The Rose Bowl is called the “Grand Daddy of em all’ when referring to college bowl games. This year was your typical Rose Bowl match up between the Pac 12 and Big 10. The USC Trojans and Penn State Nittany Lions were two top ten teams looking to end on a great note in this historic game. The Trojans were able to rally in the fourth quarter as they pulled off the biggest Rose Bowl comeback ever in a 52-49 win.
Fabulous freshman leads men of Troy
USC has found their quarterback for the next couple years and he has continued to deliver in big games. Sam Darnold has helped rejuvenate this offense since being named the starter after a rough start with Max Browne. Darnold was nothing short of spectacular as he helped rally USC to their 25th Rose Bowl victory. He would finish with a Rose Bowl record with 473 total yards of offense and five touchdowns. In the fourth quarter he was as clutch as one could be going 10 for 10 and leading two touchdown drives. His confidence in the pocket and ability to scramble gave the offense plenty to work with. Expect Darnold to receive plenty of Heisman talk early next year.
Deontay Burnett comes up big
In the many USC Rose Bowl victories, there have always been a number of wide receivers that have had huge games. This year, Deontay Burnett proved to be Sam Darnold’s favorite target during the game. The sophomore caught 13 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns. His last touchdown tied the game up at 49-49 which was a tough catch across the middle. Burnett has stepped up this year after the injury to fellow receiver Steven Mitchell as he saw more time in the slot. The Penn State secondary had a rough day containing Burnett all game long. This connection between Darnold and Burnett has been good all year and should continue to grow heading into next season.
Despite the loss, Penn State has a bright future
The Nittany Lions have built a solid foundation with head coach James Franklin. Penn State started off rough in this game with quarterback Trace McSorley’s first two passes being intercepted. He would then bounce back along with running back Saquon Barkley as they took the momentum late in the game. USC had issues stopping the run as Barkley ran for nearly 200 yards. The third quarter looked as if Penn State was going to run away with this game as they outscored USC 28 to 7. With McSorley and Barkley being underclassmen, the Nittany Lions are in a good position to return back to Rose Bowl if everything works out.