What Was The Score Of The Liberty Football Game 2008 Rose Bowl – Southern California Decimates Penn State For 3rd Consecutive Rose Bowl Win, 38-24

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2008 Rose Bowl – Southern California Decimates Penn State For 3rd Consecutive Rose Bowl Win, 38-24

After winning 383 football games and 23 bowl games — both records — Penn State coach Joe Paterno sat quietly in the press box, nursing hip problems. He was caught on camera slowly shaking his head as Southern California went up 31-7 on his Nittany Lions in the BCS Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day (1-1-09).

No one had to tell the 82-year-old coaching legend and Pennsylvania icon that this wasn’t Happy Valley. The final score of 38-24 belies what actually happened – no. Fifth-ranked USC convincingly decimated a proud and successful No. 6 Penn State team that entered the BCS Rose Bowl with the Big Ten title and an 11-1 record.

And that’s why, more than any other reason, the 83-year-old Penn State coach will be on the sidelines next season, Lord willing, and the creek doesn’t rise. JoePa lives to compete. The excitement of Saturday afternoon and the feeling of autumn wakes him up in the morning and puts him to sleep at night.

Does Joe Paterno think USC is as good as any other team in the country? Only a novice Homer or a fool would say no.

So this needs to be said loud and clear right now: Pete Carroll University of California Trojans have . . .

1) Won 7 consecutive Pac-10 championships, a record.

2) Played in 7 consecutive BCS Bowl games, a record.

3) Won 3 consecutive Rose Bowl games, a record.

4) Won 11 or more games in 7 consecutive seasons, a record.

5) Won 6 of 7 big games, going 5-0 against Big Ten teams like Penn State.

6) Won 82 games and lost only 9 in Carroll’s second year on the job.

Did they wipe the field with Penn State? Yes. They scored 31 points on 5 straight possessions in the first half, the most by USC in any of their record 33 Rose Bowl games. The Trojans had 27 first downs and 474 yards of offense.

Junior quarterback Mark Sanchez finished 28-of-35 for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns and ran for a 5th touchdown. And guess what? He’s considering entering the NFL draft rather than returning for his senior year; it’s hardly a surprise.

Damian Williams caught a career-high 10 passes for 162 yards and a TD. Ronald Johnson caught 2 TD passes. Kaluka Maiava was the top defensive player, becoming the third straight USC player to win the award.

In their 3rd game of the year, USC traveled to Oregon State and lost 27-21. The Trojans then reeled off 10 straight wins, outscoring opponents 380-80 with the nation’s No. 1 defense. The Trojans are playing like a national champion, but they are not state champions this year. Maybe next year.

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

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