In this edition of the roundtable we look ahead to the Rose Bowl and project how things will go for the Trojans:
Who will score the first USC points?
Garry Paskwietz: Adoree’ Jackson will take the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.
Johnny Curren: Sam Darnold will hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a long touchdown pass on USC’s first possession.
Greg Katz: Wide receiver Deontay Burnett. He will run a corner pattern for a 17-yard touchdown reception for the first score from Sam Darnold.
HelixTrojan: RB Ronald Jones will score the first Trojan touchdown on a short run near the goal line.
Who will get the first defensive turnover?
GP: Rasheem Green will get a strip sack and the fumble will be recovered by Porter Gustin
JC: Stevie Tu’ikolovatu will recover a fumble after Cameron Smith forces Saquon Barkley to cough the ball up.
GK: Corner Biggie Marshall will step in to make a key interception in the second quarter.
HT: LB Michael Hutchings will recover a Penn State fumble.
Who will make a big play in the game?
GP: Sam Darnold will hit a long touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster
JC: Adoree’ Jackson will return a kickoff for a long score just when it looks like Penn State is seizing momentum.
GK: Sam Darnold will run an 8-yard quarterback draw midway in the fourth quarter.
HT: Adoree Jackson will make the biggest play of the game on a punt return that opens up a lead for USC.
Who will be the unsung hero of the game?
GP: Deontay Burnett will be a steady presence in the USC passing game
JC: Tu’ikolovatu, because he will clog up the middle, making it impossible for Barkley to ever really get rolling. As a result, all of the pressure will be placed squarely on the shoulders of Trace McSorley, who will have difficulty dealing with the Trojans’ pass rush.
GK: Returning to his great moments against UCLA in the Rose Bowl, wide receiver De’Quan Hampton will make three key receptions, which will result in a first down in the fourth quarter that will lead to the winning USC score.
HT: TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe will really be a factor in this game, and will hurt Penn State’s defense in the middle of the field.
Who will be the player of the game?
GP: Stevie Tu’ikolovatu will dominate the middle of the line of the scrimmage to slow the Penn State running game, which will be a big key for the Trojan victory
JC: Darnold, because he will continue to do the same thing that he has done ever since taking the reins of the Trojans’ offense – lead the team to a victory with his unique playmaking ability – both as a passer as well as with his feet – and his cool and calm demeanor on the field.
GK: Sam Darnold will provide a performance that will lay the foundation for a run at the 2017 Heisman. He’ll throw for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and one touchdown run.
HT: QB Sam Darnold will be the player of the game because of his efficiency, especially in the red zone.