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2017 Rose Bowl, Penn State vs. USC, Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

Rose Bowl Prediction, Penn State vs. USC Game Preview, History, Scores


Three reasons why you should watch the Rose Bowl between Penn State (11-2) and USC (9-3), why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


200-roseBroadcast

Date: January 2nd, 2017
Game Time: 5:00 pm
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Network: ESPN

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Scroll down for the video preview and bowl history

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness (1 best-40 worst): 3 out of 40

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Rose Bowl

Okay, Penn State. You wanted to be in the College Football Playoff? Prove it. Ohio State could win the national title, and Penn State would still have deserved to have been in the College Football Playoff. After all, it won the best conference in college football, won the Big Ten title, beat Ohio State, and yada, yada, yada. You’ve heard it all way too often. Fine. Penn State, now it’s up to you to rip it up and dominate the Trojans, take the Rose Bowl, and let everyone else do the “this team should’ve been in” told-you-so screaming for you.

Okay, USC. You wanted to be known as the best team that didn’t get into the College Football Playoff? Prove it. Yeah, USC went on an eight-win game roll to close things out, doubled up Washington in Seattle, and roared past USC and Notre Dame on the way to winning seven of those eight games by double-digits, and yada, yada, yada. You’ve heard it way too often. Fine. USC, now it’s up to you to rip it up and dominate the Nittany Lions, take the Rose Bowl, and let everyone else do the “this really was the best team” told-you-so screaming for you.

It’s the resurgence bowl. No matter what you think about the Penn State situation, it really is impressive how the program went from nearly being handed a type of death penalty – or close to it – to win the Big Ten title a few years later. Remember, when James Franklin took over, Penn State was about to deal with a bowl ban, scholarship restrictions, and all the problems the NCAA wanted to dish out.

USC knows all about NCAA issues and scholarship restrictions.

The Trojans have been close to coming back, but this is it. This is the moment when USC can make a giant statement to show that it really and truly is on the verge of becoming a superpower again. No, it’s not in the College Football Playoff, but winning the Rose Bowl is always going to make a season a massive success.

Here’s Why Penn State Will Win The Rose Bowl

Yeah, USC beat Washington and Colorado, but … Washington and Colorado didn’t beat anyone, and those were the only two wins this year over teams that went bowling. If you believe the Pac-12 stunk this season – and it certainly did in non-conference play – then there’s a chance this could be a massively overrated Trojan team. At the very least, the eight-game winning streak – Washington win and all – was overblown.

Penn State, get bombing. The USC secondary got hit hard all season long, and it wasn’t just because it played in the tippy-tappy, pass-happy Pac-12. Everyone threw for 200 yards or more except for Arizona and Stanford, and at least those two came up with a touchdown throw. As Penn State showed late in the year, and especially against Wisconsin, the offense can push the ball deep with the tough, big receivers able to outplay smallish defensive backs to attack the ball. No quarterback was hotter over the last two games of the season than Trace McSorley – hitting 39-of-54 passes for 760, eight touchdowns and no picks – and he’ll be helped by …

A healthy Saquon Barkley. Not quite right over the last few weeks of the season, he’s had a month off and should be ready to rock. When he’s right, he might just be the best running back in college football, taking off for over 200 yards against both Maryland and Purdue, and dominating around the goal line with 19 total touchdowns. USC has the speed, but it’ll have to deal with the Nittany Lion power to go along with Barkley’s quickness.

Here’s Why USC Will Win The Rose Bowl

This is a very, very slow starting Penn State team. It’s cliché, but it’s true. If you could match the Penn State second halves with the first halves, you’d have something truly special. Wisconsin appeared to be in total control, and then the Nittany Lions woke up and blew the Badgers’ doors off. That was a common theme at times throughout the year, but USC it a team of momentum. Once it gets on a roll, it seems to perk up and plays with an extra step and more pep. Ask Washington how that works when the Trojans are feeling it – and check out that Alabama game when they’re not.

As good as the Penn State offense is … it’s miserable on third downs. This is a big play offense that chucks it downfield and takes plenty of deep shots, but it doesn’t do much to move the chains converting just 32% of the third down tries. Against Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions converted 9-of-32 chances. By the way, the USC D is 15th in the nation on third downs.

Sam Darnold, the stage is yours. There might be plenty of great players returning across the country – including Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield – but Darnold will be No. 1A or 1B on everyone’s preseason Heisman list if he comes up with a giant game.

Okay, so he puts the ball on the turf, and he’s thrown eight picks, but he’s got the NFL size, the NFL arm, and the NFL mobility to utilize all of his weapons to bomb away on a Penn State secondary that got hit for 200 yards or more in six of the last eight games before the Big Ten Championship, and Wisconsin’s Bart Houston hit 16-of-21 passes.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Rose Bowl

Penn State, be better in bowl games. The program used to be a star in bowls, going through a nice stretch from the 1994 Citrus to the 2007 Alamo winning 9-of-11 games. Obviously, it’s a new era, new team, and there might have been a few issues over the last few years, but ever since losing the 2009 Rose to USC, Penn State has lost four of its last six bowls.

Meanwhile, USC has stayed terrific. It didn’t show up in the 2012 Sun loss to Georgia Tech, and it lost late to Wisconsin in the Holiday, but it’s won six of its last eight and nine of its last 13 bowls. And in case you’re counting, USC beat Penn State in the 1923 Rose.

Make The Rose Bowl Great Again. Sorry, but it’s too easy. The Rose Bowl was fantastic for a five-year stretch from Ohio State’s 2010 win over Oregon to Michigan State’s 2014 win over Stanford, but the last two – Oregon’s CFP win over Florida State and the Stanford McCaffreys over Iowa – have been brutal, decided by a final score of 104-36.

JuJu Smith-Schuster could use a big game. The USC star might be among the best receivers in college football, and the pros love him, but he’s had a problem fading big-time late in years. He didn’t come up with more than 80 yards receiving in his final six games of his freshman season, failed to get 90 or more in the final five games last year, and was held to 76 yards or fewer over the final five games this season.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Rose Bowl?

Will the Pac-12 Was Overblown belief system hold? Yeah.

The Trojans have the talent, the athletes, and the playmakers on both sides of the ball, showing off what they could do over that eight-game winning streak. But Penn State has the far more legitimate wins.

The Nittany Lion offense will be balanced throughout, the defensive line will get to Darnold, and the D will come up with three key takeaways to take over in the second half.

The easy assumption will be that USC will roll close to home, but this Nittany Lion team is different. It’s going to play like the champion of the best conference in college football.

Final Score

Penn State 26, USC 23

Line

USC -6.5, o/u: 60

ATS Confidence: 3.5
5: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score in your favorite bar
0: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score after covering a College Football Playoff semifinal

Must See Rating: 5
5: New Year’s Eve: Defected In The House, Ministry of Sound, London
0: New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Special Co-Host Kathy Griffin

Get Tickets For The Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl History, Results

Jan. 1, 2016 Stanford 45 Iowa 16
Jan. 1, 2015 Oregon 59 Florida State 20
Jan. 1, 2014 Michigan State 24 Stanford 20
Jan. 1, 2013 Stanford 20 Wisconsin 14
Jan. 2, 2012 Oregon 45 Wisconsin 38
Jan. 1, 2011 TCU 21 Wisconsin 19
Jan. 1, 2010 Ohio State 26 Oregon 17
Jan. 1, 2009 USC 38 Penn State 24
Jan. 1, 2008 USC 49 Illinois 17
Jan. 1, 2007 USC 32 Michigan 18
Jan. 4, 2006 Texas 41 USC 38
Jan. 1, 2005 Texas 38 Michigan 37
Jan. 1, 2004 USC 28 Michigan 14
Jan. 1, 2003 Oklahoma 34 Washington State 14
Jan. 3, 2002 Miami 37 Nebraska 14
Jan. 1, 2001 Washington 34 Purdue 24
Jan. 1, 2000 Wisconsin 17 Stanford 9
Jan. 1, 1999 Wisconsin 38 UCLA 31
Jan. 1, 1998 Michigan 21 Washington State 16
Jan. 1, 1997 Ohio State 20 Arizona State 17
Jan. 1, 1996 USC 41 Northwestern 32
Jan. 2, 1995 Penn State 38 Oregon 20
Jan. 1, 1994 Wisconsin 21 UCLA 16
Jan. 1, 1993 Michigan 38 Washington 31
Jan. 1, 1992 Washington 34 Michigan 14
Jan. 1, 1991 Washington 46 Iowa 34
Jan. 1, 1990 USC 17 Michigan 10
Jan. 2, 1989 Michigan 22 USC 14
Jan. 1, 1988 Michigan State 20 USC 17
Jan. 1, 1987 Arizona State 22 Michigan 15
Jan. 1, 1986 UCLA 45 Iowa 28
Jan. 1, 1985 USC 20 Ohio State 17
Jan. 2, 1984 UCLA 45 Illinois 9
Jan. 1, 1983 UCLA 24 Michigan 14
Jan. 1, 1982 Washington 28 Iowa 0
Jan. 1, 1981 Michigan 23 Washington 6
Jan. 1, 1980 USC 17 Ohio State 16
Jan. 1, 1979 USC 17 Michigan 10
Jan. 2, 1978 Washington 27 Michigan 20
Jan. 1, 1977 USC 14 Michigan 6
Jan. 1, 1976 UCLA 23 Ohio State 10
Jan. 1, 1975 USC 18 Ohio State 17
Jan. 1, 1974 Ohio State 42 USC 21
Jan. 1, 1973 USC 42 Ohio State 17
Jan. 1, 1972 Stanford 13 Michigan 12
Jan. 1, 1971 Stanford 27 Ohio State 17
Jan. 1, 1970 USC 10 Michigan 3
Jan. 1, 1969 Ohio State 27 USC 16
Jan. 1, 1968 USC 14 Indiana 3
Jan. 2, 1967 Purdue 14 USC 13
Jan. 1, 1966 UCLA 14 Michigan State 12
Jan. 1, 1965 Michigan 34 Oregon State 7
Jan. 1, 1964 Illinois 17 Washington 7
Jan. 1, 1963 USC 42 Wisconsin 37
Jan. 2, 1962 Minnesota 21 UCLA 3
Jan. 2, 1961 Washington 17 Minnesota 7
Jan. 1, 1960 Washington 44 Wisconsin 8
Jan. 1, 1959 Iowa 38 California 12
Jan. 1, 1958 Ohio State 10 Oregon 7
Jan. 1, 1957 Iowa 35 Oregon State 19
Jan. 2, 1956 Michigan State 17 UCLA 14
Jan. 1, 1955 Ohio State 20 USC 7
Jan. 1, 1954 Michigan State 28 UCLA 20
Jan. 1, 1953 USC 7 Wisconsin 0
Jan. 1, 1952 Illinois 40 Stanford 7
Jan. 1, 1951 Michigan 14 California 6
Jan. 2, 1950 Ohio State 17 California 14
Jan. 1, 1949 Northwestern 20 California 14
Jan. 1, 1948 Michigan 49 USC 0
Jan. 1, 1947 Illinois 45 UCLA 14
Jan. 1, 1946 Alabama 34 USC 14
Jan. 1, 1945 USC 25 Tennessee 0
Jan. 1, 1944 USC 29 Washington 0
Jan. 1, 1943 Georgia 9 UCLA 0
Jan. 1, 1942 Oregon State 20 Duke 16
Jan. 1, 1941 Stanford 21 Nebraska 13
Jan. 1, 1940 USC 14 Tennessee 0
Jan. 2, 1939 USC 7 Duke 3
Jan. 1, 1938 California 13 Alabama 0
Jan. 1, 1937 Pittsburgh 21 Washington 0
Jan. 1, 1936 Stanford 7 SMU 0
Jan. 1, 1935 Alabama 29 Stanford 13
Jan. 1, 1934 Columbia 7 Stanford 0
Jan. 2, 1933 USC 35 Pittsburgh 0
Jan. 1, 1932 USC 21 Tulane 12
Jan. 1, 1931 Alabama 24 Washington State 0
Jan. 1, 1930 USC 47 Pittsburgh 14
Jan. 1, 1929 Georgia Tech 8 California 7
Jan. 2, 1928 Stanford 7 Pittsburgh 6
Jan. 1, 1927 Stanford 7 Alabama 7
Jan. 1, 1926 Alabama 20 Washington 19
Jan. 1, 1925 Notre Dame 27 Stanford 10
Jan. 1, 1924 Washington 14 Navy 14
Jan. 1, 1923 USC 14 Penn State 3
Jan. 2, 1922 California 0 Wash. & Jeff. 0
Jan. 1, 1921 California 28 Ohio State 0
Jan. 1, 1920 Harvard 7 Oregon 6
Jan. 1, 1919 Great Lakes-US Navy 17 Mare Island 0
Jan. 1, 1918 Mare Island-USMC 19 Camp Lewis-US Army 7
Jan. 1, 1917 Oregon 14 Pennsylvania 0
Jan. 1, 1916 Washington State 14 Brown 0
Jan. 1, 1902 Michigan 49 Stanford 0