American Football Database
2004 Rose Bowl
presented by Citi
90th Rose Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Michigan 0 0 7 7 14
University of Southern California 7 7 14 0 28
Date January 4, 2004
Season 2003
Stadium Rose Bowl
Location Pasadena, California
MVP Matt Leinart (USC QB)
National anthem Spirit of Troy
Referee Steve Usechek (Big 12)
Halftime show Spirit of Troy, University of Michigan Marching Band
Attendance 93,849
Payout US$14 million[1]
United States TV coverage
Network ABC
Announcers: Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts
Rose Bowl
 < 2003  2005

The 2004 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game held on January 1, 2004 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was the 90th Rose Bowl Game. The USC Trojans, champions of the Pacific-10 Conference, defeated the Michigan Wolverines, champions of the Big Ten Conference, 28-14. USC quarterback Matt Leinart was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game.[2]

The events leading up to the 2004 Rose Bowl were the subject of controversy. Although USC was ranked #1 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll, the Trojans were not invited to the BCS National Championship Game, the 2004 Sugar Bowl. Even though the Oklahoma Sooners lost on December 5, 2003 in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game to the Kansas State Wildcats, by virtue of their dominance earlier in the season, they remained #1 in the final BCS rankings issued at the outset of the bowl season. Oklahoma faced the LSU Tigers, #2 in both polls and the BCS rankings, in the Sugar Bowl.


Michigan Wolverines

Michigan opened at home in 2003 winning big over Central Michigan and Houston. A 38-0 shutout of Notre Dame propelled the Wolverines to a #3 ranking, but they lost the next week at Oregon, 31-27. Michigan bounced back to beat Indiana, but then lost another close road game at Iowa, 30-27. Michigan played next on a Friday evening, October 10, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in a battle for the Little Brown Jug against Minnesota. Minnesota came into the game ranked #17 and Michigan was ranked #20 in one of the most highly anticipated Michigan-Minnesota matchups in years. Down 21 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Michigan put together its greatest comeback in school history to win 38-35.[3] The Wolverines won their next four games over Illinois, #10 Purdue, #9 Michigan State, and Northwestern and rose to #5 in the rankings before their annual showdown with the Ohio State Buckeyes. In front of a record crowd of 112,118 at Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines beat the #4 ranked Buckeyes 35-21 to win the Big Ten championship outright.

USC Trojans

The Trojans opened the season winning at #6 Auburn, 23-0. Their only loss of the season was a triple overtime loss at Cal, 34-31 on September 27. Later in the season, USC beat Notre Dame 45-14, scoring the most points allowed by the Irish in since 1960, and routed Arizona 45-0 in the first shutout of the Wildcats in 146 games.

Game summary

The Trojans wore a "54" sticker to commemorate Drean Rucker, an incoming freshman linebacker who drowned in July 2003. Former USC Trojans safety Troy Polamalu also was in attendance and was on the USC sideline. He was also shown embracing coach Pete Carroll at the game's end.

Scoring summary

First quarter

Second quarter

  • USC - LenDale White, 6-yard pass from Matt Leinart (Ryan Killeen kick)

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

  • Michigan - Chris Perry, 2-yard run (Garrett Rivas kick)


LSU defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. As they were contractually obligated, the Coaches Poll chose the winner of that game, the LSU Tigers, as the BCS National Champions. The AP Poll, however, selected the Rose Bowl champion USC Trojans, resulting in the first split national title since the 1997-98 season, the year before the creation of the Bowl Championship Series.


External links