Darnold, Burnett, McQuay Named To AP All-Bowl Team First Team|
Jan. 4, 2017
USC placed more players--quarterback Sam Darnold, wide receiver Deontay Burnett and safety Leon McQuay III--on the AP All-Bowl Team first team than any other team, following the Trojans' thrilling 52-49 last second victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
Additionally, USC quarterbacks coach/pass game coordinator Tyson Helton was named the FootballScoop Quarterbacks Coach of the Year.
Darnold set Rose Bowl records with 5 passing TDs and 473 total yards of offense in Monday's game. He was 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards overall, including 10-of-10 for 135 yards in the fourth quarter as he engineered 2 late touchdowns drives to tie the score. He was named the Rose Bowl Offensive Player of Game.
Burnett had 13 receptions for 164 yards, with a Rose Bowl record-tying 3 TDs (all were career highs), including catching the game-tying touchdown with 1:20 to play.
McQuay returned an interception 32 yards in the game's final minute to set up the game-winning field goal. The pick game one play after he dropped a potential interception on a similar long pass. He also had 7 tackles and 2 deflections.
PK Matt Boermeester calmly nailed a game-winning 46-yard FG at 0:00 on the clock, setting off a wild celebration and giving USC its 25th Rose Bowl victory. He also hit a pair of first quarter field goals, but missed two other long attempts in the first half.
Banner anchored an offensive line that allowed just 1 sack and 4 tackles for loss to a Penn State defense that was averaging 3 sacks and 8.6 tackles for loss per game. In his post-game remarks, Penn State coach James Franklin said one of the differences in the game was “their offensive line kind of neutralizing us and allowing their quarterback to be too comfortable in the pocket.”
Helton, the younger brother of USC head coach Clay Helton, in his first year at USC in 2016 tutored Darnold and before him Max Browne. Darnold ended up as the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and a finalist for the Manning Award while completing 67.2% of his passes for 3,086 yards and 31 TDs to just 9 interceptions.