USC defeats Penn State in 95th Rose Bowl Game

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

92,293 fans watched the University of Southern California Trojans defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions by a score of 38-24 in the 95th annual Rose Bowl Game, which took place Thursday at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez led the USC offense with 4 passing touchdowns and 413 passing yards, a career high and the second most in Rose Bowl history.

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez led the Trojans with 413 passing yards, a career high, and 4 passing touchdowns. The Trojan offense surged in the first half, scoring four touchdowns and a field goal to give USC a 31-7 USC lead at halftime. Prior to the game Penn State's defense only allowed an average of 12.7 points per game.

Joe Paterno, Penn State's head coach since 1966, watched his team fall behind early from the stadium's press box due to a hip injury suffered in 2006 after a player collided with him during a game. After USC increased their lead to 24 points, television broadcast a shot of Paterno in the press box shaking his head. Paterno commented: "They certainly deserved to win it, but I'm a little disappointed that we weren't a little bit more competitive. And a lot of that was because we made so many mistakes in the first half."

The Trojans compiled a record of 12-1 during their 2008 season, the sole loss coming when the Oregon State Beavers defeated the then-top-ranked Trojans on September 25. A win in that game possibly could have earned them a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, which is set to be played next week between the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma Sooners. On the win, Sanchez commented, "We mixed up the run and the pass so they couldn't really key on anything. I think we really maximized our potential. I don't know if it was a matter of opening up the playbook or us just executing very well. Maybe a little bit of both."

The Nittany Lions finished the 2008 season 11-2, with the only regular season loss at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Incidentally, Penn State defeated Oregon State on September 6, 2008.


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