USC 17, Penn State 13
This game could possibly be one of the better games in college football history. Both teams have great offenses, great defenses, and have lost one game each that they should have won.
USC's offense is very good, but occasionally won't do so well against good defenses (they scored just 17 on Arizona and California, who had the 23rd- and 24th-best defenses in the nation, and they scored 21 on Oregon State, the 33rd-best defense).
But they also scored 52 points against Virginia and 38 points against Notre Dame, both with decent defense, and 35 against Ohio State, the eighth-best defense in the nation.
USC's offense averages 37.5 ppg and 453 yards per game, ranking 14th nationally in each. The Trojans might have some trouble getting those numbers against the Penn State defense, which hasn't allowed more than 24 points in any game. The Nittany Lions' defense averages 12.5 yards per game and 264 yards per game, ranking fourth and fifth nationally in those categories.
How will Penn State react to the USC rushing trio of McKnight, Johnson, and Gable? I think that the three backs will have some trouble at the beginning of the game, but will start to wear out PSU near the end and possibly picking up some points.
What about Mark Sanchez? The QB has thrown 10 picks this year. He will likely throw one against PSU's outstanding defense, but that shouldn't affect his overall performance too much. Sanchez will probably have a below-average game for his standards, but will still look good compared to most other QBs.
When PSU has the ball, they will be facing one of the best defenses ever. The USC defense ranks No. 1 nationally in four different categories, including total defense, pass defense, pass-efficiency defense, and scoring defense. They have let up an average of 7.75 ppg, the lowest since Auburn in 1988.
Penn State should give them a challenge, though. The Nittany Lions have one of the best offensive lines in the country, along with RB Evan Royster (1202 yards, 12 TDs, 6.5 YPC), QB Daryll Clark and WR Derrick Williams. The Penn State offense averages 40 ppg and 452 yards per game, ranking 11th and 15th nationally in those categories.
Overall, the Trojans are probably slightly better than Penn State. USC will have some trouble against PSU's defense, but not as much as PSU will have against USC's defense. Penn State's defense will wear down over time, as USC has many weapons and will keep their backs from getting too tired.
USC's defense will slow down, but not too much. They'll likely allow more than usual to PSU's offense, but not too much. I think USC will take the game, 17-13.