Daily Archives: January 1, 2009

Rose Bowl 2009: USC maxes out Penn State

The ninety-fifth Rose Bowl game. Penn State Nittany Lions and USC Trojans. Would the Big 10 or Pac 10 get the last fragrant laugh? Broadcast on ABC, the Trojans marching band performed the national anthem before the game proper began. The first quarter ticked halfway through when USC quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbled the ball (never even threw it out of his hands) and Penn State recovered. Or did they? An offside penalty on Penn State gave the ball back to USC. A few plays later, Sanchez threw twenty-seven yards to wide receiver Damian Williams for a touchdown. USC 7 and Penn State 0. That catch came out of nowhere…in that one second USC’s QB was prepped to launch the ball and the next nanosecond, TD. With fewer than ten seconds left in the quarter, Penn Statequarterback Daryll Clark got himself into the end zone for a TD. Both teams 7.

The second quarter spritzed off with a Trojans TD, shoved in by the quarterback. USC 14 and Penn State 7. A Trojans field goal put USC higher up with 17 to 7 halfway through the quarter. USC’s lead shot up to 24 to 7 (thanks to wide receiver Ronald Johnson’s TD). Penn State’s running back Stephfon Green had a good chance of making great strides down field on his team’s next possession, but he fumbled and USC recovered. Trojans running back CJ Gable increased his team’s numbers by a TD in the bottom of the quarter. USC 31 and Penn State 7.

The third quarter spelled out CJ Gable fumbling the ball and Penn State cornerback Tony Davis getting his hands on it. No scoring resulted from that turnover. In the final forty or so seconds of the third quarter, Penn State wide receiver Jordan Norwood had caught Daryll Clark’s pass and then was immediately slammed by USC safety Taylor Mays. Norwood had to be helped off the field, noticeably discombobulated–his eyes looked like they were pinging all over place. Mays got a helmet-to-helmet penalty. Slow-motion instant replay revealed that Norwood’s head was essentially squashed by two Trojans torsos in the tackle.

The fourth quarter harked the herald with a TD for the Nittany Lions, courtesy of wide receiver Derrick Williams. Trojans wide receiver Ronald Johnson made his second TD of the day with a forty-five yard catch on his team’s next possession. USC 38 and Penn State 14. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Penn State’s numbers rose by three with a field goal, and then by seven in the bottom of the quarter (thanks to Jordan Norwood). USC 38 and Penn State 24. Final score. The Trojans have won the Rose noodle Bowl for the third time in a row.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit were the commentators.

2. Save for Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez, the USC football players don’t get much news reading done. Who is Joe Biden, TMZ asked recently. Question: How many players in total were asked, “Who is Joe Biden?” and of those players, how many got it right and weren’t included in the final sequence that hit the air?

3. Steve Shaw, of the SEC, was the referee. The Grand Marshal of the 2009 Tournament of the Roses was Cloris Leachman. She threw the coin. USC won the toss and deferred to second half. Cloris Leachman looks like Glenn Close a wee bit.

4. The Trojans’ uniforms made me think of barbecue sauce, mustard, and sloppy joes.

5. As neither a Trojans nor Nittany Lion fan, viewing consisted of soaking up game-play athleticism. Point. Counter-point. Check. Checkmate.

6. Actor John C. McGinley was in attendance. He had a full head of hair and a green shirt.

7. The Trojans marching band hit the field during halftime.

8. Did Brent Musburger say in the bottom of the fourth quarter that the QB plays a more important role in college football than in pro football?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Capital One Gator Bowl 2009: UGA on Capital and Nebraska with Gator

UGA Bulldogs and Michigan State Spartans met at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida for Danish rounders and pumpernickel and a chance at the Capital One Bowl sash (televised on ABC). At the same time, not too many miles away, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Clemson Tigers heated up the cheese fondue at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the Gator Bowl title (televised on CBS).

I flipped between the two games but watched more of the Capital One Bowl. 65,000 UGA and Michigan State fans descended upon the Citrus Bowl. The first quarter began with Michigan State attempting to fake a punt, which UGA linebacker Rennie Curran saw and stopped. The Bulldogs put the first number on the board, a field goal. UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception (snatch made by Michigan State cornerback Kendall Davis-Clark) just after the halfway point of the first quarter. In the bottom of the first quarter, UGA wide receiver AJ Green fumbled the ball as he was tackled and Michigan State recovered it. The Spartans didn’t do too much with the turnover, though, save for a field goal? Both teams with three.

Meanwhile, as the first quarter was coming to an end at the Gator Bowl, neither Nebraska nor Clemson had any points on the board.

The second quarter of the Capital One Bowl started with a Spartans field goal attempt but it went waaay left. Brett Swenson’s fifty-three yard attempt was never close to making it through. UGA punter Brian Mimbs was set to fling that ball over to Michigan State, but there was a bizarre series of muscular-skeletal events on Mimbs’s part. He was set to drop the ball and kick it but there was never a kick. The ball fell and Mimbs’s foot went through half the kicking motion. Barely a kicking motion. The result of that goof or gaffe was good field position for the Spartans. Gnawing to the bottom of the quarter and nobody reached the end zone. Michigan State broke the tie with a field goal. Spartans 6 and Bulldogs 3. UGA tried to get into the end zone (right?) before the quarter ended, but it didn’t happen. A field goal didn’t happen either.

When I switched over to the other game, the Tigers and the Cornhuskers were still scoreless–halfway through the second quarter. That was until Clemson linebacker DeAndre McDaniel recovered a fumbled ball and got into the end zone for a touchdown. Clemson 7 and Nebraska 0. Would the momentum of the game change? Would both teams’ offensive tactics pick up? I believe it did. Cornhuskers kicker Alex Henery nailed a forty-eight yard field goal. When Clemson got the ball with about two minutes left to play, their quarterback Cullen Harper threw an interception. Cornhusker cornerback Anthony West grabbed the ball. Clemson cornerback Crezdon Butler intercepted the ball back. After getting sacked, Harper connected with Aaron Kelly for a touchdown with half a minute left in the second quarter. Going into halftime, Tigers 14 and Cornhuskers 3.

Back at the Capital One Bowl, the third quarter began with UGA wide receiver Michael Moore making a TD catch. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was getting his Stella back. Not long afterwards, UGA tight end Aron White. Bulldogs 17 and Spartans 6.

The top of the third quarter in the Gator Bowl led to a Cornhuskers touchdown, courtesy of a Joe GanzNate Swift connection. Tigers TD’d back (wide receiver Jacoby Ford and a forty-one yard catch). Cornhuskers stuck one right back at them with wide receiver Todd Peterson. Clemson 21 and Nebraska 17.

The Capital One Bowl’s fourth quarter started with a touchdown by Michigan State running back Javon Ringer. His team went for but could not execute the two-point conversion. Bulldogs 17 and Spartans 12.

Another channel-hop to the Gator Bowl revealed that Nebraska only trailed Clemson by one point on account of a field goal towards the bottom of the third quarter. By the bottom of the quarter, Nebraska took the lead with a field goal. Cornhuskers 23 and Clemson 21.

In the meantime, back in Orlando, Matthew Stafford threw a twenty-one yard pass to running back Knowshon Moreno for a touchdown with fewer than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Bulldogs 24 and Spartans 12. With under two minutes left in the fourth quarter at the Citrus Bowl, and the Bulldogs on top with 24 points to the Spartans’ 12, UGA safety Reshad Jones plucked a Brian Hoyer pass. So, the Bulldogs took the Capital One noodle Bowl sash.

But what about the Gator Bowl? Towards the bottom of fourth quarter (five minutes left to play), Nebraska’s lead inched up with another field goal. Cornhuskers 26 and Tigers 21. What a difference one touchdown made–by Clemson back in the second quarter. Neither team got their bling to shine until that moment. Fast-forward two quarters and Nebraska would cling to a victory by five points. 26 to 21 final score. Nebraska took home the Gator noodle Bowl crown.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Quips and remarks provided by Mike Patrick and Todd Blackledge.

2. Michigan State’s players’ uniforms made me think of spearmint Certs. They’re a tall bunch of lads. UGA’s players wore white jerseys. From the high angle long shot POV, both teams created a Tabasco sauce look.

3. Ryan Schneider, Capital One prez, tossed the coin. UGA won the toss but let Michigan State take the offense first.

4. Clemson’s players wore a full body of orange. They looked like bottles of orange Fanta and Sunkist.

5. Lil Red, Nebraska’s mascot, got some close-up screentime at about four minutes left in the first quarter of the Gator Bowl. Whoever was under that costuming shouldn’t be allowed to get his/her groove on while under that costume. Creepy!

6. Michigan State’s mascot, Sparty, got a close-up when the telecast returned from commercial in the bottom of the second quarter. He looks like Craig T. Nelson.

7. Cy, Iowa State’s mascot, won a little Capital One love for being the best mascot as voted by fans.

8. Michael Moore, what a gorgeous specimen–geometrically, muscular-skeletal awesomeness. Sixty-two inches and 200 pounds.

9. One of the commentators in the Capital One Bowl made a remark about the chains and why it isn’t replaced by a laser to measure first down location. Why not modernize? Would a laser even be visible without a cloud of powder swirling about it? Click here.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play on the Capital Bowl here.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play on the Gator Bowl here.