American Football Database
1948 Rose Bowl
34th Rose Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Southern California 0 0 0 0 0
University of Michigan 7 14 7 21 49
Date January 1, 1948
Season 1947
Stadium Rose Bowl
Location Pasadena, California
MVP Bob Chappuis (Michigan HB)
Favorite Michigan by 15
National anthem Spirit of Troy
Halftime show Michigan Marching Band

Spirit of Troy

Attendance 93,000 (estimated)[1]
Rose Bowl
 < 1947  1949

The 1948 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1948. It was the 34th Rose Bowl Game, and the second since the Big Nine Conference and the Pacific Coast Conference reached an exclusive agreement to match their champions in the game each year. In the game, the Michigan Wolverines defeated the USC Trojans; 49–0. Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis was named the Rose Bowl Player of The Game when the award was created in 1953 and selections were made retroactively.[2]

Michigan tied the record for the most points scored by a team in the Rose Bowl, first set by the 1901 Michigan Wolverines in the first Rose Bowl and later matched by USC in 2008. Michigan also tied the game's record for largest margin of victory also set by the 1901 Michigan team that defeated Stanford by an identical 49–0 score. The record of seven PATs converted by Michigan kicker Jim Brieske remains unbroken, but was tied in 2008 by USC's David Buehler.

The game was aired by local station KTLA in the first telecast of a bowl game in the Greater Los Angeles Area.[3] It was also the first time a U.S. motion picture newsreel was taken in color.[4] In a special AP Poll following the game, Michigan replaced Notre Dame as the 1947 national champion by a vote of 226 to 119.


USC Trojans

USC had tied with Rice, 7-–. They defeated #4 Cal in October. USC's matchup with the defending conference champion UCLA Bruins saw USC win, 6–0. The 1947 Notre Dame-USC game had 104,953 on hand, the highest attendance for a football game in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,[5] to see 7–0–1 Rose Bowl bound USC lose to 8–0 Notre Dame, 38–7. USC dropped from #3 to #8 in the final AP Poll before the Rose Bowl.

Michigan Wolverines

The 1947 Michigan Wolverines, known as the "Mad Magicians," won the Big Nine title on the strength of strong offense and defense. They shut out four opponents, including Ohio State, 21–0. Their close game was a 14–7 win at #11 Illinois, the reigning Big Nine and 1947 Rose Bowl champion.[6]

Game summary

Bob Chappuis and Bump Elliott were the stars for the Wolverines. Jack Weisenburger scored three touchdowns. Nine Rose Bowl records were set.

Scoring summary

First quarter

  • Michigan - Jack Weisenberger, 1-yard run (Jim Brieske kick)

Second quarter

  • Michigan - Jack Weisenberger, 1-yard run (Jim Brieske kick)
  • Michigan - Bump Elliott, 11-yard pass from Bob Chappuis (Jim Brieske kick)

Third quarter

  • Michigan - Yerges, 18-yard pass from Bob Chappuis (Jim Brieske kick)

Fourth quarter

  • Michigan - Jack Weisenberger, 1-yard run (Jim Brieske kick)
  • Michigan - Gene Derricotte, 45-yard pass from Hank Fonde (Jim Brieske kick)
  • Michigan - Dick Rifenberg, 29-yard pass from Howard Yerges (Jim Brieske kick)


The final regular season AP Poll, taken before the bowls, had Notre Dame #1 (107 first place votes) and Michigan #2 (25 first place votes). Notre Dame did not play in a bowl game. After urging from Detroit Free Press sports editor Lyall Smith, the Associated Press conducted its first ever post-bowl poll. Michigan won that poll 266–119.[7]

The Wolverines continued their winning streak through the 1948 football season, going 9–0. Because of the no-repeat rule for the Rose Bowl, Northwestern represented the Big Nine as the conference's second place team in the 1949 Rose Bowl. The 1947 Wolverines's season total of 1,788 passing yards was a school record that stood until 1979.


  1. Official 2007 NCAA Division I football records book - PDF copy available at
  2. 2008 Rose Bowl Program, 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.
  3. Rose Bowl Game History - KTLA
  4. Kane, Joseph Nathan; Steven Anzovin, Janet Podell (1997). Famous First Facts: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History. Lecture notes in mathematics 1358. H. W. Wilson Company; 5th edition. ISBN 0-8242-0930-3. "Warner Brothers-Pathe started showing this first color newsreel to theater audiences on 5 Jan 1948. It was made using the Cinecolor process."
  5. 2002 NCAA Records book - Attendance Records page 494 (PDF)
  6. Louis M. Guenin - The Perfect Season. Michigan Today Volume 30, Number 3, Fall 1998.
  7. Kyrk, John. Natural Enemies. pp. 142–7. ISBN 1-58979-090-1.

External links