2017 Rose Bowl
CFP New Year’s Six
103rd Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
USC 1314817 52
Penn State 021280 49
DateJanuary 2, 2017
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPSam Darnold (QB, USC)
Stevie Tu’ikolovatu (DT, USC)
FavoriteUSC by 6.5[1]
National anthemBlue Band
RefereeDuane Heydt (ACC)
Halftime showBlue Band
Spirit of Troy
PayoutUS$35 million to each team[3][4]
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN and ESPN Radio
AnnouncersESPN: Chris Fowler (play-by-play)
Kirk Herbstreit (analyst)
Samantha Ponder and Tom Rinaldi (sideline)
ESPN Radio: Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill
Nielsen ratings9.4 (16.04 million viewers avg.)[5]
International TV coverage
NetworkESPN Deportes
AnnouncersKenneth Garay, Alex Pombo
Rose Bowl
 < 2016  2018

The 2017 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 2, 2017 at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California.[6] This 103rd Rose Bowl Game matched the Big Ten Conference champions Penn State Nittany Lions against the USC Trojans of the Pac-12 Conference, a rematch of the 1923 and 2009 Rose Bowls, the former the first appearance for either team in the bowl and the latter the most recent appearance for either team. It was one of the 2016–17 bowl games that concluded the 2016 FBS football season. Sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual financial services organization, the game was officially known as the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. USC received the Lathrop K. Leishman trophy for winning the game.

The contest, played on January 2 in keeping with the game's standard practice when New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, was televised on ESPN with a radio broadcast on ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio, which began at 1:30 PM (PST) with kickoff at 2:10 PM (PST). The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was the organizer of the game. The Rose Bowl Game was a contractual sell-out, with 64,500 tickets allocated to the participating teams and conferences. The remaining tickets were distributed to the Tournament of Roses members, sponsors, City of Pasadena residents, and the general public. Ticket prices were $150 and $210. The bowl game was preceded by the 2017 Rose Parade, the 128th annual Rose Parade which began at 8:00 a.m. (PST) on game day with a theme of "Echoes of Success."[7]

Pre-game activities

The game was presided over by the 2017 Rose Queen, the Royal Court, Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff, and the grand marshals Janet Evans, Allyson Felix, and Greg Louganis.

After the teams' arrival in Southern California, the teams participated in the traditional Lawry's Beef Bowl in Beverly Hills and the Disney Media Day at the Disneyland Resort in nearby Anaheim. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame ceremony luncheon was held prior to the game at the Rose Bowl, where outstanding former players and participants were inducted into the hall. This year's honorees were Bobby Bell, from the University of Minnesota; Ricky Ervins, University of Southern California; Tommy Prothro, Oregon State University and UCLA; and Art Spander, award-winning sportswriter.[8]

The bands and cheerleaders from both schools participated in the pre-game Rose Parade on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena along with the floats.


The teams playing in the Rose Bowl game were the highest ranking teams from the Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten Conference that were not selected to play in a College Football Playoff semifinal game. The teams were officially selected by the football committee of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association on Selection Sunday on December 4, 2016, based on the final rankings by the CFP committee.

#9 USC Trojans

Main article: 2016 USC Trojans football team

The Trojans started the year with a dismal 1–3 record, but after a Week 4 loss at No. 24 Utah the Trojans reeled off an eight-game winning streak, including an upset win over No. 4 Washington to break them into the Top 25 where they remained since. USC was led by freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, 1,000-yard rusher Ronald Jones II, receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darreus Rogers and Deontay Burnett, defensive end Porter Gustin, and all-purpose player Adoree Jackson.

They were coached by Clay Helton, who led them to a 9–3 season (after going 5–4 in 9 games as interim head coach the season before). The team wore its white jerseys and used the east bench during the game.

#5 Penn State Nittany Lions

Main article: 2016 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

The Nittany Lions started the season off 2–2 after losses to Pitt and No. 4 Michigan but finished the regular season on a 9–game winning streak, including a pivotal 4th-quarter comeback victory over #2 Ohio State that led to Penn State receiving a Top-25 national ranking for the first time since 2011. Penn State added a Big Ten Championship with a comeback win over #6 Wisconsin to close out the season. The Nittany Lions were led by sophomore duo quarterback Trace McSorley and 1,000+ yard rusher Saquon Barkley and junior wide receiver Chris Godwin.

They came into the game 11–2 (8–1 Big Ten), a big improvement from the last two seasons under head coach James Franklin (finished 7–6 both seasons). The team wore its dark jerseys and used the west bench on game day.


The Nittany Lions and Trojans had previously played nine times, with USC leading the series 5–4, and had played twice in the Rose Bowl in (1923 and 2009) with USC winning both games. The 2017 match was the highest scoring game in the bowl's history, with a total of 101 points, breaking the record set five years earlier at the 2012 Rose Bowl game. This record was broken in the 2018 Rose Bowl game with 102 points scored by both Oklahoma and Georgia.[9][10]

Game summary

Scoring summary

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP USC PSU
1 10:31 5 51 1:44 USC Deontay Burnett 26-yard touchdown reception from Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester kick good 7 0
1 4:42 12 53 4:52 USC 22-yard field goal by Matt Boermeester 10 0
1 0:21 10 54 3:00 USC 44-yard field goal by Matt Boermeester 13 0
2 11:44 9 70 3:37 PSU Saquon Barkley 24-yard touchdown run, Tyler Davis kick good 13 7
2 10:15 5 60 1:29 USC Deontay Burnett 3-yard touchdown reception from Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester kick good 20 7
2 8:39 4 71 1:36 PSU Chris Godwin 30-yard touchdown reception from Trace McSorley, Tyler Davis kick good 20 14
2 6:16 6 75 2:23 USC Darreus Rogers 3-yard touchdown reception from Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester kick good 27 14
2 0:54 13 75 5:22 PSU Mike Gesicki 11-yard touchdown reception from Trace McSorley, Tyler Davis kick good 27 21
3 13:05 1 79 0:17 PSU Saquon Barkley 79-yard touchdown run, Tyler Davis kick good 27 28
3 11:27 1 72 0:11 PSU Chris Godwin 72-yard touchdown reception from Trace McSorley, Tyler Davis kick good 27 35
3 10:26 1 3 0:05 PSU Trace McSorley 3-yard touchdown run, Tyler Davis kick good 27 42
3 6:47 10 65 3:39 USC JuJu Smith-Schuster 13-yard touchdown reception from Sam Darnold, 2-point pass good (Sam Darnold to Taylor McNamara) 35 42
3 1:55 8 82 4:52 PSU Saquon Barkley 7-yard touchdown reception from Trace McSorley, Tyler Davis kick good 35 49
4 8:15 10 83 4:29 USC Ronald Jones 3-yard touchdown run, Matt Boermeester kick good 42 49
4 1:20 3 80 0:39 USC Deontay Burnett 27-yard touchdown reception from Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester kick good 49 49
4 0:00 3 5 0:27 USC 46-yard field goal by Matt Boermeester 52 49
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 52 49


Statistics USC Penn State
First downs 33 23
Third-down efficiency 8-15 4-10
Rushes-yards 34-122 33-211
Passing yards 453 254
Passing, Comp-Att-Int 33-54-1 18-29-3
Time of possession 33:21 26:39

Game notes

Rose Bowl records

In this game, a number of new Rose Bowl records were set.[11][12]

Related events



The 2017 Rose Bowl drew more than 16 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-semifinal New Year’s Six game ever, and one of the most viewed college football games in history. Viewership was up 17% from the prior year’s 2016 Rose Bowl game between Stanford and Iowa. The telecast peaked at 19,656,000 viewers in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, which included USC’s game-winning field goal. Locally, Philadelphia (16.7) set a market record for the game, while in Pittsburgh (17.0) and Los Angeles (14.9) made it was the second highest-rated bowl game ever on ESPN.

Figures do not include the 300,000 who streamed coverage on WatchESPN or other International streaming websites. If these figures were added to the final rating it would have been near the 19 million viewership range. Some countries who streamed the game on a national tv broadcast include Canada (1.3 million), France (200,000) and Australia (98,000).[14]


  1. ^ "College Bowl Game Odds". ESPN. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "2015 Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Iowa Stats". Stat Broadcast. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  3. ^ Media Guide, Tournament of Roses Association, December 2016
  4. ^ Dosh, Kristi (January 1, 2018). "How College Football Playoff's Payouts Compare With BCS's: A Conference-By-Conference Breakdown". Forbes. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Volner, Derek (January 3, 2017). "Rose Bowl Game Averages More Than 16 Million Viewers". www.espnmediazone.com. ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  6. ^ Rose Bowl quick facts Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, TournamentofRoses.com
  7. ^ "Rose Parade 2017 - 128th Rose Parade presented by HONDA".
  8. ^ Bobby Bell, Ricky Ervins, Tommy Prothro, and journalist Art Spander to be Inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2016, Tournament of Roses, August 24, 2016
  9. ^ Sports Illustrated website retrieved 3 January 2017.
  10. ^ AP College Football website retrieved 3 January 2017.
  11. ^ Hiserman, Mike - Records fall as USC wins Rose Bowl thriller over Penn State, 52-49. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2017
  12. ^ Torres, Aaron - Here are all the records that fell during Monday's unforgettable Rose Bowl Archived 2017-01-16 at the Wayback Machine. Fox Sports, January 3, 2017
  13. ^ All Events Archived 2015-01-09 at the Wayback Machine, Tournament of Roses Association, January 15, 2015
  14. ^ "Rose Bowl Ratings, Viewership Skyrocket during Penn State-USC Clash". 4 January 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.