Sanchez Guides Trojans To Third Straight Rose Bowl Win
by Mike Mitchell
January 1, 2009
Mark Sanchez broke threw for 413 yards and 4 TD's, and set a Rose Bowl record with 80 percent completions, as USC beat Penn State 38-24. In the process, the Trojans became the first team to win three consecutive Rose Bowls.
USC concluded the season 12-1 for its seventh straight season of at least 11 wins. The Trojans have gone 82-9 from 2002-2008 while winning seven consecutive PAC-10 titles.
USC led 31-7 at halftime after a 24-point outburst in the 2nd quarter. The final score looked more respectable after Penn State scored 17 points in the 4th quarter.
Sanchez, a junior, finished 28-of-35 with no INT's in what may have been his last game as a Trojan.
Damian Williams had 10 catches for 162 yards and a TD. Ronald Johnson had 4 receptions for 82 yards and 2 TD's.
The Penn State defense did manage to hold USC to 61 net yards rushing.
The Nittany Lions saw their three-game bowl winning streak come to an end.
When they entered the game, Penn State had the best winning percentage at .675 and USC was 2nd at .652 (20 or more appearances). They are now flipped with USC 1st at .660 (31-16) and Penn State 2nd at .659 (26-13-2). USC also moved into a tie with Alabama for most bowl wins with 31, with 'Bama's Sugar Bowl game yet to be played.