The 2017 Rose Bowl provided a roller coaster of emotions, with both teams hitting highs and lows as the 52-49 thriller unfolded.
The highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever lived up to the hype as USC scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth to take the crown.
The up and down affair featured plenty of big performances and some not so great ones.
Here’s a look at who stood out in the 52-49 victory for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons:
Who were the studs?
The life of a kicker can be tough. Miss the big kick and you’re the goat. Hit the big kick and you’re the hero. On Monday night at the Rose Bowl, Boermeester was the later, booting home the most important 46-yard kick of his career with no time left. On the night, Boermeester hit three kicks from 46, 44 and 22 yards out. He also missed two kicks from 51 and 49.
The quarterback put the team on his back, tossing five touchdown passes on a night when he attempted 53 passes because of USC’s ineffectiveness on the ground.
Darnold lived up to all the hype that surrounded his tremendous run since taking over as the Trojan starter. He escaped pressure, made plays downfield and let the team to victory, tallying 453 yards.
Even if he hadn’t caught the game-tying touchdown pass, Burnett had a monster game as USC’s primary target in the passing game. With 13 catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns, the sophomore was one of the few consistent presences for the Trojans from start to finish.
Had Penn State won the game, Barkley would have been the MVP. He burned USC for 194 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while adding five receptions for 55 yards and another touchdown. Quarterback Trace McSorley and receiver Chris Godwin were impressive as well, but Barkley was a handful.
There were too many big moments from senior Trojans to count, from Stevie Tu’ikolovatu’s MVP performance to Leon McQuay’s massive interception to set up USC’s game-winning field goal. The Utah transfer and oft-maligned former five star finished their college careers on the highest of highs. Meanwhile, Darreus Rodgers provided his customary third down conversion, along with five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Justin Davis offered six rushes for 43 yards, including a 24-yard gainer to set up a touchdown. And Michael Hutchings dropped Barkley for a loss to force a PSU punt late.