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[Live Blog] No. 5 Penn State vs. No. 9 USC

Good afternoon, Penn State fans! James Franklin’s No. 5 Nittany Lions (11-2) traveled to the mountains of Pasadena for the 103rd Rose Bowl against No. 9 USC (9-3). We’ll have you covered throughout the game with live updates, including analysis, photos, tweets, and more. Here’s the media information you’ll need and here are our staff predictions

Fourth Quarter

:27 — Darnold clocked the football with :05 left to give Boermeester a shot at a 46-yard game-winner. After James Franklin called his final timeout, he came up clutch and delivered the 52-29 win. Thanks for following along, folks.

1:20 — McSorley threw an interception to Leon McQuay that gave the Trojans the ball in Penn State territory.

1:59 — Darnold orchestrated a miraculous three-play, 80-yard drive to tie things up at 49-all on a 27-yard dart to Burnett.

3:56 — Penn State punted the ball away on its fifth play of the drive.

6:41 — The Nittany Lions did just that, shutting down USC to get the ball right back.

8:15 — Penn State couldn’t get much going on its next drive. The Nittany Lions punted the ball away deep into USC territory, needing their defense to step up.

alexbauer-923512:44 — USC cut Penn State’s lead to 49-42 thanks to a three-yard touchdown by sophomore Ronald Jones II, who honored the late Joe McKnight by wearing his No. 4 today.

14:54 — McSorley fumbled on the second play of the drive, appearing to give USC solid field position at the Penn State 33-yard line. However, freshman guard Connor McGovern saved it for the Nittany Lions after all following a review. They would eventually punt it away as Blake Gillikin drilled a 56-yard bomb to the USC 15.

Third Quarter

1:55 — USC headed into the fourth quarter with the ball but punted shortly thereafter.

6:47 — Penn State struck gold once more, as Barkley hauled in a seven-yard touchdown catch from McSorley to make it 49-35 Nittany Lions.

10:26 — USC finally broke its scoring drought thanks to a steady 10-play, 65-yard drive that saw Smith-Schuster corral a 13-yard touchdown to cut the Nittany Lions’ lead to 42-35 following a wild two-point conversion.

10:31 — Trace McSorley punched it in from three yards out to make it 42-27 Penn State.

alexbauer-931311:22 — Sam Darnold tossed a pick to Brandon Bell on the second play of the drive, setting up the Nittany Lions at the USC three-yard line. Bell was hurt but thankfully walked off under his own power.

11:38 — Another one-play strike for Penn State gave the Nittany Lions a 35-27 lead as Godwin bobbled it but came down with a 72-yard touchdown.

13:01 — The Nittany Lion defense stepped up once more, forcing another quick punt by USC to get the ball right back.

13:22 — Penn State took over at its own 21-yard line and Saquon Barkley immediately provided the SportsCenter Top Play of the night. The sophomore broke multiple ankles on his way to a glorious 79-yard touchdown run that is sure to go down in program history.

15:00 — USC lost a yard as it went three-and-out to start the second half.

Second Quarter

:54 — USC scared the Nittany Lions with a last-minute drive, but Boermeester’s 49-yard field goal sailed wide right as time expired.

6:16 — Penn State needed to put some points on the board before halftime. The Nittany Lions crossed midfield thanks to another solid series from Godwin, who corralled a pair of beautiful catches to extend the drive. His eight grabs set a new season-high. The blue and white got the score they needed as Mike Gesicki went airborne for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 27-21 Trojans with :54 left ahead of halftime.

8:39 — Keeping with the theme of the afternoon, USC wasted little time dialing up a response. Darnold hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a big 36-yard gain that allowed the Trojans to score again a few plays later. Darreus Rogers hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from Darnold — his third of the day — to make it 27-14 with 6:16 to go in the half.

10:15 — McSorley and the Nittany Lions answered right back, going 71 yards in just four plays to cut the deficit to 20-14. Trace hit Chris Godwin with a 30-yard gem in the right corner of the end zone over Adoree’ Jackson that stood after a brief review.

11:44 — USC promptly marched down the field deep into Penn State territory thanks to chunk plays from Burnett and Justin Davis, who picked up 32 and 24 yards, respectively. Darnold hit Burnett from three yards out for a score moments later, but it was called off due to offensive pass interference. However, after a puzzingly-long delay, the officials deemed it was indeed a touchdown because his throw had been tipped before the line of scrimmage. 20-7 Trojans.

15:00 — The Nittany Lions finally broke through as McSorley led the offense on an impressive nine-play, 70-yard drive that saw Saquon Barkley burst up the middle for a 24-yard touchdown. 13-7 Trojans with 11:44 to go before the half.

First Quarter

:21 —  Penn State ran one play from scrimmage after receiving the kickoff before the end of the quarter. Not much went right for the Nittany Lions during the first 15 minutes.

3:21 — The Trojans traveled 53 yards deep into Penn State territory before settling for a 44-yard field goal by Boermeester to give them a 13-0 advantage with :21 seconds left in the first quarter.

4:42 — Another series, another three-and-out for the Penn State offense.

9:34 — USC embarked on a lengthy 12-play, 53-yard drive that culminated in a 22-yard made field goal by Matt Boermeester to give the Trojans a 10-0 lead with 4:42 left in the quarter.

alexbauer-905310:22 — Penn State went three-and-out on its next drive, failing to move the ball a yard. Freshman punter Blake Gillikin came on for a 34-yard boot that gave the Trojans nice field position at their own 43.

12:15 — USC chewed up 51 yards on five plays on the way to its first points of the ballgame. Redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold found Deontay Burnett for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 with 10:31 to go in the opening quarter.

14:47 — The Nittany Lions took over at their own 33-yard line, but after picking up 27 yards on three plays, McSorley’s pass was again picked off — this time by all-purpose star Adoree’ Jackson.

15:00 — Penn State won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. The first play from scrimmage resulted in a Trace McSorley interception to sophomore corner Iman Marshall. However, the Nittany Lion defense hung tough and the Trojans missed a 51-yard field goal wide right.


About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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