2009 Rose Bowl Running Game Diary

JANUARY 1 | LOS ANGELES, CA — Happy New Year, Trojan fans. I hope you’re all feeling the effects of your excessive partying from last night.

Hopefully the Penn State offense will soon be joining you all in popping numerous Advils to help ease the pain that will be inflicted upon them by the almighty Trojan D.

Full game diary after the jump.


1:08pm pt – During the Michigan State-Clemson game, ESPN cuts to a shot of Ken Dorsey giving a pre-game speech to his linebackers, but someone forgot to cue the sound. After a while of trying to read Ken’s lips, a disembodied voice just asks “How far back are we?” before cutting back to the Capital One bowl. I think somebody in the audio department is still a little hung over.

1:18 – Another interesting video feature. ESPN breaks the game to show how a local food was prepared, culminating with one of the announcers exclaiming “hummina, hummina, hummina! That’s all folks!” before digging in. He must have been eating a sexy version of porky the pig.

shannon_250.jpg1:26 – During the Gator Bowl, CBS teases their pre-game coverage for the NFL playoffs this weekend. My friend Berf remarks how bad it must suck to sit next to Shannon Sharpe – er – Thannon Tharpe on that pregame panel. Bill Cower must get a full saliva bath by the end of the show. Kinda makes you wonder why he hasn’t accepted any of the head coaching offers he’s been given.

1:37 – One of the pre-game guys basically calls John Saunders an idiot, but he redeems himself by offering Saunders a fist pound and telling him “I love you, man.” The Rose Bowl just brings out the best in everyone!

1:42 – Pete Carroll says Joe Paterno is the life of the party off the football field. Man, what I’d give to see JoePa put that new hip to use by doin’ a kegstand…

1:47 – The same pre-game guy that insulted Saunders tells Doug Flutie “you couldn’t get out of your chair without creaking.” Seriously, dude. This guy is making a run for Skip Bayless’ spot at “best peer-degrading commentator/analyst.”

2:04 – We’re just about to kick off and JoePa will be coaching from the press box. Lisa Salters reports that he’s doing it because he doesn’t want the attention from being on the sideline, but we all know it’s really because a new hip’s arch nemesis is Rey Maualuga.

2:11 – We’re underway, as David Buehler’s kickoff is taken at the five and returned to the 25 by the Nittany Lions. After starting with a short run, quarterback Darryl Clark throws two incompletions and the Trojans start at their own 27.

2:16 – The Trojans respond with a three-and-out of their own. I don’t think anyone saw a defensive battle coming in this game. I can only hope that there’s slightly more offense than the 3-0 Oregon State snoozer.

2:21 – Evan Royster runs for 15 on the Lions next possession, but three more runs later and Penn State is punting again, pinning the Trojans at their own 14. I’m calling for a deep route to RoJo. Right now.

2:23 – Gilbert Gottfried must be making bank as the voice of the Aflac duck.

2:28 – A Sanchez fumble is brought back on an offsides penalty on Penn State. After one of the Lion players recovered a fumble, one of his teammates points the wrong way, indicating that it would be USC’s ball…uh, embarrassing!

2:32 – The Trojans are marching down the field and Stafon Johnson picks up 13 yards on his first carry on a third and two. Sanchez follows it up with a strike to Damian Williams on a post route for a 27-yard touchdown! And that, folks, is the difference between a “stout” Big-10 defense and SC’s behemoth D.

2:41 – Another big Penn State play is brought back on an illegal shift call, negating a 40-yard pass.

2:43 – Penn State is having some success running screens and short pass plays and Clark completes a 27-yard pass putting the lions inside the SC ten yard line. The camera cuts to a couple celebrating Penn State fans dressed as…retarded-looking football players? Wait, those were Penn State fans, right?

2:47 – On the very next play Clark scores on a quarterback draw. Musberger says that Penn State’s kicker, Kevin Kelly, “will try to tie it up with his left foot” on the extra point. To teach Musberger a lesson on making assumptions, Kelly slaps the ball through the uprights with his right hand for the extra point. We’re tied at seven.

2:52 – A commercial with Lil Wayne doing a voice over asks “What is G?” and ends with a shot of the big letter G without anything else. After googling “What is G?” I now know the gravitational constant is 6.67300 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2


2:55 – Three Sanchez passes move the ball from the SC 20 to the Penn State 14. If Dirty is on his game today, Penn State’s gonna be in a lot of trouble.

3:00 – On third and three from the Lions’ six, Sanchez plays “anything you can do, I can do better,” and takes a quarterback draw in to paydirt. I like how Sanchez is actually kinda growing a little Dirty Sanchez moustache of his own. Lookin’ good, Mark!

mr_deeds.jpg3:01 – A commercial for “Bedtime Stories” prompts this comment from Berf: “Adam Sandler hasn’t been in anything good since Mr. Deeds.” Berf has some very…unique standards when it comes to judging movies.

3:05 – On third and one, Kyle Moore gets big by taking down a lineman and the Stephfon Green, preventing a first down.

3:10 – Kirk Herbstreit compliments SC’s “outstanding execution” after a long Stafon Johnson run. The game referee slaps down Herby’s comment by calling offensive holding on the Trojans.

3:14 – The Trojans can’t convert on a third and six, and Beuhler comes in and knocks through a 30-yarder. Looks like he fixed that problem of kicking field goals in the Rose Bowl since the UCLA game. 17-7 Trojans.

3:26 – Steve Sarkisian hasn’t abandoned us yet – he’s making all the right play calls and keeping the ball in Sanchez’s hot hand. And Mark’s been getting it to Williams, who has 6 catches for 117 yards.

3:31 – Dirty lays the ball perfectly into Ronald Johnson’s breadbasket for a 19-yard touchdown. Coming up at halftime: JoePa and Pete Carroll will be doing KY wrestling at midfield. 24-7 USC.

3:34 – With less than a minute and a half left in the second quarter, Clark completes a pass to Green, who breaks it for a big gain, but fumbles it away at the Trojan’s 40 and SC recovers! JoePa can’t be happy about his team continuing to Plaxico itself.

3:39 – A screen pass to Gable is run in for another touchdown just before the half, capping off a drive that took only 36 seconds. The entire Lion’s defense probably got a collective seven fingers on Gable, so I guess he technically didn’t go in untouched. Close enough in my book. 31-7.

3:44 – If it wasn’t over before that touchdown, it is now. If SC’s defense allows 31 points in the game, I will walk to the currently-not-so-happy-valley from my dorm and high-five JoePa.

3:49 – A couple halftime stats – Sanchez is 18 for 23 for 274 yards and three TDs. Williams has 127 of those yards and one of those scores on seven catches. Is there a chance that NFL scouts aren’t watching Mark’s performance? Please?

3:54 – Has the Rose Bowl always been called “The Grandaddy of them all,” or is that just ‘cuz JoePa is coaching in the game?

4:09 – One of Herby’s halftime adjustments for Penn State is to “show pride.” I think even JoePa would agree that this game is over. Oh, and the Trojans are starting the second half with the ball.

4:16 – The “Big Balls Pete” chant makes its first appearance in the game, as Sanchez sneaks it on fourth and one for a first down. For whatever reason, Sarkisian is sticking with Gable as his main back, even though Johnson has five carries for 35 yards, compared to Gable’s five carries for 9 yards.

4:18 – Well it looks like it’ll be Johnson now, as Gable fumbles at the Penn State 43.

4:22 – Brent Musburger just called Clay Matthews hair scary. eirby just asked if it was fair that Taylor Mays looks so good in his uniform. That’s some scary homoeroticism by our commentating crew!

4:25 – After getting one first down, the Lions go four and out. They’ve pretty much been in four-down territory since the score was 24-7. Big Balls Joe? Now that’s just a gross mental image.

4:29 – Marc Tyler’s starting to get his reps now. That’s probably because McKnight went out in the first quarter and Gable just hasn’t played very well.

4:31 – Maualuga tries to save a USC punt from going into the end zone by throwing the ball over his head, except he forgot the grab the ball first. I’m probably going to regret making fun of Rey Maualuga looking silly.

4:36 – I know part of this has to be because of SC’s stifling defense, but I am really unimpressed by Clark. His longest pass has gone for 15 yards.

4:37 – There I go jinxing the Trojans – Clark completes a 27-yard pass after getting great pocket protection.

4:40 – Taylor Mays just knocked Jordan Norwood back to Happy Valley. Jesus. He took Kevin Thomas with him. Norwood is being helped off the field and looks the way most of us did last night after downing 10 shots of vodka. Mays got called for a 15-yard helmet-to-helmet hit, but couldn’t really care less. That’s one for the highlight reels.

4:51 – The Mays penalty helps the Lions move the ball into the red zone and Clark connects with Derrick Williams for a two-yard touchdown. Even though that detracts from SC’s defensive style points, I’m okay with that sacrifice after seeing the Mays hit. Even I felt a little dizzy after that smackdown.

4:56 – Sanchez continues to just tear the Penn State “defense” apart. Three passes, ending with a 45-yarder to RoJo for a TD cap off the three play, 82-yard drive. 403 yards and four touchdowns on the day for Dirty. Rose Bowl MVP…maybe?

5:05 – A long pass by Clark and a 27-yard run by Green bring Penn State to the USC 15-yard line. The game has really just cruised by this half. There’s only eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a shot of JoePa in his coaching box. I was just thinking – doesn’t he have an advantage by watching the game from such a high vantage point?

5:10 – The Trojan defense holds inside the ten and, for whatever reason, the Lions kick a short field goal on fourth down. I guess you take what you can get from the SC defense.

eva_tony_buscemi.jpg5:12 – ABC teases the hundredth episode of Desperate Housewives. I can’t support Eva Longoria after she married Tony Parker. That dude is uglier than Steve Buscemi.

5:19 – Penn State is looking to score again as they have the ball at the SC 11 yard line. Unless the Trojans can come up with a turnover here, this hasn’t been an overwhelmingly great performance by the defense. I still feel like the team deserved a better match-up in the bowl game.

5:24 – Clark tosses a touchdown pass to Norwood, making the score 38-24. Mays is clearly pissed. He is probably wondering how Norwood is even back in the game.

5:30 – SC is punting with three minutes left. Remember what I said about this half going by fast? Well these last five minutes have dragged on slower than Mark Mangino running a hundred yard dash. If Penn State Scores more than 30 points (which they could do by scoring a touchdown on this drive) I will be pissed.

5:32 – The Lions’ first play results in a Will Harris interception as Matthews (and his scary long blonde locks) put a hit on Clark as he released the ball.

5:37 – A horrible snap sails about five feet over Greg Woidneck’s head and Penn State takes over at the SC 14 yard line. For whatever reason, Musburger is talking like a Lions touchdown here would tie the game or give them the lead. I guess that’s just how hard it is to score against this defense.

5:40 – The game ends with a Cary Harris interception on a floater by Clark. That’s pretty suiting way to end such an amazing season for a Trojans team that dominated defensively all year round.

The Trojans are Rose Bowl Champs for a third straight year, and Mark Sanchez was really the difference in this game, finishing 413 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Well that’s all for the football running game diaries for this year, but be sure to check back after the away basketball games for more nonsensical ranting. Happy New Year and Fight On!

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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