1946 Rose Bowl
32nd Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
USC 00014 14
Alabama 71377 34
DateJanuary 1, 1946
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPHarry Gilmer (Alabama HB)
FavoriteAlabama by 13 points[1][2]
RefereeOrian Landreth (Pacific Coast;
split crew: Pacific Coast, SEC) [3]
Rose Bowl
 < 1945  1947

The 1946 Rose Bowl was the 32nd edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday, January 1.

The game matched the undefeated Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the #7 Trojans of the University of Southern California of the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC).[4] The Tide defeated the underdog Trojans 34–14.[5][3][6][7] It was Alabama's sixth and final trip to the Rose Bowl until their College Football Playoff semifinal appearance in 2021 and Frank Thomas' final bowl trip as head coach.

Game summary

Alabama, known as the "wooden horse" led at the half 20–0 and the Trojans had a net loss of 24 yards. USC, which had won eight straight Rose Bowl games since 1923, didn't make a first down until the third quarter when the score was 27–0.

Alabama outgained USC 351 to 41 yards. Quarterback Harry Gilmer threw only eleven times in the game for one touchdown and ran for 116 yards on 16 carries. Hal Self scored twice, on a one-yard run and on a 24-yard Gilmer pass. Gilmer went over from the one, and Lowell Tew hit left guard from the two for points and Norwood Hodges scored up the middle on a one-yard plunge. Hugh Morrow kicked four extra points in the game.[5][3][6][7][8]


First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


Following this game, the PCC and Big Nine (now Pac-12 and Big Ten) entered into an exclusive five-year agreement for their champions to meet in the Rose Bowl. It has been extended numerous times, and outside of rotations in the playoffs, it continues. Both conferences openly admitted restricting the Rose Bowl, because they were tired of getting beaten by teams playing "hillbilly ball," the same reason they cited for not inviting them before 1920.

This was the last Rose Bowl appearance by an SEC team for 72 years, when Georgia defeated Oklahoma in a national semifinal in early 2018. The first break in the Pac-12/Big Ten arrangement came in 2002, when it was the BCS Championship Game between Nebraska and Miami.


Statistics USC Alabama
First downs 3 18
Rushing yards 6 292
Passing yards 35 59

See also


  1. ^ Frawley, Frank (December 31, 1945). "Victory seen for Tide in Rose Bowl battle". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). Associated Press. p. 7.
  2. ^ "13 bowl games to launch greatest year in sports". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 31, 1945. p. 13.
  3. ^ a b c "'Bama humbles USC in Rose Bowl, 34-14". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. January 2, 1946. p. 24.
  4. ^ Rose Bowl Game Timeline, Tournament of Roses
  5. ^ a b bassett, Norman (January 2, 1946). "Tide crushes great USC eleven; gala homecoming planned here". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Becker, Bill (January 2, 1946). "Alabama beats U.S.C., 34-14". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 7.
  7. ^ a b "Alabama wallops Trojans, 34 to 14". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1946. p. 8.
  8. ^ 2009 Alabama Postseason Media Guide, University of Alabama, December 2009