the Rose Bowl
Thursday, January 1st, 4:30pm
Really looking forward to this one. Both of these two were that close to going undefeated, but a lack of focus in one game did them in. Solid schedules for both - both played at least two BCS-conference teams in their non-conf schedule, which was good, but didn't help because their overall conferences were weak this year.
|Points (rank)||398.66 (#5)||373.36 (#9)|
|Opp. Points (rank)||-102.72 (#63)||-330.80 (#79)|
|Points (% of Opp. Avg)||37.5 (158%)||40.2 (165%)|
|dPoints (% of Opp. Avg)||7.8 (27%)||12.4 (51%)|
|Rush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||206.0 (138%)||211.6 (146%)|
|dRush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||83.3 (59%)||95.9 (60%)|
|Pass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||247.1 (131%)||240.6 (118%)|
|dPass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||122.8 (63%)||168.0 (88%)|
|Tot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||453.1 (133%)||452.2 (127%)|
|dTot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||206.1 (59%)||263.9 (75%)|
|ST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||103.8 (90%)||106.6 (83%)|
|dST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||74.6 (58%)||142.6 (113%)|
|Penalties / Pen. Yds||8.1 / 74.0||3.3 / 28.0|
|TO's / TO Margin||1.8 / +5||1.1 / +9|
Both of these teams have been stellar at times on both offense and defense. I know the Trojan O is iffy, but if they show up they can score a lot and in a hurry. Penn State racked up points against everyone. The D's are going to rule the day though - expect this one to be low scoring. Penn State has the advantage in turnovers and penalties, but USC has the slight advantage in special teams. So either McKnight is going to run one back or cough one up.
The Line: USC -9.5
The Call: USC wins, but Penn State covers the spread
The Result: USC 38-24
Both the Trojans offense and defense were clicking on all cylinders in the first half, and it's a good thing because they lost a lot of focus in the second. But even so, it's amazing what they're able to do against non-Pac10 teams, year in, year out. But major props to the Nittany Lions for never giving up - they could've made it exciting there at the end when they started to play their usual game, but fell just short. It's gonna take a long time for the Big10 to regain their conference stature...