll said. "This should not be an emotional decision. We have to get away from the emotion to make sure we make a very clear-cut decision for him."

Penn State clawed within 31-14 on Clark's 2-yard TD pass to Derrick Williams, but USC answered three plays later when Sanchez found a wide-open Johnson for a 45-yard score with 12 minutes left.

Clark capped the scoring with his second TD pass of the game, a 9-yarder to Jordan Norwood with 4:25 remaining.

Clark finished 21-of-35 for 269 yards and was intercepted twice for Penn State, which was without star running back Evan Royster for the majority of the contest.

The Big Ten's third-leading rusher, Royster suffered a knee injury in the first quarter after running for 34 yards on six carries.

USC also was without its top rusher, Joe McKnight, who injured his left toe early in the second quarter and did not return.

But the absence of the speedy McKnight did not slow down USC, which piled up 473 yards of offense - a total that would have been much higher had the Trojans not lost 37 yards on a botched punt snap during garbage time.






  • 104
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Penn State(6) 24, USC(5) 38  FinalJan 2 4:45 AM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PENN ST (6) 7 0 0 17 24
    USC (5) 7 24 0 7 38 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, DAMIAN WILLIAMS 27 YD PASS
    FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 10:48. USC 7-0
    PENN ST - TD, DARYLL CLARK 9 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 14:56. PENN ST

    Jan 1 8:41 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD PENN ST
    JORDAN NORWOOD 9 YD PASS FROM DARYLL CLARK
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 24
    USC (5) 38 4:24 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Penn State(6) 24, USC(5) 38  4th - 4:24Jan 1 8:25 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    FG PENN ST
    KEVIN KELLY 29 YD
    PENN ST (6) 17
    USC (5) 38 7:22 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Penn State(6) 17, USC(5) 38  4th - 7:22Jan 1 8:11 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD USC
    RONALD JOHNSON 45 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 14
    USC (5) 38 12:02 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Penn State(6) 14, USC(5) 38  4th - 12:02Jan 1 7:57 PM
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    Penn State(6) 14, USC(5) 31  4th - 13:33Jan 1 7:53 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD PENN ST
    DERRICK WILLIAMS 2 YD PASS FROM DARYLL CLARK
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 14
    USC (5) 31 13:33 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Penn State(6) 14, USC(5) 31  4th - 13:33Jan 1 7:51 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PENN ST (6) 7 0 0 7
    USC (5) 7 24 0 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, DAMIAN WILLIAMS 27 YD PASS
    FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 10:48. USC 7-0
    PENN ST - TD, DARYLL CLARK 9 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 14:56

    Jan 1 7:42 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PENN ST (6) 7 0 7
    USC (5) 7 24 31 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, DAMIAN WILLIAMS 27 YD PASS
    FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 10:48. USC 7-0
    PENN ST - TD, DARYLL CLARK 9 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 14:56. PE

    Jan 1 6:45 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD USC
    C.J. GABLE 20 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 7
    USC (5) 31 0:36 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Penn State(6) 7, USC(5) 31  2nd - 0:36Jan 1 6:39 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD USC
    RONALD JOHNSON 19 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 7
    USC (5) 24 1:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Penn State(6) 7, USC(5) 24  2nd - 1:24Jan 1 6:31 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    FG USC
    DAVID BUEHLER 30 YD
    PENN ST (6) 7
    USC (5) 17 7:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Penn State(6) 7, USC(5) 17  2nd - 7:00Jan 1 6:14 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD USC
    MARK SANCHEZ 6 YD RUN
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 7
    USC (5) 14 12:27 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Penn State(6) 7, USC(5) 14  2nd - 12:27Jan 1 6:00 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PENN ST (6) 7 7
    USC (5) 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, DAMIAN WILLIAMS 27 YD PASS
    FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 10:48. USC 7-0
    PENN ST - TD, DARYLL CLARK 9 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 14:56

    Jan 1 5:50 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD PENN ST
    DARYLL CLARK 9 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 7
    USC (5) 7 0:04 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Penn State(6) 7, USC(5) 7  1st - 0:04Jan 1 5:48 PM


  • ROSE BOWL
    AT PASADENA CA
    NCAAF ROSE BOWL
    TD USC
    DAMIAN WILLIAMS 27 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    PENN ST (6) 0
    USC (5) 7 4:12 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Penn State(6) 0, USC(5) 7  1st - 4:12Jan 1 5:34 PM
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    Penn State(6) 0, USC(5) 0  1st - 14:55Jan 1 5:13 PM
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    Penn State(6) 0, USC(5) 0  1st - 14:55Jan 1 5:09 PM
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