Just imagine if the Trojans had played this well all season. No. 6 USC set a Rose Bowl record in total offense and tied the record in points in a 49-17 thrashing of No. 13 Illinois. Freshman Joe McKnight did his best Reggie Bush impression, gaining 170 of his team's 633 yards, and the Trojans' dominating defense created four turnovers.
All four quickly became touchdowns. Even USC's miscues were auspicious: a badly executed lateral by quarterback John David Booty was plucked from the ground by McKnight and converted to a 55-yard gain. Booty, a senior, threw for three scores and now has seven career Rose Bowl touchdowns—a record.