Rose Bowl Preview





(11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
Website
Roster | Stats

ROSE BOWL
PENN STATE vs. Southern California
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Rose Bowl - Pasadena, Calif.
2 p.m. PT - ABC

Inside the Series:
Tied, 4-4 | Last Meeting: 2000, USC, 29-5



(11-1, 8-1 Pac-10)
Website
Roster | Stats

PSU
 
USC
 
Scoring
40.2
Pts./ Game
37.5
12.4
Pts. Allowed/ Game
7.8
32:02
Time of Possession
30:56
Rushing
211.6
Yds/Game
206.0
95.9
Yds Allowed/ Game
83.2
35
TDs
26

Passing
240.6
Yds/ Game
247.1
168.0
Yds Allowed/ Game
122.8
203-346
Completions/Attempts
226-353
58.7
Completion %
64.0
22/4
TDs/ INTs

32/12
Turnovers
22
Takeaways
26
13
Giveaways
21

SPEED READ
Penn State (11-1, 7-1) will take part in the Rose Bowl for the third time overall and the second time since joining the Big Ten in 1993. The Nittany Lions will battle Pac-10 Champion Southern California (11-1, 8-1 Pac-10) on Thursday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET in Pasadena, Calif. PSU fell to the Trojans in the 1923 Rose Bowl before returning to Pasadena following the 1994 campaign to defeat Oregon and complete a 12-0 season. Joe Paterno will make his 35th bowl appearance at Penn State and boasts 23 victories, both of which stand as NCAA records. Overall, the school has built a 26-12-2 record in postseason play, including a 9-2 mark since joining the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have won their last three bowl games, including triumphs in the Orange, Outback and Alamo Bowls. The Big Ten has produced a 29-32 record in the Rose Bowl including a mark of 29-31 against the Pac-10.

The Trojans are making their fourth Rose Bowl appearance in five years and their record 34th overall.  They also have a record 23 Rose Bowl wins.  Pete Carroll has led USC to a BCS bowl every season since 2002 and guided his team to a regular-season record of 81-9 during that time.

Penn State and USC first met in the ninth Rose Bowl in 1923 where the Trojans topped the Nittany Lions 14-3.  The two teams are 4-4 in the all-time series and the last meeting resulted in a 29-5 USC win in the 2000 Kickoff Classic in Giants Stadium.  Carroll became the Trojans’ coach the following year.

SCOUTING REPORT
The “Granddaddy of Them All” could potentially be the greatest game of all the bowl games this season as these two high-powered offenses will meet at the Rose Bowl in a contest where the focus might actually be on both defensive units.  This will be a classic matchup of “what you do with the football, and how the other team responds.”  Penn State (40.2) and USC (37.5) rank 11th and 14th in scoring offense nationally, while the Trojans (7.8) lead the country in scoring defense, just three spots ahead of the Nittany Lions (12.4).  In terms of yardage, USC paces the nation with just 206.0 total yards allowed each time out, followed by Penn State in fifth at 263.9.  PSU quarterback Daryll Clark ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 193.2 passing yards per game, but he was third in completion percentage (60.0), second in touchdowns (17) and tied for first in fewest interceptions (4) on the season.  Clark, who threw for more than 2,000 yards this year, excelled in the Nittany Lion’s regular-season finale, throwing for 341 yards and four scores to lead PSU past No. 22 Michigan State 49-18.  Evan Royster was the nation’s 25th-best rusher in term of yardage this season, averaging 100.2 yards per game.  Three seniors headline the Nittany Lions’ receiving unit in Jordan Norwood (3.8 rpg, 60.5 rypg), Deon Butler (3.6, 59.4), and Derrick Williams (3.3, 37.9), who was recently named an Associated Press Third-Team All-American at the all-purpose position.  Defensively, USC leads the nation in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense (122.8), pass efficiency defense (81.46) and is fifth against the rush (83.3).  The Trojans also rank fifth in tackles for loss, racking up an impressive 8.1 per game.  Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga is the heart of the USC defense as he averages 6.6 stops per outing.  Fellow linebacker Brian Cushing posts 5.5 tackles each time out, while seniors Kyle Moore, clay Matthews and Fili Moala have combined for 13.5 sacks on the year.  Sophomore Everson Griffen has added 4.5 more to that total.

USC senior quarterback Mark Sanchez led the Pac-10 in both total offense (232.83) and passing efficiency (159.12) this season and tossed 30 touchdown passes and threw for 2,794 yards as well.  The Trojan offense has been just as impressive as the defense over the team’s current nine-game winning streak.  USC has outscored its opponents 342-56 during that span and currently sits 14th nationally in total yards per game (453.1).  The Trojans do not have one standout receiver or running back, opting instead to attack by committee.  Like Penn State, USC has three dangerous wideouts in Damian Williams (58.9), Patrick Turner (55.6) and Ronald Johnson (40.7), while another trio of Joe McKnight (64.6), Stafon Johnson (53.5) and C.J. Gable (50.3) compete for carries in the backfield.  The Penn State defense was a very stingy unit this season, as shown by the numbers above.  Sophomore Aaron Maybin led the Big Ten with 12.0 sacks and was third in the conference with 19.0 tackles for loss.  Maybin also forced three fumbles on the year.  Teammate Navarro Bowman posted 11.5 TFLs in the regular season and ranked seventh in the league with a team-high average of 8.2 stops per game.  Leading the way in the secondary is Lydell Sargeant, who had 13 passes defended in 2008 as well as four interceptions. 

 


 

 

Multimedia Store