1939 Rose Bowl
25th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
USC 0007 7
Duke 0003 3
DateJanuary 2, 1939
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPAl Krueger  (USC E)
Doyle Nave (USC QB)
FavoriteUSC by 10 to 14 points[1][2]
RefereeBob Morris (Pacific Coast;
split crew: Pacific Coast, Southern) [3]
Rose Bowl
 < 1938  1940

The 1939 Rose Bowl was the 25th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Monday, January 2 and concluded the 1938 college football season.

The seventh-ranked USC Trojans of the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) downed the undefeated #3 Duke Blue Devils of the Southern Conference, 7–3.[3][4][5][6]

Scoreless after three quarters, Duke gained the lead with a 23-yard field goal by Tony Ruffa early in the fourth. However, backup quarterback Doyle Nave of the Trojans completed four straight passes to sophomore end "Antelope" Al Krueger, who outmaneuvered Eric "The Red" Tipton and scored the winning touchdown with one minute remaining. Krueger's touchdown marked the first points scored against Duke during the season.[4][5]

For his performance in the game, Krueger was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in the class of 1995.[7]


First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter


Team Stats USC Duke
First downs 13 5
Rushing yards 128 84
Passing (att–com–int) 30–12–3 13–4–2
Passing yards 81 59
Total offense 209 143



  1. ^ McLemore, Henry (January 2, 1939). "Trojans held big favorites to win over Blue Devils". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 1, sports.
  2. ^ "U.S.C. favored in Rose battle". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1939. p. 12.
  3. ^ a b McLemore, Henry (January 3, 1939). "USC's story-book finish beats Duke". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 22.
  4. ^ a b Zimmerman, Paul (January 3, 1939). "Trojans stain Duke's record in final minute, 7 to 3". Miami News. Associated Press. p. 2B.
  5. ^ a b "Southern California snags win in closing minutes". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 3, 1939. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Trojans favored over Duke in Rose Bowl game today". Miami News. INS. January 2, 1939. p. 2B.
  7. ^ 2009 Kickoff Luncheon and Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction program
  8. ^ 2013 Rose Bowl Game Historical Media Guide, Tournament of Roses Association, December 2012