|Paterno, Carroll a mutual admiration society|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 26 December 2008 16:21|
The Rose Bowl coaching matchup could be considered a changing of the guard of sorts in college football, with the seemingly ageless Paterno of Penn State and the youthful Carroll of Southern California representing the old and the new.
The only problem is that Paterno is not yielding anything, recently signing a three-year extension.
When the No. 5 Trojans and the No. 6 Nittany Lions paid the traditional Rose Bowl visit to Disneyland on Friday, the coaches expressed their mutual admiration.
``He's persevered so much. I've thought about it, and to me it's not all the games that he's won; it's how he's survived the pressure of all the big games that you lose over that many years,'' Carroll said. ``The losses are so difficult and so challenging.
he's been able to keep the right attitude and stay on top of the game for so long.''
Paterno, who turned 80 last Sunday, has a record of 383 wins, 126 losses and three ties since his first game at the Penn State helm in 1966. Carroll, 56, is 87-15 in his eight years at USC.
Paterno smiled, shook his head and said, ``Pete wins 11 games like every month, every day. He's phenomenal.''
Carroll said he was in high school when he first became aware of Paterno's success at Penn State.
``They had all those great teams and there was all the talk about 'Linebacker U.,''' the Trojans' coach said. ``He's just been college football for so long. It's kind of an unnatural experience he's put together. It's amazing.''
Asked if he thought he may still be coaching when he turns 80, Carroll said, ``Not really. I can't even fathom it. I've been at SC for eight years, and he's been coaching, what, more than five times that long. I can't imagine it.''
He chuckled and added, ``He's awesome. And he's still full of the devil.''
When the two were on the stage that was set up for the Disneyland welcoming ceremony, Paterno quipped, ``It's great to be back. I was here 150 years ago or so, even before the first Rose Bowl.''
couple of opposing coaches got into it, but Carroll added, ``I told him we're not going to do that.''
The USC players have grown used to an annual team excursion to Disneyland, since they are in their fourth Rose Bowl - and made their fourth trip down the freeway to Anaheim - in as many years.
It's quite different for many of the Nittany Lions.
``I've never been to California and always wanted to,'' Penn State safety Anthony Scirrotto said. ``It's a blessing and a great opportunity to be able to play in this game and be out here.''
The weather has been relatively cold by Southern California standards since the Nittany Lions arrived a few days earlier, with daytime temperatures in the 50s. But that's just relatively cold.
``I think we have an ice storm back home. It's freezing there. We're not used to this at this time of the year,'' Scirrotto said. ``It's just amazing, we pulled up in Santa Monica, we're staying on the beach. Then riding over to practice, you see snow-topped mountains.
``I love things like that. I love to go to the beach, and I've been skiing all my life. So it's the best of both worlds here.''