Friday, December 19, 2014

Rose Bowl halftime update

PASADENA, Calif. --

Rose Bowl halftime update

PASADENA, Calif. --

1. Looks like this might not be the defensive slugfest everyone imagined. USC needed just six plays and 2:37 to go back ahead. Quarterback Mark Sanchez was sharp during the scoring drive, passing for 76 yards on 4 of 4 passing. He finished off the 80-yard possession with a six-yard run up the middle. USC, 14-7.

2. May I second guess Penn State here? The Lions had third-and-one on their own 28 and elected to go to running back Stephfon Green who was dropped for no gain. First off, it was more like a half yard and I can't imagine quarterback Daryll Clark couldn't fall 5 feet forward. Second, Green has not been very good this season on third-and-short downs.

3. As expected, the Lions secondary is having a lot of problems covering USC's taller receivers. The Trojans padded their lead with a 30-yard David Buehler field goal. USC, 17-7.

4. The Lions once again came up short and on third and, well, short. The play-calling has been dubious at times.

5. This bears repeating: Penn State's secondary cannot cover USC's receivers and Sanchez has been right on target for most of the half. He hit Ronald Johnson for a 19-yard touchdown and the Trojans are on the cusp of turning this one into a laugher. USC, 24-7.

6. It is now officially a laugher. Penn State looks sloppy. Penalties. Turnovers. After a long run on a screen, Stephfon Green fumbled the ball after a Carry Harris hit. The Trojans took the turnover and scored five plays later when Sanchez flipped a screen to C.J. Gable, who tiptoed 20 yards for the score. The Lions did not come ready to play. USC, 31-7.


About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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