It’s the final day of a magical season. The Wildcats are looking to stop and smell the roses. No. 3 (!) Northwestern (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) faces no. 17 Southern California (8-2-1, 6-1-1 Pac-10) in the 1996 Rose Bowl. It will be a de facto home game for the Trojans, who had to travel just 14 miles from campus.
NU is led by its defense. The unit ranks seventh in the country allowing fewer than 15 points per game. On offense, Steve Schnur will take the snaps with star running back Darnell Autry (4.6 YPC and 17 rushing TD) beside him.
USC, while sporting a top-20 defense, has plenty of offensive firepower. The Trojans score nearly 30 points per game, and they throw early and often to wideout Keyshawn Johnson.
The teams’ only common opponent is Notre Dame. The ‘Cats shocked the Fighting Irish 17-15 in South Bend in the season opener, while ND thrashed USC 38-10 in mid-October.
Location: Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena, California)
Kickoff: 10 p.m. CT
Betting Line: Northwestern +3, O/U 40