2009 Rose Bowl presented by Citi
95th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Penn State 70017 24
USC 72407 38
DateJanuary 1, 2009
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPOffensive: Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)
Defensive: Kaluka Maiava (LB, USC)
FavoriteUSC by 9[1]
National anthemSpirit of Troy
RefereeSteve Shaw (SEC)
Halftime showBlue Band
Spirit of Troy
PayoutUS$18 million per team[3]
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN on ABC
AnnouncersBrent Musburger (play-by-play)
Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Lisa Salters (sideline)
Keyshawn Johnson (guest analyst)
Nielsen ratings11.7 (20.6 million viewers)[4]
Rose Bowl
 < 2008  2010

The 2009 Rose Bowl, the 95th edition of the annual game, was a college football bowl game played on Thursday, January 1, 2009 at the same-named stadium in Pasadena, California.[5] Because of sponsorship by Citi, the first game in the 2009 edition of the Bowl Championship Series was officially titled the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi. The contest was televised on ABC with a radio broadcast on ESPN Radio beginning at 4:30 PM US EST with kickoff at 5:10 PM. Ticket prices for all seats in the Rose Bowl were listed at $145. The Rose Bowl Game was a contractual sell-out, with 64,500 tickets allocated to the participating teams and conferences. The remaining tickets went to the Tournament of Roses members, sponsors, City of Pasadena residents, and the general public.

Scoring 24 unanswered points in the second quarter, the Pacific-10 Conference Champion University of Southern California Trojans defeated the Big Ten Conference co-champion, the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions, 38-24, for their third consecutive Rose Bowl victory (in their fourth consecutive appearance, having lost the 2006 BCS title game to the Texas Longhorns). The victory gave the Trojans their 24th Rose Bowl championship, the most by any team in the country. Quarterback Mark Sanchez scored five touchdowns, one rushing and four passing.

Prior to the game, the Pac-10 conference had a 4-0 record in bowl games this season with wins by Arizona, Cal, Oregon, and Oregon State. The Trojan win gave the Pac-10 a perfect five out of five games, which was the only perfect conference bowl record of the season. The Big Ten conference had last won a Rose Bowl game in the 1999 season; this streak ended when Ohio State beat Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl.


See also: 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season

The teams participating in the Rose Bowl Game were announced on Sunday, December 7, by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses football committee. Big Ten co-champions, Penn State, coached by Joe Paterno, were picked to play against Southern California, the champions of the Pac-10, coached by Pete Carroll.[3] Penn State earned its bid via a head-to-head tiebreaker, beating Ohio State, 13–6 in Columbus, Ohio, on October 25, 2008. The Men of Troy earned their way in by defeating UCLA 28-7 on December 6, 2008. USC was designated as the home team, wearing dark jerseys and using the east bench on game day.

The 2009 game marked the first time since 2004 Rose Bowl that the traditional teams—the champions of the Big Ten and the Pac-10—squared off at the Rose Bowl, because at least one league champion played in the BCS Championship in each the previous four years. In the 2005 Rose Bowl, Big Ten champion Michigan met Texas, as USC played Oklahoma in the designated BCS Championship Game that year, the Orange Bowl. The following year, USC met Texas in the game, which was designated as that year's BCS National Championship contest; Big Ten champion Penn State played in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. For the 2007 and 2008 games, the runners-up of the Big Ten were sent to this game, since the champion, Ohio State, participated in the newly established separate BCS Championship Game: the Wolverines played in 2007 and Illinois would do so the following year; both teams played (and lost to) the Trojans.

Each team lost just one game during the 2008 regular season. Penn State was defeated by Iowa (24-23) and Southern California lost to Oregon State (27-21). USC and Penn State had faced two common opponents in the regular season. Both teams defeated Ohio State and Penn State beat Oregon State prior to the Beavers' defeat of the Trojans.

Penn State had appeared in the Rose Bowl twice before, losing to the Trojans 14-3 in 1923 in their only previous meeting in "The Granddaddy Of Them All", and winning in 1995 over 1994 Pac-10 champion Oregon 38-20, the latter game capped an unbeaten season in which Penn State finished #2 in both major polls. The Trojans have played in the Rose Bowl more times than any other team and made its fourth consecutive appearance in 2009. The two teams have faced each other eight times, with each team winning four games. The Kickoff Classic XVIII on August 27, 2000, in Giants Stadium at East Rutherford, New Jersey, was the last time they met: the Trojans defeated the Nittany Lions, 29-5.

Scoring summary

The Rose Bowl, several days before the 95th edition of the "Granddaddy of Them All".

First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

Game notes


  1. ^ College Football Lines
  2. ^ a b c "Maisel: USC finishes the job early". January 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Tournament of Roses Press Release, December 7, 2008 Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Ratings are proof the addition of fifth BCS game officially a failure, SI.com, January 4, 2009
  5. ^ Rose Bowl quick facts Archived 2008-12-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Tom Hoffarth, "Now the Rose Bowl gets around to ratting out JoePa?", Los Angeles Daily News, April 23, 2009