Monthly Archives: December 2008


All the blog postings are over on the paper’s homepage and you can view my running updates by clicking on the link below.

You will find video updates from the press conferences as well. Thursday we have a special wrap coming out for the game, among the items in there are features on Joe Paterno, USC DB Josh Pinkard, linebacker Brian Cushing and running back Evan Royster.

All running updates from the game will appear in that section of the paper’s website as well. Comments and everything are welcomed at

Rose Bowl Blog


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On the way to L.A.

I’m about an hour from boarding to the left coast via Southwest and through Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

Just a quick note, the blog will be a little different once coverage begins tomorrow morning, all blog posts will be on the newspaper’s main page. I’ll throw the official  link up when I get out there.

A couple of notes.

As many already know, Fight On State reported last week that linebacker Bani Gbadyu did not make the trip. Looking over the transcript from player interviews yesterday it doesn’t appear that has been addressed by anyone yet. All FOS reported was it was an academic issue, and the source did not shed any light on the subject.

Also, FOS reported that wide receiver Jordan Norwood continues to be slowed by a foot/ankle injury.

A parting shot from left tackle Gerald Cadogan during yesterday’s press conference at the Hyatt talking about USC’s defense.

“Don’t be intimidated. Play smash mouth football. USC has a great defense. They are, quote-unquote, one of the best in the country. We just have to go out there and execute what we have to do and have been doing all season.”

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Staying in the USC loop

For those looking for a cup of the USC coffee, there’s a couple of newspapers and blogs you should check out regularly.

The Orange County Register does simply The USC Blog, pieced together by Michael Lev of the OCR staff.

TrojanWire is another good read.

USCBlitz has pretty much everything you need too.

AllThingsTrojan from the L.A. Times is also the way to go. You have to navigate some basketball stuff on there because it’s everything USC athletics related. But There’s some good info on there including a copy of the Pete Carroll interview from 60 Minutes, which is must watch T.V.

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Trojans QB returns to practice

Mark Sanchez is back at USC practice after taking some time off.

After taking some brutal shots against UCLA in the season finale in which the Trojans clinched the Pac-10 title, Sanchez was back in full swing Thursday as USC got back to fulltime work outs.

The Trojans will tangle with Penn State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

In other USC news, defensive backs coach Rocky Seto will  be staying with the school after the Rose Bowl. Seto turned down an offer to follow outgoing offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to become the new defensive coordinator at Washington.

I actually just talked to Seto yesterday for a story running on Jan. 1 about defensive back Josh Pinkard. The guy is as polite, energetic and intense as it gets, and that was just from talking to him 10 minutes on the phone.


Several players in the Rose Bowl will flirt with the possibility of going to the NFL after the game. Among them, Sanchez, and Aaron Maybin.

Interesting about Maybin, Mel Kiper said last night on ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman that if Maybin comes out early he is surely an “early first round pick.”

The interesting thing about those consideirng the early entry option, with a possible lockout coming in 2011 and rookie’s salaries affected, why not get out of college now and get your money if you can? I think it’s foolish for anyone in the current climate to stay if they can get big bucks now. Cash in now and get paid, worry about the lockout three years from now.

I think right now it’s 50-50 that Maybin stays or goes. He has a national stage to shine on against NFL quality opponents. A big Rose Bowl even in a  losing effort could go a long way in determining what Maybin does. projects Maybin as the No. 1 defensive end prospect in the Draft class of 2011 and say  his stock is rising. Note that the site ranks players based on when their senior year would be.

Kiper thinks Maybin is a defensive end/outside linebacker in the NFL. Kiper also said last night that Derrick Williams is an obvious NFL pick, but said to keep an eye on Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood and Gerald Cadogan.

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Honors keep coming for Shipley

Penn State center A.Q. Shipley, who picked up the Rimington award last week and was named an All-American  by the Associated Press this week, was named an All-American by ESPN today.

PSU SID Jeff Nelson issued a release today about the honor.

Penn State Senior center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis) has been  selected an All-American by, which selects just one All-America team.  Recipient of the 2008 Rimington Trophy as the nation’s outstanding center, Shipley previously was selected a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America All-America and Walter Camp Football Foundation and a second-team All-American by the Associated Press and

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Newsome selects PSU, Paterno deal official

Virginia preps quarterback Kevin Newsome has selected Penn State over Virginia Tech, according to multiple reports. Newsome fills a much needed void for the Nittany Lions and is the 22nd player to verbal to the Nittany Lions.

Also, in a statement released by Penn State athletics, Jeff Nelson confirms the earlier report of a new contract for head coach Joe Paterno.

University President Graham Spanier and Athletic Director Tim Curley announced today an agreement that will provide for the opportunity of Coach Joe Paterno leading the football program through the 2011 season.  It was also agreed that the parties might re-evaluate their circumstances and alter the arrangement by either shortening or extending its length as necessary. 

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Three more years for Joe? is reporting this afternoon that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has agreed in principle to a new three year deal with the school. Officially announcement, according to the report, is expected to come later this week.

Paterno said last week at Rose Bowl media day that he feels great coming off the heels of his successful hip replacement surgery and he has reiterated several times in recent weeks he had all plans of returning to coach the team in 2009.

University president Graham Spanier said earlier this year that there would be no long-term contract that if Paterno continued to coach it would be on a year-to-year basis and no further word would come until after the season. Paterno said last week at media day that he had had some informal discussions with Spanier and athletics director Tim Curley about a new deal and that he hoped to have something done before the team heads to California for the Rose Bowl against USC on Jan. 1.

(UPDATE: 4:10 p.m.)

Official word from Penn State on this story is such: “It’s speculative at this point,” SID Jeff Nelson said via e-mail.

Four Lions named AP All-Americans

Defensive end Aaron Maybin, center A.Q. Shipley, guard Rich Ohrnberger and wide receiver/kick returner Derrick Williams were all named All-Americans by the Associated Press this afternoon. Maybin was tabbed first team, Shipley second and Ohrnberger and Williams third.

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