Matt Boermeester's field goal caps wild comeback, lifts USC over Penn State in an American beauty of a Rose Bowl https://t.co/EvkcWpHUnf— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) January 3, 2017
Clay Helton looks a little misty eyed. pic.twitter.com/4OBH7nHMhN— Zach Helfand (@zhelfand) January 3, 2017
Here is happy Clay Helton and happy Sam Darnold. pic.twitter.com/5D5fGq61yB— Zach Helfand (@zhelfand) January 3, 2017
The enormity of it all seemed to stun USC Coach Clay Helton. Some fans had called for Helton’s job after USC started his first full season 1-3. After Monday’s game, he stood atop confetti with an arm around his son, Turner, his eyes a little wet as he watched the band.More.
“It felt like a tennis match, just going back and forth and back and forth, the mood swings and the emotion,” Helton said. “It was an amazing game. It’s what fairy tales are made of.”
Penn State Coach James Franklin conceded that it “may have been the most exciting Rose Bowl game ever.”
He had a point. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley ran 25 times for 194 yards and two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass.
Darnold passed for 453 yards with one interception and five touchdowns, a Rose Bowl game record. His total yards of 473 set another record, breaking Vince Young’s 467 in 2006 against USC.
Darnold stood near Helton as the band played, and he looked as though he had just awoken from a nap. USC players said they couldn’t remember a time when they’ve seen him rattled.
As he huddled the offense with 1:59 to play, USC down by seven points and 80 yards to go, his voice was calm.
“I just said, ‘Do your job,’” Darnold said.
And see Bill Plaschke's front-page column at today's newspaper, "USC fights on and on — and wins a thrilling Rose Bowl on a last-second field goal."
USC's greatest Rose Bowl win in one of greatest Rose Bowls ever https://t.co/8MUtSliDYK— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) January 3, 2017