USC defeats Penn State in 95th Rose Bowl Game
Sunday, January 4, 2009
92,293 fans watched the University of Southern California defeat the by a score of 38-24 in the 95th annual , which took place Thursday at the in .
USC quarterbackled 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.
, 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, the sole loss coming when the defeated the then-top-ranked Trojans on September 25. A win in that game possibly could have earned them a spot in the , which is set to be played next week between the and the . 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 the11-2, with the only regular season loss at the hands of the . Incidentally, Penn State defeated Oregon State on September 6, 2008.
- John Nadel. "USC plays like No. 1, routs Penn St. in Rose Bowl" — , January 2, 2008
- "Sanchez throws for 413 yards, 4 TDs in latest Rose Bowl rout" — , January 2, 2008