Score by Quarters
Overwhelming from the start, Southern California put on a championship performance.
Mark Sanchez passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, USC dominated on defense and the fifth-ranked Trojans beat up No. 8 Penn State 38-24 Thursday in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno watched from the press box, where he's been for most of the season because of hip problems. But even before the game, the 82-year-old coach said several times he thought USC was at least as good as any team in the country, perhaps better.
USC scored four touchdowns and a field goal on five consecutive first-half possessions for a 24-point halftime lead against a team that allowed only 12.4 points per game during the regular season.
The Nittany Lions scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable, yet fell far short of their 40.2-point average.
Paterno, who has won 383 games, including 23 bowls -- both records -- thought the Trojans were every bit as good as advertised. USC won 10 straight after losing to Oregon State, outscoring the opposition 380-80.
The Trojans' 31 first-half points were the most they've scored in any of their record 33 Rose Bowl games. They spent most of the second half working the clock while their defense held Penn State in check until the fourth quarter.
USC finished with 27 first downs and 474 yards of total offense. The Nittany Lions committed three turnovers and nine penalties for 72 yards.
Sanchez completed 28-of-35 passes without being intercepted and finished the season with 3,207 passing yards and 34 touchdown throws. He became the third player to pass for more than 400 yards in the Rose Bowl.
Williams caught a career-high 10 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown and Ronald Johnson caught two TD passes.
Daryll Clark completed 21-of-36 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Evan Royster, who averaged 6.5 yards per carry in gaining 1,202 yards during the regular season, came out with an injured left knee in the first quarter after picking up 34 yards on six carries.
Carroll's Trojans have won seven straight conference championships and played in seven consecutive BCS bowls -- both records. They're 6-1 in big games -- 5-0 against Big Ten teams such as Penn State -- and 82-9 since 2002, Carroll's second year on the job.
The Trojans have played in a record-tying four straight Rose Bowls, winning three straight since losing to Texas 41-38 with the national title on the line. They became the first team ever to win three consecutive Rose Bowls.
Sanchez threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Williams, capping an 86-yard drive. The Nittany Lions, who were 9 1/2-point underdogs, tied it on a 9-yard run by Clark, capping an 80-yard, nine-play drive.
Sanchez scored on a 6-yard quarterback draw, completing an 80-yard drive that put USC on top for good.
David Buehler's 30-yard field goal made it 17-7, and Sanchez threw scoring passes of 19 yards to Johnson and 20 yards to C.J. Gable in a 48-second span late in the second period for USC's 24-point halftime lead.
Clark threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Williams early in the fourth quarter, capping an 80-yard drive and trimming USC's lead to 31-14. The Trojans wasted no time in answering, going 82 yards on three plays, the last one a 45-yard scoring pass from Sanchez to a wide-open Johnson with 12:02 left.
If there was going to be any drama on a typically clear and mild afternoon before a crowd of 93,293 in Pasadena, that ended it.
73 degrees, partly sunny
USC – Williams, 27-yard pass from Sanchez (Buehler kick good)
PSU – Clark 9-yard run (Kelly kick good)
USC – Sanchez, 6-yard run (Buehler kick good)
USC – Buehler, 30-yard field goal
USC – Johnson, 19-yard pass from Sanchez (Buehler kick good)
USC – Gable, 20-yard pass from Sanchez (Buehler kick good)
PSU – Williams 2-yard pass from Clark (Kelly kick good)
USC – Johnson, 45-yard pass from Sanchez (Buehler kick good)
PSU – Kelly, 25-yard field goal
PSU – Norwood 9-yard pass from Clark (Kelly kick good)
USC: Pete Carroll
PSU: Joe Paterno
Kaluka Maiava was the top defensive player, becoming the third straight USC linebacker to win that award.
PSU: Green 10-57; Royster 6-34; Clark 7-17; Williams 4-17; Beachum 1-8; Lawlor 1-4
USC: Johnson 15-63; Sanchez 7-16; Gable 6-13; McKnight 5-13; Johnson 1-(-7); Team 1-(-37)
PSU: Clark 21-36-273
USC: Sanchez 28-35-413
PSU: Butler 4-97; Green 5-67; Williams 4-34; Norwood 3-32; Quarless 2-22; Brackett 3-21
USC: Williams 10-162; Johnson 4-82; Turner 4-74; McCoy 5-48; Gable 1-20; McKnight 1-9; Goodman 1-8; Ausberry 1-5; Johnson 1-5
PSU: Santella 6-268
USC: Woidneck 6-21