By Benjamin Rodriguez
On Monday, January, 2 the USC Trojans took on the Penn State Nittany Lions in what would be one of the most historic Rose Bowl games to date.
The first quarter saw the Nittany Lions struggle against the Trojan defense. The Nittany Lion’s quarterback Trace Mcsorley threw two interceptions on his first two pass attempts of the game. Mcsorley only managed two passing yards throughout the first quarter. Sam Darnold and the high powered Trojan offense took off ending the first quarter leading 13-0.
After being shut out in the first quarter, the Nittany Lions looked rejuvenated in the second quarter going blow for blow with the Trojans. The Nittany Lions started scoring when running back Saquon Barkley ran 24 yards for a touchdown. The Trojans answered with a three yard touchdown pass from Sam Darnold to Deontay Burnett. The Nittany Lions answered with a 30 yard touchdown pass from Trace Mcsorley to Chris Godwin who would have an amazing day racking up 187 yards 2 touchdowns on 8 catches.. The Trojans responded with another three yard touchdown pass this time to Darreus Rogers. The half would come to an end with the USC Trojans leading the Penn State Nittany Lions 27-21.
The second half didn’t start the way the Trojans had hoped, as running back Saquon Barkley took the ball 79 yards weaving between defenders for a touchdown. Penn state struck again with a 72 yard touchdown pass from Mcsorley to Godwin who made an amazing catch extending the Penn State lead to 35-27. Penn State struck again when Trace Mcsorley ran it in from three yards out making the score 42-27. After allowing 21 unanswered points Sam Darnold was able to find Juju Smith- Schuster for a 13 yard touchdown pass. Darnold then found Taylor Mcnamara to cash in on the 2- point conversion attempt making the score 42-35. Penn State would add another touchdown pass this time from Mcsorley to Saquon Barkley.
Then the fourth quarter started and the momentum shifted. With 8:15 left in the game Ronald Jones II ran it in for a three yard touchdown making the score 49-42. With 1:58 left in the game Sam Darnold lead the Trojans on a 38 second, 80 yard drive that was capped off with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Darnold to Deontay Burnett, which knotted the game at 49. Mcsorley who had thrown for 254 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions made the mistake of lobbing a deep pass into the hands of USC corner Leon McQuay III who returned it 32 yards. After two plays Sam Darnold ran the clock down to 5 seconds and spiked the ball. Then USC kicker Matt Boermeester who had missed two kicks earlier in the game had taken the field. The ball was snapped and Boermeester nailed the field goal giving the USC Trojans a victory in the highest scoring Rose Bowl game ever.