USC 38 Penn St. 24…Don’t let the score fool you


El Matador!

Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times


So, let me get this straight PSU beats the hell out of Oregon St. and USC is beat by Oregon St. so that means PSU should beat the living hell out of USC right?

Right…now that that is all cleared up.

Much to my surprise this game wasn't even close, I don't care how the defense looked in the 2nd half.

I watched this game unfold and was amused about the crap I read from Matt Hayes, the crap from Plaschke, the crap spewing out of Granny Holtz’s mouth and all the sh*t talking I saw from a number of PSU fan sites. USC defense didn’t play a great game in the second half but they did exactly what they needed to on their side of the ball.

I thought the game would be closer. I thought PSU would really give USC a great game. I thought this would be the best bowl game this season but SC dispatched PSU just like they had dispatched other supposed quality opponents. PSU shot itself in the foot with a lot of penalties and by the middle of the 2nd quarter their defense looked tired playing on their heels.

I was pleased with yesterday’s performance. USC did exactly what it wanted to in the first half and it seemed that in the second half that they did just enough to seal the win. When PSU started getting close in the 2nd half Pete Carroll sent the offense back out onto the field for another score. Penn St. didn’t show USC anything that they hadn’t seen before. The #4 pass efficiency defense, playing in a cover 3, looked like they had cement shoes on as USC’s receivers carved them up for over 400 yards. I guess it’s easy to be efficient against teams like Coastal Carolina and Temple. Funny how PSU fans were saying similar things about USC’s defense going up against weak Pac-10, you know a weak Pac-10 that went 5-0 in bowls this season.

Steve Sarkisian’s parting gift to us was his opening up the offense and letting Sanchez play lights out. We saw Sanchez play this way against UVA and tOSU and his gritty performance against ucla show’s this kid can take a hit and keep on firing.

When Mark Sanchez ascended the steps Thursday, following an afternoon for the ages -- the second highest passing yardage total in the 95-year history of the Rose Bowl, in USC's 38-24 victory over Penn State -- the rooting section had a message for him.

"One ... more ... year," they chanted. "One ... more ... year."

Pretty heady stuff, for a guy who most of the season had been asked not to lose games rather than given full authority to go out and win them.

But when Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian turned Sanchez loose against a spotty Penn State pass defense, this is what they got: 413 yards and four touchdowns on 28-for-35 passing, including 276 yards and three scores en route to a 31-7 halftime lead.

We'll see what the future holds for Sanchez...

Of course he didn’t do it alone…he hooked up with Damian Williams all afternoon long as Williams lit up PSU's secondary.

The Trojan wide receiver exploded for 162 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions. It was easily his biggest night since transferring from Arkansas where he started in four games as a freshman. Now a redshirt sophomore, Thursday was easily the biggest game of his career.

“I’m still kind of shocked," smiled Williams after his monster evening, including 100 yards in the second quarter alone.

The running game did a serviceable job, as the loss of Stanley Havili didn't affect us on offense and when Joe McKnight went out with a reinjured foot in the 2nd qtr. you could almost argue that the playbook got lighter and more simplified allowing Stafon and C.J., and a little bit of Marc Tyler, to get some quality runs.

As for coaching, I don't think anyone would take away from JoPa's greatness but we didn't see it yesterday. All the talk that Matt Hayes tried to throw out there that JoPa would surprise Pete Carroll and outsmart him proved to be laughable. Yes, PSU is fine team with a great season but they showed themselves to be another outmatched, slow Big 10 team.

It didn't take long last night that for the excuses to come out either...

Joe Paterno talked about the disadvantage of playing in the Rose Bowl for a Big Ten team after the game.

``There's a lot of things in coming out here. The traveling, practice, 45 minutes on the bus to get there, 45 minutes to come back. There's a lot of little things that go on in there that I think in all fairness, when you play Southern Cal, they're home and and they practice where they normally practice, it's a lot easier for them to get ready.

``I think the Big would do itself a favor if we could play a week or two after the season we have right now.''

1 week, two weeks...whatever. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere! I am actually surprised that Paterno would go down that road considering he brought his team ourt early and how we pretty much heard last week from all the PSU players that the routine was fine and they were focused. The lack of respect card that got thrown round this week didn't exactly play well for PSU either.

It doesn't matter to PC and Co. who they play, they just want to play!

There are a lot of great articles out there this morning that I want to get to but with today being my last day here in AZ I want to spend some quality time with the family as I get ready to head out. I may have more later this evening but I look to be back on line on Sunday.

A great win thats for let the debate for an AP #1 vote begin!


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