American Football Database
1953 Rose Bowl
39th Rose Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Wisconsin-Madison 0 0 0 0 0
University of Southern California 0 0 7 0 7
Date January 1, 1953
Season 1952
Stadium Rose Bowl
Location Pasadena, California
MVP Rudy Bukich (QB USC)
Attendance 101,500
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers: Mel Allen
Rose Bowl
 < 1952  1954

The 1953 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1953 at the end of the 1952 college football season. It was the 39th Rose Bowl Game. It was Wisconsin's first bowl game and the first Rose Bowl appearance for the Trojans since 1948. It is also the first meeting of the two football programs. USC defeated Wisconsin, 7–0.


Wisconsin Badgers

File:UW Band leaving for 1951-52 Rose Bowl. (6186797818).jpg

UW Marching Band heading to the Rose Bowl

Wisconsin entered the game as a co-champion of the Big Ten Conference (with Purdue) and a 6-2-1 record (4-1-1 in conference). Wisconsin and Purdue did not meet. The out of conference loss was to UCLA, while the conference loss was to Ohio State. Wisconsin tied Minnesota in their season-ending rivalry game. This was the first bowl game appearance by the Badgers.

USC Trojans

The USC Trajans entered the game as the Pacific Coast Conference champions, with a 6-0 record in conference play. Their sole loss was against Notre Dame in their season ending rivalry game.

Game summary


This was the first win by a Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) team over a Big Ten team since the Rose Bowl began its exclusive contract to pair the champions of these two conferences in 1946 (beginning with the 1947 Rose Bowl). This was only the second time in Rose Bowl history that the PCC representative defeated a team from the Big Ten, the only previous win being California's defeat of Ohio State in the 1921 Rose Bowl.

This game featured the fewest points scored in a Rose Bowl since the 0–0 tie in the 1922 Rose Bowl. As of the 2012 Rose Bowl, this game still stands as the second-fewest points ever scored in a Rose Bowl, and the fewest scored since the Rose Bowl started pairing the Big Ten and West (PCC/AAWU) champions for the game. Ironically, the next time these two teams met in a Rose Bowl (1963), they would combine to break the record for the most points ever scored in the game.

USC quarterback Rudy Bukich was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game. Future Heisman Trophy winner, Wisconsin running back/linebacker Alan Ameche, finished the game with 133 rushing yards on 28 carries. Bukich and Ameche have subsequently been inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.


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