The Trojan Marching Band performs at the 2009 Rose Bowl. (Photo/Mark Holtzman)


One for the ages: USC pulls out unforgettable last-second Rose Bowl win

The No. 9 Trojans come out on top over No. 5 Penn State 52-49.

January 02, 2017 USC News staff

Updated 9:28 p.m. Sunday:

The No. 9 USC Trojans pulled out an improbable victory over No. 5 Penn State on Monday, with a last-second field goal to win “The Granddaddy of Them All” 52-49.

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No. 9 USC and No. 5 Penn State — the hottest teams in college football right now with a combined 17 consecutive wins — face off in the 2017 Rose Bowl Game. The 103rd version of “The Granddaddy of Them All” is a classic Pac-12/Big Ten meeting between collegiate programs with storied gridiron traditions.

While it will be the 10th meeting between USC and Penn State, it will be just the third time the teams meet in Pasadena. Their most recent matchup came in each squad’s last Rose Bowl appearance, as Troy prevailed in the 2009 Rose Bowl.

It’s a 94-year-old rematch of the first Rose Bowl Game played in the current Pasadena stadium, the 1923 edition that was the initial bowl contest for both schools.

USC will be making an unprecedented 33rd trip to the Rose Bowl Game, where it has won 75 percent of the time, including 11 of the past 13. The Trojans, one of the nation’s premier bowl teams, have been victorious in nearly two-thirds of their 50 bowl appearances, including eight of the past 10.

Some other notes:

• The Pasadena stadium is USC’s home away from home. The Trojans have played more than 50 games there, including a win last month over crosstown foe UCLA. In fact, Troy played the first-ever football game in the Rose Bowl Stadium, versus California in 1922.

• USC, aiming for a 10-win season, has fared well historically against the Big Ten, in season enders, on Mondays, in January and on Jan. 2.

• USC’s appearance in the 2017 Rose Bowl keeps alive an amazing streak: The Trojans will have played in the Rose Bowl Game during the term of every U.S. president since 1929.

• After starting off 1-3 in 2016, the Trojans are on an eight-game winning streak (their longest since 2008-09), including decisive regular season-ending victories over traditional rivals UCLA and Notre Dame.

• USC is playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules. All three of Troy’s losses in 2016 have been to AP Top 25 teams away from home.

• Both USC and Penn State own 2016 wins over a team playing in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

• Both USC and Penn State have a rich tradition of players moving on to the NFL. USC currently has 39 players in the NFL, while Penn State has 31.

Find out more on the USC Athletics website.