Even if USC beating Penn State felt like less of a certainty today, Adoree' Jackson would fix everything by changing gears and simply hurdling the Nittany Lions en masse. No team holds a candle to USC's 33 Rose Bowl appearances and 24 victories: MI is in a very distant second with 20 appearances and eight wins. Sure, the Rose Bowl will always be packed with both schools' fan bases - I mean it is the Granddaddy - but the game is in Pasadena and Southern Cal will not face travel issues and will essentially be playing at home. No matter. Penn State players had been thinking about the Rose Bowl for years and years before that. But McGovern knew this: If he wanted any chance to contribute to the Nittany Lions as a true freshman, hanging around the halls at Lake-Lehman wasn't going to get him there.
At midnight Central time - 10 p.m. for Penn State out on in Los Angeles - the Lions received a verbal commitment from Texas defensive back Isaiah Humphries. USC football had finally become fun again. There would be no third national title for head coach Joe Paterno and Penn State.
It was a disappointing day for Paterno's team, and it said farewell to their outstanding senior receiving trio comprised of Norwood, Derrick Williams, and Deon Butler. "I think if you have a bucket list as a coach, this is one of the things that you want to do during your career". "Obviously, we're blessed to be here".
To be clear, the current Trojans publicly have offered nothing but respect for the current Nittany Lions. USC has won eight-straight games, finishing as the Pac-12 South runner-up.
The Trojans will try to win their first Rose Bowl since 2008 against the same team they played that season, the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions, fresh off a snub from the College Football Playoff, will be looking to prove that they belong back with the elite of college football.
The Lions, too, aren't concerned with starting slow. Like USC, Penn State looked uninspired to start the season, losing two of their first four games, but then won nine consecutive games, including victories over then-No. USC's Sam Darnold can escape pass rushers with the best in college football, but Penn State can use that pressure to make things hard for the redshirt freshman quarterback. Penn State QB Trace McSorley has passed for 3,360 yards and 25 touchdowns this season, both school records. Behind him, running back Saquon Barkley's voice is echoing through a microphone, and across the room, several teammates are gathering in front of a green screen, posing with long-stemmed red roses in their mouths.
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How much will you think about that Saturday? He was also the team's second-leading rusher with 529 yards and six scores. The only freshman who started on Ohio State's 2002 national championship team was running back Maurice Clarett.
"Certainly it's been very positive", Barbour said of the post-Big Ten title response. He's likely going to be a guard for us, but we've had him snapping. The Trojans have enjoyed a balanced attack recently, but freshman quarterback Sam Darnold has also been key in USC's resurgence. He averaged 148 yards and two touchdowns over USC's last five games. Since then, Darnold has thrown for 2,633 yards and 26 touchdowns.
"He's a guy that's played a lot of football for us already", Penn State coach James Franklin said. "But they've done a nice job".
"He doesn't hold onto the ball", Pry said. I think he's smart enough to see that he can fit pretty quickly into our plans."The plan for Lutz, the former Berks Catholic standout, was to be redshirted this year". He doesn't make poor choices.
But when McSorley says, "You can measure how tall I am, how much I weigh, how big my hands are, whatever it is". This team unsafe on both sides of the ball. Safety Marcus Allen (101 tackles), linebacker Brandon Bell (87 tackles, 7.5 for loss) and defensive end Garrett Sickels (12.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks) headline the defense. This is a big loss because Penn State's winning streak is still alive thanks in large part to Blacknall. We have to go all the way back to the historic 1994 season, which the team finished No. 2, for the next top-3 finish. Only three or four people stood up.
"I have had that oh wow moment you know walk around La and seeing all the sites, like wow I'm in California right now", said OL Ryan Bates.