USC Vs. Penn State: A Look at the Rose Bowl Without the Dolce & Gabannas

Will GordonContributor IDecember 15, 2008

Lets face it: No college football team gets more media time than the USC Trojans. Now before I get rained on with cardinal red hatred, let me make my first point.

USC totally deserves the attention, they have in fact been the most successful college program of the 2000's and have poured globs of talented stars into the NFL in true Willy Wonka fashion.

But all of this media glare and hype can blind, even those SoCal fans with the most expensive of sunglasses. To counter this effect and the ridiculous rumors of a ritual slaughtering of the Penn State Nittany Lions on USC's own altar, I offer a side-by-side stat breakdown of each team. Let the grumbling begin.

Total Offense

USC: 821 total plays; 5437 total yards; 6.62 yards per play; 61 TDs; 453.08 yards per game.

Penn State: 828 total plays; 5426 total yards; 6.55 yards per play; 60 TDs; 452.17 yards per game.

Rushing Offense

USC: 468 carries; 2472 total yards; 5.28 yards per carry; 26 TDs; 206 yards per game.

Penn State: 482 carries; 2539 total yards; 5.27 yards per carry; 35 TDs; 211.58 yards per game.

Passing Offense

USC: 64.02 completion %; 2965 total yards; 32 TDs; 247.1 yards per game; 12 INTs.

Penn State: 58.67 completion %; 2887 total yards; 22 TDs; 240.6 yards per game; 4 INTs.

Total Defense

USC: Gave up 3.38 yards per play; 206.08 yards per game; 11 TDs.

Penn State: Gave up 4.17 yards per play; 263.92 yards per game; 17 TDs.

Rushing Defense

USC: 2.58 yards per play; 83.3 yards per game; 7 TDs.

Penn State: 2.91 yards per play; 95.9 yards per game; 11 TDs.

Pass Defense

USC: 51.59 completion %; 17 INTs; 4 TDs; 122.83 yards per game.

Penn State: 54.12 completion %; 16 INTS; 6 TDs; 168 yards per game.

Punt Returns/Kick Returns

USC: 0 TD; 8.13 AVG/1 TD; 27.57 AVG

Penn State: 1 TD; 10.36 AVG/2 TDs; 25.66 AVG

Sacks/Sacks Given Up

USC: 28 sacks/ 17 sacks given

Penn State: 32 sacks/ 12 sacks given

Oh dear God! So you mean to tell me that both the Trojans and Lions have nearly Identical stats in basically every major statistical category? (Startled noises.)

Yes, in fact, I do tell you that. Everyday someone will tell you how USC's defense is one of the best the NCAA has ever seen, when Penn State is right behind them.

Being a lone Penn State fan living in San Diego, it has become commonplace to hear words like torched, destroyed, obliterated, thrown around when describing what USC's offense will do to PSU. Really? Not only are the yards almost equal, but USC has turned it over twice as much and taken more sacks.

I know this is asking a lot, but please remember that Jan 1st is not going to be a multimillion dollar action movie starring Mr. Sanchez in the Blood Bowl: Trojans From Hell with pictures of the Rey Maualuga feasting on lion cubs. If anything, this should be one hell of a bowl game with a last second win written all over it.

But Just for Controversy:

PSU 17

USC 14