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USC Trojans vs. Penn State Nittany Lions: Rose Bowl Staff Predictions

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NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. USC vs. Penn State. Two of the hottest teams in the nation. Here are our staff predictions:

Julian Lopez: USC- 38 Penn State- 24.

Penn State is a darn good football team. USC is a darn good football team. I give the edge to USC with the speed they have and the amount of weapons that Sam Darnold will have to play with.

Matthew Lowry: USC- 38 Penn St- 27

Both of these teams are basically a carbon copy of each other. They’re both pretty darn good like Julian mentioned, however I have to go with the Trojans here. Penn St will have their hands full on defense with the offensive fire power that USC possesses. Another thing that should be mentioned is the fact that USC has seen it’s share of some pretty good offenses and has done a pretty good job keeping them in check. Clancy Pendergast will have the defense ready to do the same against a pretty good Nitty Lions offense. Regardless this will be an entertaining game to watch.

Steve Walter: USC- 31 Penn State- 24

Bowls have been tough to predict this year, and even though these two teams are evenly matched, it’s anyone’s guess as to what kind of game we’ll see. Both sides have an arsenal of offensive weapons. However, you could make the argument that defense got these teams where they are. It’s possible this game could come down to one or two big plays, and that’s where USC has the edge. A Sam Darnold touchdown scramble, a JuJu fingertip catch, a Ronald Jones Breakaway, an Adoree Jackson punt return - one of these will happen and be the difference in the ballgame. Trojans by a late touchdown.

Joseph Kavaloski: USC-34 Penn State 30

Two explosive offenses will be going up against each other in this year’s Rose Bowl. The result should be a very entertaining affair with Trayce McSorley and Sam Darnold leading their respective offenses. The Trojans will need a great all-around game in all phases to beat the Big 10 Champs. However, this should not be a problem for SC as the defense has been excellent throughout the 8 game winning streak and the special teams under John Baxter have been a huge step up over years past. Each team should be able to score with relative ease at certain points in the game, but USC’s ability to impact the game on special teams should make the difference. Adoree Jackson loves the big stage and this is the Rose Bowl. Expect Ajax to make his mark and that will propel the Trojans to a hard fought victory.

Nick Dempsey: USC - 42, Penn State - 37

Penn State seems to struggle in the first half of their games but are elite in the second half, particularly the fourth quarter. I can see USC racing out to an early lead before Penn State comes surging back, leading to an exciting fourth quarter finish. I can see USC winning the Rose Bowl by one score, but both USC and Penn State are teams you would be insane to bet against. This game should be a wild ride or at the very least a lot more entertaining than last year’s Rose Bowl blowout.

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