Penn State was anxious to get to the left coast. The Nittany Lions made their Los Angeles arrival on Sunday, 12 days before they’re scheduled to take the field against the 5th ranked Trojans. They’ll be rooming in Santa Monica, and conducting practices at the Home Depot Center.
The 6th ranked Lions haven’t played a football game in over a month, since defeating Michigan State on November 15th to claim the Big 10 championship and secure the Rose Bowl birth. The program hasn’t been to Los Angeles since it defeated Oregon in the 1995 Rose Bowl, and hasn’t faced USC since losing the College Football Kickoff Classic of 2000, playing in East Rutherford New Jersey. Their last defeat of the Trojans came one year prior, in the same Kickoff Classic game.
Penn State has never beaten USC in Los Angeles (0-3), including a loss in the 1923 Rose Bowl game. They’ve only played and defeated one Pac 10 program since last losing to the Trojans in ’02, and that was the 45-14 destruction of Oregon State earlier this year. They’re a confident bunch that earlier wished for the match up with Southern Cal, and now they’ve got it. They’ll be carrying the pride of the Big 10, a frustrated conference that has dropped the last 8 games to the Cardinal and Gold.