The Rose Bowl, the "granddaddy of them all," was first played on Jan. 1, 1902, at Tournament Park. It was not exactly a thriller, as top-ranked Michigan trounced Stanford 49-0. It was started as the centerpiece to the "Tournament of Roses," a yearly festival put on by the Valley Hunt Club that began in 1890. Before the advent of the football game, the parade staged events like tugs-of-war, polo matches and even greased-pig catching.
The inaugural game was such a blowout that the Rose Bowl did not return for 14 years. In its place, parade organizers staged chariot races and even ostrich races. However, in 1916, it returned as Washington State beat Brown 14-0. Seven years later, due to the popularity of the yearly game, the Rose Bowl Stadium was built in Pasadena.
The rest is history. In 2022, Ohio State won the Rose Bowl defeating Utah 48-45 in a record-setting day. More on that below.
• In 1925, Notre Dame made what is to date its only Rose Bowl appearance. Boy, was it memorable. Elmer Layden, one of the Irish's famed "Four Horsemen" (a defensive unit), scored three touchdowns. Two of those TDs came on interception returns of more than 70 yards.
• In 1929, Cal's Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels earned his nickname at the Rose Bowl, picking up a Georgia Tech fumble and running it 65 yards the wrong way, narroowly avoiding a safety.
• It's likely that even to this day if you mention the name "Joe Germaine" to an Arizona State fan, they probably will twitch. In the final 1:40 of the 1997 game, Germaine, Ohio State's quarterback, drove the Buckeyes down the field, finally connecting on a 5-yard TD pass to David Boston with 19 seconds left to give Arizona State its only loss of the season 20-17.
• In 2005 and 2006, Vince Young made the Rose Bowl his personal playground. In 2005, then a sophomore for Texas, lit up Michigan, scoring all five Longhorn touchdowns and accounting for 372 yards of total offense, including 192 yards rushing in Texas' 38-37 victory against Michigan. In 2006, he went even further, piling up 467 yards of total offense, including 200 yards rushing as Texas beat USC 41-38.
• In 2022, Ohio State and Utah lit up the Rose Bowl scoreboard, with the Buckeyes winning 48-45. Buckeye quarterback CJ Stroud set became the first Ohio State passer to throw for more than 500 yards in a game with 573; he also tied the Ohio State single-game passing touchdown record with six scores. Stroud's passing yards and touchdowns were also Rose Bowl records. Stroud's top target on the day was wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba put on a show with 15 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns; in the Rose Bowl, Smith-Njigba broke the Ohio State single-season receiving yards record and set an FBS bowl game record for single-game receiving yards. Fellow Buckeye wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. also scored three touchdowns. Harrison and Smith-Njigba tied the Rose Bowl record for receiving touchdowns.
For all the records set in the 2022 Rose Bowl, the deciding play came on a field goal. Ohio State kicker Noah Ruggles made a 19-yard kick with nine seconds to go to with the exhilarating game.
|1918||Mare Island-USMC||19||Camp Lewis-US Army||7|
|1919||Great Lakes-US Navy||17||Mare Island||0|
|1922||California||0||Washington & Jefferson||0 (tie)|
|1997||Ohio State||20||Arizona State||17|