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Jan. 2, 2009
PASADENA, Calif. - • Penn State lost its first bowl game held west of the Mississippi River under Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions entered the game 13-0 in such games and 5-0 when playing teams from the same state that the bowl was held in.
• Penn State had its three-game bowl win streak snapped and fell to 9-3 in bowl games since entering the Big Ten.
• Penn State was penalized seven times for 62 yards in the first half. The seven penalties tied the team's most in a game for the season and the penalty yardage was the most against the Lions on the year. Penn State finished the game with nine penalties for 72 yards.
• LB Navorro Bowman posted a Penn State bowl record five tackles for loss and recorded his fourth sack of the season among his eight tackles in the game. Bowman finished the season with a team leading 106 tackles and had 16.5 tackles for loss.
• QB Daryll Clark's 273 passing yards in the game are a new Penn State bowl record surpassing the 253 yards Michael Robinson threw for in the 2006 Orange Bowl. His 21 pass completions equaled the Penn State bowl record set by Robinson in the 2006 Orange Bowl and his 36 attempts are the second most ever to Robinson's 39 in that game.
• Clark's 290 yards of total offense in the game (273 passing, 17 rushing) also set a Penn State bowl record surpassing Michael Robinson's 274 yards in the 2006 Orange Bowl.
• Clark finished the season with 2,592 yards passing, good for third all-time in a season, and 192 completions, good for fourth most all-timein a season.
• Clark posted his 10th rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game in the first quarter with a nine-yard burst. He threw for two in the game and ended the season with 19 passing TD and 29 touchdowns accounted for total.
• Deon Butler posted four catches for 97 yards and finishes his career second all-time in bowl receiving yardage with 242 yards behind Bobby Engram's 272. His 12 career bowl receptions also rank tied for third all-time at Penn State with O.J. McDuffie.
• Butler finished his career as Penn State's all-time reception leader with 179 and second all-time with 2,771 yards receiving.
• WR Jordan Norwood made three catches, giving him 13 career bowl receptions, good for a tie for second place at Penn State with Jimmy Cefalo.
• Kevin Kelly scored six points in the game with two PAT and a 25-yard field goal which moved him into fourth place all-time on the NCAA career scoring charts with 425 points. That mark also ranks second in Big Ten history, just one point shy of the record of 426 points held by Ron Dayne of Wisconsin. The Big Ten career kick scoring leader, Kelly's mark also ranks second all-time on the NCAA career kick scoring chart.
• Evan Royster ran for 34 yards on six carries (5.7 avg.) before leaving the game with a left knee injury in the first quarter. He finished the season with 1,236 yards yards rushing to pass Curtis Enis (1,210 yards in 1996) for the 10th best rushing season in Penn State history.
• USC had five plays of 20 or more yards in the first half, the most Penn State has given up in a game this season. The Trojans ended the game with seven plays over 20 yards.
• USC's 31 first half points were the most points Penn State has given up in a game all season (24 by Iowa and Illinois).
• USC's 38 points in the game were one shy of the bowl record 39 points Penn State gave up to BYU in a 50-39 victory in the 1989 Holiday Bowl. USC's 31 first half points would have ranked as the second most points Penn State has ever given up in a bowl game.
• Mark Sanchez's four touchdown passes are an opponent bowl record against Penn State. The previous record was three held by Dennis Sproul, Arizona State, 1997 Fiesta Bowl and Art Schlichter, Ohio State, 1980 Fiesta Bowl.
• Sanchez's 429 yards of total offense (413 passing, 16 rushing) are the most given up by Penn State since Tim Schade of Minnesota posted 516 yards (478 pass, 59 rush) in 1993.
• Sanchez is the first player to pass for more than 400 yards vs. Penn State since Luke McCown of Louisiana Tech in 2002.
• Damian Williams' 162 yards receiving for USC set a new Penn State bowl opponent record breaking the mark of 145 yards set by Florida State's Ron Sellers in the 1967 Gator Bowl.
• Among the former Penn State players that attended the game were: Anthony Adams, Don Abbey, Bob Belus, Chris Campbell, Ki-Jana Carter, John Cappelletti, Tom Cherry, Keith Conlin, Keith Dorney, Greg Golanowski, Rosey Grier, Tamba Hali, Kenny Jackson, Gregg Johns, Bryant Johnson, Pete Johnson, Tim Johnson, Tony Johnson, Bruce Kordic, David Macklin, Guy Montecalvo, Mac Morrison, Doug Pysher, Matthew Rice, Michael Robinson, Brandon Short, Tony Stewart, Leroy Thompson, Kip Vernaglia and Curt Warner.