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Matt Boermeester kicks a 46-yard field goal as time expires to give the Trojans the Rose Bowl victory. Leon McQuay set up the game-winning kick by intercepting a pass near midfield and returning it to the Nittany Lions' 32-yard line.

USC comes from behind to defeat Penn State and win Rose Bowl in final seconds

Matt Boermeester missed two field-goal attempts.

He did not miss a third.

The USC kicker lined up from 46 yards and split the uprights as time expired and the ninth-ranked Trojans defeated fifth-ranked Penn State, 52-49, to win the 103rd Rose Bowl.

Safety Leon McQuay II intercepted a pass by Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley with 38 seconds remaining in the game to set up the game-winning drive.

USC finished the season 10-3, winning nine consecutive games after a 1-3 start. Penn State fell to 11-3.

The Trojans went into halftime leading 27-21, but the Nittany Lions scored three touchdowns in three plays in the third quarter to take a 42-27 lead behind running back Saquon Barkley and receiver Chris Godwin.

Barkley rushed 79 yards for a touchdown, Godwin scored on a 72-yard pass play and McSorley rushed for three yards and a score after Sam Darnold threw an interception.

JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a 13-yard pass for a touchdown on USC’s ensuing possession and Coach Clay Helton elected to attempt a two-point conversion. Lining up in a split formation, with several Trojans wide left, Darnold ran right and then passed to tight end Taylor McNamara to make it a one-score game.

McSorley responded when he led an eight-play drive that covered 82 yards and Barkley caught a seven-yard pass for a touchdown. Penn State led, 49-35, at the end of the third quarter.

McSorley was 18-of-29 for 254 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions.

The Trojans tied the score, 49-49, when Deontay Burnett caught a 27-yard pass with 1 minute 20 seconds remaining.

Burnett caught 13 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns.

Boermeester had previously missed field-goal attempts of 51 and 49 yards, but connected on kicks from 22, 44 and 46 yards.

Darnold completed 33 of 53 passes for 453 yards and five touchdowns, with an interception.

Barkley rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns in 25 carries. He caught five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Slideshow: Photos from the Rose Bowl game between USC and Penn State

USC defensive back Iman Marshall (8) celebrates with teammate Jack Jones (1)  after intercepting a pass during the first quarter. To see more images from the game, click on the photo above. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
USC defensive back Iman Marshall (8) celebrates with teammate Jack Jones (1) after intercepting a pass during the first quarter. To see more images from the game, click on the photo above. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

USC defeats Penn State, 52-49, with last-second field goal to win the Rose Bowl

Leon McQuay dropped one interception.

He didn't drop a second.

McQuay picked off a pass by Trace McSorley and returned it 32 yards to Penn State's 32-yard line.

Matt Boermeester kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired to give USC the Rose Bowl victory, 52-49.

USC and Penn State are tied, 49-49, in the fourth quarter

What a game!

Sam Darnold completed a 27-yard pass to Deontay Burnett for a touchdown.

Penn State and USC are tied, 49-49, with 1:20 to play. The scoring drive covered 80 yards in three plays and took 39 seconds.

Burnett has caught three passes for touchdowns.

JuJu Smith-Schuster caught an 11-yard pass, Daniel Imatorbhebhe caught a 12-yard pass and Penn State was then called for pass interference on back-to-back plays trying to defend Burnett and Darreus Rogers.

Michael Hutchings makes big third-down stop

Michael Hutchings tackled Saquon Barkley for a seven-yard loss on third down.

Penn State punted and USC will have the ball with 1:59 to play, down 49-42.

Barkley rushed for nine yards in five carries.

USC forced to punt in final minutes

USC punted with 3:56 to play.

Deontay Burnett caught a 17-yard pass before the drive stalled.

Ronald Jones II rushed for two yards, then caught a pass and slipped for a one-yard loss.

Zach Banner was flagged for a false start to make a third-and-11 situation a third-and-16 play. It went nowhere.

USC's defense makes a stand

USC got the defensive stand it needed.

Penn State went three-and-out.

The Trojans will start from their 23-yard line.

Penn State leads, 49-42, with 6:41 to play.

Penn State leads USC, 49-42, in the fourth quarter

ACC officials have made this a long afternoon.

JuJu Smith-Schuster appeared to make a great catch down the sideline, but officials said he was out of bounds.

The catch was reviewed and overturned. Smith-Schuster's catch went for 27 yards and USC had the ball at the three-yard line.

Ronald Jones II rushed three yards for a touchdown on the next play.

Penn State leads USC, 49-42, with 8:15 to play in the game. The scoring drive covered 83 yards in 10 plays and took 4:29.

Jones rushed for 17 yards in five carries. Deontay Burnett caught two passes for 26 yards.

This could come down to USC's final possession.

Penn State punts for first time since first quarter

If you wanted entertainment, this game has it.

Rasheem Green sacked Trace McSorley and forced a fumble that Stevie Tu'ikolovatu recovered, however the call was overturned after a review.

Yes, officials can somehow overturn a call when the ball was recovered at the bottom of a pile.

Nevertheless, USC's defense held and Penn State punted.

USC's Adoree' Jackson injured

This has gone from bad to worse for USC in the third quarter.

Adoree' Jackson was injured on a kickoff return and was tended to by trainers on the field before they assisted him to the sideline.

Deontay Burnett caught consecutive passes for eight and five yards before the Trojans' drive stalled.

Players from both teams have had a difficult time managing the turf at the Rose Bowl, slipping and sliding.

Sam Darnold scrambled on third down, but was sacked and fumbled. USC recovered and punted.

Penn State leads USC, 49-35, in the third quarter

Penn State has scored a touchdown with all four of its third-quarter possessions.

Trace McSorley completed a seven-yard pass to Saquon Barkley for a touchdown.

Penn State leads USC, 49-35, with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 82 yards in eight plays and took 4:46.

Trojans inside linebacker Cameron Smith was ejected from the game after he was called for targeting.

Barkley is making USC's defense look terrible. The Nittany Lions' running back rushed for 25 yards in two carries and caught four passes for 55 yards.

Penn State leads USC, 42-35, in the third quarter

What a game this is.

Sam Darnold completed a 13-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster for a USC touchdown and then Darnold completed a pass to Taylor McNamara for the two-point conversion.

Penn State leads the Trojans, 42-35, with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive covered 65 yards in 10 plays and took 3:39.

USC's sideline appeared out of it, but now is jumping up and down - getting the Trojans' fans back into the game.

Seldom-used tailback Aca'Cedric Ware made the play of the drive, catching a short pass and turning it into a 20-yard gain on third down.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 13 yards in three carries and Justin Davis rushed for 10 yards in two carries.

Penn State leads USC, 42-27, in the third quarter

Three plays in the third quarter for Penn State, three touchdowns in the third quarter for Penn State.

Brandon Bell intercepted a pass by Sam Darnold and returned it 24 yards to USC's three-yard line.

Then Trace McSorley rushed three yards for a touchdown.

Penn State leads USC, 42-27, with 10:26 to play in the third quarter.

Darnold targeted Smith-Schuster with the pass that was intercepted. The ball bounced off Smith-Schuster's hands before the pick.

What a wild turn of events in four and a half minutes.

Penn State leads USC, 35-27, in the third quarter

Unbelievable.

Penn State has run two plays in the third quarter and has scored on both of them.

Chris Godwin caught an unbelievable 72-yard pass for a touchdown over the top of Iman Marshall. How Godwin hauled in the throw, we might never know.

Marshall, according to the radio broadcast, had been ruled out of the game because of vertigo, but was back on the field.

Penn State leads USC, 35-27, with 11:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Godwin has caught nine passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Penn State defense tightens up against USC

James Franklin lost his mind — in excitement — over a pass breakup on third down.

Sam Darnold's pass was intended for Deontay Burnett, but fell incomplete.

USC is slowly starting to unravel, unable to move the ball on offense, and now they have false started twice in the punt formation.

Darnold attempted three passes, but all three fell incomplete.

Darreus Rogers was able to draw pass interference on a play, about the only highlight of the Trojans' offense so far in the third quarter.

USC injury update: Cornerback Iman Marshall has been ruled out of the game because of vertigo.

Penn State leads USC, 28-27, in the third quarter

Saquon Barkley is breaking ankles.

Barkley broke six tackles as he ran 76 yards for a touchdown.

It was incredible.

Penn State leads USC, 28-27, with 13:05 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring drive — one play. All Barkley.

Barkley's run was as impressive as any that most writers in the press box have seen this season, or even in recent seasons.

Barkley has rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns in 14 carries.

USC offense goes three-and-out to start second half

This is going to be a game in the second half.

USC received the ball, but went three-and-out after Adoree' Jackson returned the kickoff 35 yards to the 35-yard line.

The Trojans also were called for a false start before Chris Tilbey punted.

USC leads Penn State, 27-21, at halftime

USC tried to get into position to kick a field goal with 46 seconds remaining in the half, but Matt Boermeester missed a 49-yard attempt.

USC leads Penn State, 27-21, at halftime.

Boermeester also missed a 51-yard attempt on the Trojans' first possession.

USC lead Penn State, 27-21, in the second quarter

This game has a little bit of everything, and a handful of impressive touchdown receptions.

Trace McSorley completed an 11-yard pass to Mike Gesicki for a touchdown. Gesicki left his feet to make the athletic grab and held on as he hit the turf.

USC leads Penn State, 27-21, with 54 seconds remaining in the half. The scoring drive covered 75 yards in 13 plays and took 5:22.

The Nittany Lions converted twice on third down when Chris Godwin caught a seven-yard and 10-yard pass.

The Trojans were about to get them off the field on third-and-five at their 24-yard line, but Stevie Tu'ikolovatu grabbed McSorley's facemask as he made a tackle.

USC leads Penn State, 27-14, in the second quarter

USC isn't settling for field goals any longer. The Trojans are getting into the end zone.

Sam Darnold completed a three-yard pass to Darreus Rogers for a touchdown.

USC leads Penn State, 27-14, with 6:16 remaining in the first half. The scoring drive covered 75 yards in six plays and took 2:23.

The Trojans' receivers made great plays throughout the drive.

Rogers caught an 11-yard pass.

JuJu Smith-Schuster climbed to make a 36-yard reception, and Adoree' Jackson caught a pass off his fingertips that he turned into a 24-yard gain -- if he could have made one more man miss, he would have had a touchdown.

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