PASADENA, Calif. — Penn State trailed by 13 points and led by 15 points, but ultimately fell short in an epic Rose Bowl on Monday night.
Southern Cal kicker Matt Boermeester’s 46-yard field goal as time expired propelled the Trojans to a 52-49 victory Monday in front of 95,128 fans at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium. USC scored the final 17 points of the game.
Penn State scored 21 points in the second quarter and another 28 in the third. But the slow starts and finishes did the Nittany Lions (11-3) in. Trace McSorley threw for 254 yards and had 5 total touchdowns, but also threw 3 interceptions, including one to set up the game-winning field goal for the Trojans (10-3).
Saquon Barkley had 194 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Chris Godwin had 9 catches for 187 yards and 2 scores.
Here is what coach James Franklin, Barkley and S Malik Golden said after the game:
- FRANKLIN: Obviously a lot of raw emotion in the locker room right now. That is natural. Players should have their chins high because of what they accomplished through the whole season. That is the story of this team. This game doesn’t define them.
- FRANKLIN: This might have been the most exciting Rose Bowl ever.
- FRANKLIN: The whole experience, from start to finish, was awesome.
- FRANKLIN: (We) turned the ball over too much. Can’t turn it over that many times. Fortunate to be in the game, in the lead with the amount of turnovers.
- FRANKLIN: Credit to (the) USC offensive line. Pass rush has been a strength all year, but (the) USC O-line neutralized us. (USC QB) Sam Darnold had too much time, too comfortable in the pocket.
- GOLDEN: First time I’ve ever cried after a lost in college. This really hurts.
- BARKLEY: Any loss hurts, whether it is Week 1 or Week 17. Why it hurts the most is for the seniors. Coach Franklin and the seniors have done such a great job for this program. We wanted to send the seniors off with a win.
- FRANKLIN: There was discussion on the headset to run the ball and play for overtime (on the final drive). That’s not who we are. We’ve been punting the ball really well. You can’t turn the ball over there. We thought let’s try to get a big play, and if not they had no timeouts.
- FRANKLIN: We hate first halves. We hate them. We said we were going to use our second-half game plan in the first half, but we turned the ball over. They had a weird kick and weird bounce on the opening kick and that started us off weird, but we persevered.
- FRANKLIN: Godwin is a special player. He just makes big plays. The catch with one hand behind him, the tipped ball touchdown. Just big plays.
- BARKLEY (On his 79-yard TD run): Coach (Joe) Moorhead made a great call. Got me in a spot with one guy, and just had to make one guy miss.
- FRANKLIN (On the future): It is continuing to develop the guys we have in our program. It is continue to recruit well. It is continuing to keep our staff intact for as long as we can. We have a lot of work to do. There are programs that have been at this level for a number of years, and it is a long, steady climb to get to that point.
- FRANKLIN (On McSorley): He’s pretty much Steady Eddie. Never gets too high, too low. Always has a belief in himself. We didn’t start the game well, no doubt, but we know he’s going to battle and make plays for us.
- FRANKLIN: Coaches were coming up to me in the locker room saying “Sorry” and I’m like, “Sorry? Sorry for what?” This was a team loss. We’ve had some special teams win this year.