Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
PASADENA, Calif. -- Penn State won the first quarter 7-7.
The Nittany Lions won the quarter because the score is tied despite two huge plays -- one on offense and one on defense -- killed by penalties.
Defensive end Aaron Maybin was offsides when he forced a fumble from USC quarterback Mark Sanchez in Trojans territory. USC regrouped and finished an 86-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to Damian Williams.
No matter. The Nittany Lions bounced back and finished the 80-yard drive when Clark slashed in from nine yards out.
Penn State didn't come out intimidated by the USC defense, and they've made plays both running and passing.
USC's offense also won early battles with Penn State's touted defense.
So maybe the defenses won't rule the day.