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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rose Bowl No Storybook for Northwestern

PASADENA, California -- The Northwestern Wildcats insisted all year that their season was not a Cinderella story. They were right.


Northwestern, which had relied on defense in winning the Big Ten Conference championship this season, gave up a season-high point total as Southern California came away Sunday with a 41-32 victory in the 82nd Rose Bowl before a crowd of 100,102.


It hardly was vintage Trojan form, as Tailback U. ended up with 391 yards passing and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson caught 12 passes for 216 yards.


Die-hard Northwestern fans finally realized their dream of seeing the school's name and purple and white painted in a Rose Bowl end zone. It didn't take the Trojans long to walk on it.


Cal jumped out to a 17-7 lead with two touchdown passes and a field goal. Then Daylon McCutcheon returned a Northwestern fumble 53 yards to give the Trojans a 24-7 lead with 2:56 left in the half.


Northwestern nickel back Hudhaifa Ismaeli recovered a fumble at the Trojan Cal 33 with 12 seconds to play, setting up a 29-yard field goal by Brian Gowins.


Ismaeli also returned the second-half kickoff 33 yards, but the Cats were held to a field goal. Northwestern recovered an onside kick and Autry wound up with his second touchdown. A two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 24-19.


But Southern Cal got the ball again -- which meant Johnson got the ball again. This time it was on a pass straight down the middle and he sprinted for a 50-yard touchdown to make it 31-19.


Northwestern bounced back as Schnur scored on a quarterback sneak. Then, after receiving the only punt of the third quarter, Northwestern drove the length of the field for the lead. Another two-point attempt failed, but Northwestern was ahead 32-31.


Southern Cal regained the lead, though, on a career-long 46-yard field goal by Adam Abrams that made it 34-32. They then intercepted a Schnur pass and went on to score again to seal the game, 41-32.