Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rose Bowl Picks

Pac-10 Insider Andrew Garda Says USC will win because....

For sure, both the Penn State Nittany Lions and the University of Southern California Trojans bring potent offenses and powerful defenses to the 2009 Rose Bowl. USC’s offense is ranked 14tt in total yards with Penn State right behind them at 15th. The Nittany Lions are ranked 10th in total points with 40.2 per game and while USC is a few spots behind with 37.5, they have been on a tear the last eight weeks, routing opponents 342 to 56. Both defenses are ranked high and stingy with points to the opposing team.

It’s the intangibles that may make the difference and only USC brings to the table a tremendous amount of experience in big games. USC has played in the national spotlight often--not just this season but seemingly every season this group has played for Coach Carroll. This will be the fourth straight BCS Bowl game this Trojan squad has been to – all Rose Bowls. This will be the seventh year in a row that USC has gone to a major Bowl game, including several for the National Championship.

Yes, Penn State Coach Joe Paterno has coached big games many times before, but it’s his players who will have to be the ones to perform under the pressure of a national spotlight, something they just have not done as often as the athletes on USC’s sideline.

When two teams are as close as USC and Penn State are on the field, it’s the intangibles that can make the difference in winning and losing. As I see it, many of the most important ones will land on USC’s side of the field and that will make all the difference in the end.

Plus, John Sears is picking Penn St. and he thought Northwestern was going to beat Missouri.

Big Ten Insider John Sears Says Penn State Will Win Because...


The Trojans’ only loss this year came at the hands of Oregon State, two weeks after Penn State had their way with the Beavers in a 45-14 romp. USC proved vulnerable when their between the tackles running was contained and when they were unable to control the time-of-possession (TOP) battle…both of those areas happen to be where Penn State thrives (first in the Big Ten in 32:02 TOP and rushing 212 yards/game). Unlike Ohio State, Penn State has complementary (and healthy) rushers with Royster and Green inside, as well as Daryll Clark and Derek Williams outside. Yes, the Trojans may be fast, but if the Nittany Lions can spread the field horizontally, they may find enough passing creases for their senior receiving corps to move the ball methodically. The question mark for Penn State will be their defense’s reaction to the Trojans’ run/pass balance and speed at the skill positions. Despite being built similarly to Ohio State defensively in their 4-3 scheme with strength at the linebacker position, Penn State can have success getting pass pressure without needing to blitz their linebackers (unlike Ohio State). So if Aaron Maybin, Josh Gaines and Maurice Evans are in Mark Sanchez’s earhole, Penn State will be in great position to maintain discipline with their linebackers and safeties in pursuit of USC’s talented backfield and receivers.

Easy call – while USC is already pushing the snooze button before kickoff, the all-time winningest coach is ready to tally one more victory onto his already-brilliant legacy.

Plus, Andrew Garda is picking USC and he thought Boise St. was going to beat TCU.

Photo Credit: College Press Box, USC, Penn St.

1 Comment:

Jackpot said...

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