Pasadena, CA — For over a century The Rose Bowl has been played between two of the top teams from the east and west coast. It’s one of the longest standing traditions in college football. So, it’s surprising to learn that a historic program like Penn State has only been to the Rose Bowl three times and only managed to win once. Let’s take a look back at the Nittany Lion’s underwhelming record in Pasadena.
Score: USC 14 – PSU 3
Score: PSU 38 – Oregon 20
Score: USC 38 – PSU 24
The only reason PSU won the Rose Bowl in 1995 was because they had one of the best running backs in the country, Ki-Jana Carter, who galloped for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns. Carter’s performance was particularly important considering Oregon’s quarterback, Danny O’Neil threw for a Rose Bowl record 456 yards, a record that still stands today.
Having an elite ball carrier was certainly the key to victory in 1995 and it looks as though the Nittany Lions are facing a similar situation this year against the Trojans; however, this time around it’s not their opponent’s passing game that’s the threat – it’s their passing defense – led by lockdown cornerback/all-terrain vehicle Adoree’ Jackson.
With that being said, Penn State’s football revival is in full swing and with wins over both Ohio State and Wisconsin this season their confidence is right where it needs to be to compete in a game of this magnitude. It’s certainly going to be a hard-fought game, but and it’s only fitting that their season would be capped off with a Rose Bowl victory.
In the event Penn State pulls off a victory it’s almost certainly going to be on the shoulders of superstar halfback Saquon Barkley – check out the man that’s gonna have to carry the load!
Clearly, USC has the Nittany Lions’ number in years past, but all bets are off when they take the field in the “Granddaddy of Them All” on January 2, 2017.