|Ho-hum, another win for USC at the Rose Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 01 January 2009 18:06|
The Trojans' 38-24 victory over Penn State on Thursday made them the first team to win three consecutive Rose Bowl games. They routed Illinois 49-17 last year and beat Michigan 32-18 in 2007.
``We owned it for a couple years and it's gotten sweeter and sweeter as the years go on,'' linebacker Rey Maualuga said. ``This is our home turf and we came in and dominated.''
No school has played in more Rose Bowls, either. The Trojans were making their 33rd appearance and improved to 24-9, the most wins by any team in a single college bowl game.
After Penn State tied the game 7-7, the Trojans scored 24 consecutive points to end the first half. That run marked the 11th time this season USC has scored at least 20 consecutive points. USC did it 13 times in 2005 and 12 times in 2004.
BATTERED LIONS: Penn State left the Rose Bowl battered and bruised.
e game hobbling on the field with an ice pack strapped to his leg.
Royster had been effective before leaving with six carries and 34 yards.
Second-stringer Stephfon Green limped off in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle, which left tailback chores to Brandon Beachum late in the game. Green finished with 10 carries on 57 yards, plus five receptions for 67 yards.
Right tackle Dennis Landolt injured his left knee on Penn State's first-quarter touchdown drive, the same series in which Royster had his injury. Landolt left the game for good early in the third quarter, replaced by Lou Eliades.
A team spokesman said tests revealed that Landolt did not suffer an ACL tear, and that early signs showed that the injuries to Royster and Green were not serious either.
CONTRACT TALK: Fresh off a Big Ten championship, and with weeks to go before the Rose Bowl, Penn State president Graham Spanier and football coach Joe Paterno thought it might be a good time to talk about the future.
In mid-December, they finally struck an agreement: three more years for the 82-year-old coach.
``We had several weeks, so we had a chance to think it through and find out was Joe was thinking and we agreed that he'd be back,'' Spanier said this week after a pep rally when asked to recount the discussions.
er Michigan State that he intended to return in 2009, as Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley looked on at a news conference.
No stressful talks. No winners or losers.
``You guys tend to write about this as if this was a sporting contest, somebody winning or losing. It's not,'' Spanier said. ``Penn State is really different that most other places. We talk about Penn State family. We operate that way, we all know each other, we get along, we sit down, talk about things.''
And no, there's nothing new about the oft-asked topic of a succession plan.
Penn State isn't following the approach that some other schools have adopted, Spanier said, referring to agreements at schools like Texas and Florida to name coaches-in-waiting.
``When that time comes, I assure you we'll be ready,'' he said. ``There's nothing in stone, we have no announcement to make. But we know how we will approach it when the time comes.''
WAITING GAME: Joe Paterno would like to see the Big Ten play a longer schedule, which might have helped the Nittany Lions avoid a 40-day layoff going into the Rose Bowl.
They played eight conference games, ending on Nov. 22; Southern California played nine in the Pac-10, with the Trojans' last game coming on Dec. 6.
n that we have right now,'' Paterno said.
It had been 13 years since Paterno brought his team to the Rose Bowl, and he found out all over again that Los Angeles is a lot more complicated than Happy Valley.
``The traveling, practice, 45 minutes on the bus to get there, 45 minutes to come back,'' he said. ``Without being a crybaby, I think in all fairness, when you play Southern Cal, they're home and they practice where they normally practice, and it's a lot easier for them to get ready.''
FUTURE PROSPECTS: Mark Sanchez wasn't thinking about his future after throwing four touchdowns and being named offensive player of the Rose Bowl.
Neither was Penn State defensive end Aaron Maybin, despite defeat.
The USC quarterback is a junior, and while directing the band after the game, he heard chants of ``One more year.''
``I'm going to celebrate this victory first and worry about it somewhere down the line,'' Sanchez said. ``I'm excited that I have a great coach to talk about it with. He's the one who brought up everything to me, and he'll give me all the right information, but it's going to be hard to say goodbye to this place. I don't think I can do it.''
USC coach Pete Carroll said he'll give Sanchez all the available information about being selected in the NFL draft and leave it at that.
ing an argument you can make for him going. It's not clear.''
Maybin, a third-year sophomore, said he would make a decision on whether to go pro in the next few days.
BOWL HISTORY: It's been a while since Penn State and USC met at the Rose Bowl.
The teams met in the 1923 game, which was the first bowl to be played at the horseshoe-shaped Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The Trojans won 14-3.
According to a bowl media guide, USC took the bid after California declined the invitation.
Penn State arrived at the game 45 minutes late after getting caught in a traffic jam. The game finished after sunset, and reporters needed to light matches in order to finish their stories.
AP Sports Writer Genaro Armas contributed to this report.