PASADENA—The 103rd Rose Bowl was in one word, epic. The USC Trojans knocked off the Penn State Nittany Lions, 52-49, on Monday, January 2 at the iconic Rose Bowl. The 95,000 fans who filled the Rose Bowl witnessed a flurry of offense, 101 total points, as the Trojans engineered a dramatic fourth quarter comeback culminating with Matt Boremeester’s 46-yd GW field goal as time expired.
The stadium was on pins and needles, since Boremeester had missed two field goals earlier in the game, however, this kick was good and everyone went nuts!
The Rose Bowl went wild. Obviously, fans stormed the field, tore down the goal post and looked for someone to share the moment with. This 4-hour plus game was one for the ages. A seesaw battle that actually lived up to the expectations.
True freshman QB Sam Darnold broke a Rose Bowl record by throwing 5 TDs and passing 453 yards. His favorite targets were Juju Smith-Schuster and Deontay Burnett, who grabbed 13 receptions, 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Time after time the Nittany Lions had the opportunity to put the game away but the Trojans wouldn’t surrender. Although their defense gave up a record 49 points., They forced 3 key turnovers including an interception with seconds left in the game. Since the game was played on a Monday, I’ll do some Tuesday morning quarterbacking.
Penn State elected to go for the win instead of doing the prudent thing of taking the game into overtime, especially considering QB Trace McSorley having had almost thrown an pick on the previous play. Well, Leon McQuay III was not going to drop two in a row.
USC captured their 25th Rose Bowl victory, and you guessed it, it’s a record!