1977 Rose Bowl
63rd Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Michigan 0600 6
USC 0707 14
DateJanuary 1, 1977
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPVince Evans (USC QB)
FavoriteMichigan by 4 to 6 points[1][2]
RefereeJames Mercer (Pac-8);
(split crew: Pac-8, Big Ten)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersCurt Gowdy, Don Meredith
Rose Bowl
 < 1976  1978

The 1977 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1977. It was the 63rd Rose Bowl Game. The USC Trojans, champions of the Pacific-8 Conference,[3] defeated the Michigan Wolverines, champions of the Big Ten Conference, 14–6.[4][5][6]

USC quarterback Vince Evans was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game, and Trojan freshman tailback Charles White, subbing for Heisman Trophy runner-up Ricky Bell, who was injured in the first quarter, rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown.[4][5][6] It was the third consecutive win for the Pac-8 in the Rose Bowl, and the seventh of the last eight.



Michigan won their first eight games and spent most of the season ranked first in the polls, until a 16–14 upset loss to Purdue on November 6. They capped off their Big Ten championship with a 22–0 shutout of arch rival Ohio State; they were ranked second in both major polls at the end of the regular season.


Under first-year head coach John Robinson, USC was upset in the season opener at home by Missouri, 46–25.[7] It was the Trojans' fifth-straight regular season loss, dating back to the prior season when John McKay had announced his end-of-season resignation (leaving for the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL). USC won the rest of their games in 1976, climaxed by a 24–14 win over #2 UCLA to clinch the conference championship,[3] and a subsequent 17–13 victory over Notre Dame.[8]


First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter



Undefeated Pittsburgh, led by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, was the consensus #1 team entering the bowls and played #4 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. USC and Michigan hoped Georgia would upset Pitt to set up the Rose Bowl as a national championship showdown,[9] but Pitt had a dominant 27–3 win earlier in the day to keep its top ranking in the final polls;[10][11] USC finished second and Michigan dropped only to third.[12]


  1. ^ Snyder, Jimmy "The Greek" (January 1, 1977). "A&M most improved". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 13.
  2. ^ "USC's Evans will be ready for Michigan". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. January 1, 1977. p. 2, part 2.
  3. ^ a b "Trojans return to 'their' Rose Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. November 21, 1976. p. C1.
  4. ^ a b c "Evans and USC whip Wolverines". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1977. p. D1.
  5. ^ a b c "USC whips Michigan, 14-6, pins No. 1 on itself". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 2, 1977. p. D2.
  6. ^ a b Jares, Joe (January 10, 1977). "The Trojans win an old war". Sports Illustrated. p. 18.
  7. ^ "Brown tallies three times to beat USC". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. September 12, 1976. p. 3B.
  8. ^ "'Fullback' Bell endorses Dorsett". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. November 28, 1976. p. 3E.
  9. ^ "Pitt can leave no doubt today". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. January 1, 1977. p. 1B.
  10. ^ Franke, Russ (January 2, 1977). "Pitt: How sweet it is!". Pittsburgh Press. p. D1.
  11. ^ Underwood, John (January 10, 1977). "Marching through Georgia". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  12. ^ "Pitt (surprise) voted grid title". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). AP, UPI. January 4, 1977. p. 3C.