PASADENA, Calif., Sporting Alert – Matt Boermeester made a 46-yard field goal as time expired to lead No. 5 Penn State to a 52-49 victory over No. 9 USC in the Rose Bowl on Monday night.
THRILLING ROSE BOWL FINISH
With the game locked at 49-49 after freshman quarterback Sam Darnold connected with Deontay Burnett with a 27 yard pass for a touchdown with 1:20 left, Boermeester held his nerve to successfully make the winning field goal for the Trojans.
USC (10-3) led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and 20-7 midway through the second quarter.
However, the Nittany Lions finished the first half strongly to cut the deficit to 27-21 heading into the break.
The run continued into the second half and extended to 28-0.
Penn State (11-3) outscored USC 28-8 in the third quarter to lead 49-35 going into the final period.
IMPORTANT RUN IN BOWL WIN
The Trojans replied with a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to knot the game at 49 before Leon McQuay III intercepted Trace McSorley pass and returned it 32 yards to the Penn State 33 with 0:27 remaining.
“It’s beautiful,” McQuay said. “This is a special group of guys. Oh man, this is the time to step up. This is the time to make plays.”
The effort helped to setup field goal position for Boermeester to strike home with his left foot as USC won its ninth consecutive game.
Darnold completed 33 of 53 passes for 453 yards and five touchdowns, while Deontay Burnett caught 13 of his 17 targets for 164 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans (10-3), who won their first Rose Bowl since 2009.
“It was a whole team effort,” Darnold said. “That’s the way it’s been all year. We never gave up.”
Trace McSorley threw for 254 yards and had four touchdown passes, two of which was caught by Chris Godwin for Penn State, which had its nine-game winning streak snapped.
Saquon Barkley rushed for 194 yards and two scored in the defeat for the Big Ten champions.