|1944 Rose Bowl|
|Date||January 1, 1944|
|MVP||Norman Verry (G) – USC|
|Favorite||Washington: 5 to 2 odds|
|Referee||T.M. Fitzpatrick (Pacific Coast)|
The 1944 Rose Bowl was the thirtieth edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, January 1. This was the only Rose Bowl game with teams from the same conference (Pacific Coast), necessitated by the travel restrictions imposed by the war effort. It determined the champion of the PCC for the 1943 season and the USC Trojans shut out the Washington Huskies 29–0 in a one-sided game.
USC backup quarterback Jim Hardy threw three touchdown passes to lead the Trojans to their seventh Rose Bowl victory and eighth PCC championship.
For the first time, the Rose Bowl was broadcast on the radio abroad to all American servicemen, with General Eisenhower in Western Europe allowing all troops who were not on the front lines to tune in and listen.
Main article: 1943 college football season
Main article: 1943 Washington Huskies football team
Favored Washington won all four of its games in an abbreviated season without any PCC matchups, as the other five programs in the Northern Division were on hiatus in 1943 (and 1944). They played Whitman College, Spokane Air Command (twice), and the March Field Flyers. The Rose Bowl was the Huskies' sole conference game of the season; the three teams of the Southern Division (USC, UCLA, California) played each other twice; Stanford was on hiatus until the 1946 season.
Washington's most recent game was two months earlier on October 30, and they had lost a dozen players to active military duty since, including two of their best backs, Jay Stoves (a transfer from idle Washington State) and Pete Susick. Head coach Ralph Welch filled roster holes with Navy V-12 trainees and draft rejects who recently arrived on campus, leaving only 28 players available for the game. Oddsmakers made the Huskies two-touchdown favorites to beat USC, but the fielded team differed greatly from that of the regular season.
Main article: 1943 USC Trojans football team