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2007-2008
College Football Season
Rose Bowl
Post-Game

USC (11-2) 49
Illinois (9-4) 17
 

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USC Trounces Illinois

by Mike Mitchell
January 1, 2008

USC had their way with Illinois, and when it didn't, the Illini shot themselves in the foot as the Trojans rolled to a 49-17 win.

As many expected, Illinois looked completely outmatched against a much more physical USC team that piled up a Rose Bowl record 633 yards.

Freshman running back Joe McKnight had 125 yards and a score on only 10 carries, and sophomore Stafon Johnson needed just 9 carries to tally 104 yards. QB John David Booty was 25-of-37 for 255 yards and 3 TD's.

Illinois looked like it might make it a game after falling behind 21-3 at halftime. The Illini opened the 3rd quarter with a touchdown and were driving again when Jacob Willis fumbled after a catch-and-run inside the USC 5-yard line. The Trojans then went 80 yards in 8 plays for a 28-10 lead when Illinois could have closed to within 21-17. That was one of four Illinois turnovers in a game that produced 1,078 total yards.

Ron Zook's second season as head coach saw Illinois improve its record by 7 wins as the Illini return to a bowl game for the first time since a 2001 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Illinois was playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1983 season.

USC is 23-9 in Rose Bowl games while is Illinois 3-2. Illinois' last Rose Bowl win came at the end of the 1963 season.





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