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USC wins Emerald Bowl amid distractions

Updated: December 27, 2009, 9:57 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPN Los Angeles

SAN FRANCISCO -- The mud had dried on receiver Damian Williams' uniform, turning a chalky tan color and giving him the look of a man who had been crawling through the muck for hours. His smile was pure white.

Maybe it was the perfect image for USC's tumultuous 2009 season.

In the end, the staggering behemoth shook off the scrappy overachievers on a sloppy field, as USC steadied itself with a 24-13 victory over Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Saturday night.

It wasn't ...

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