USC defeats Penn State 52-49 in Rose Bowl thriller
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Boermeester kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and No. 9 Southern California rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a spectacular 52-49 victory over No. 5 Penn State tonight in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played.
Freshman Sam Darnold passed for 453 yards and five touchdowns while leading a jaw-dropping comeback for the Trojans (10-3), who won their ninth consecutive game.
Deontay Burnett caught a tying 27-yard TD pass from Darnold with 1:20 to play, capping an 80-yard drive in 38 seconds with no timeouts available.
Leon McQuay III then intercepted a long pass by Penn State's Trace McSorley and returned it 32 yards to the Penn State 33 with 27 seconds left to set up Boermeester, who missed two earlier field goals. The junior confidently drilled the Rose Bowl winner, sprinting away to celebrate amid pandemonium in the packed stadium.
Trace McSorley passed for 254 yards and threw two of his four touchdown passes to Chris Godwin for the Nittany Lions (11-3), whose nine-game winning streak ended in heartbreaking fashion.
Saquon Barkley rushed for 194 yards and two TDs for the Nittany Lions, who followed up their 21-point comeback in the Big Ten title game with another ferocious rally.
But Darnold and the Trojans had something extra in one of the most entertaining evenings in the 103-game history of the Granddaddy of Them All.