After taking several hundred photos at the Rose Bowl, I’ve only used a few in this blog. To do the Granddaddy of Them All some justice, here’s a photo essay showing what it was like to be there on game day.
Crews put the finishing touches on the stadium in the early morning on January 1.
The Illini fanatic on the left painted his van orange and drove cross-country with a handful of friends. The car is plastered in signatures, notes, and sketches from fellow fans and rivals around the country.
It’s one thing when coeds wear these shirts, but it’s another when the lady in the picture was my mom’s age.
Photogs line up to capture the glory that is, um, USC stretching.
The Color Guard prepares to take the field.
A traditional pregame fly-over.
The Illinois band member on the left literally was marching on the field before she hung up. She’d clearly adjusted to LA lifestyle faster than the football team.
Coach Pat Ruel leads the first Trojans out of the tunnel.
What followed was a frenzied sea of cardinal and gold.
Towards the back of the pack, guys like Sedrick Ellis seemed to savor the moment.
Traveler wasn’t allowed to go more than a few feet from the tunnel, but did make an appearance.
Chauncey Washington takes off in his last game at USC.
Washington gets another handoff.
The offensive line snaps into action.
The Illini offense sputtered throughout the game.
Juice Williams’ pitch to Rashard Mendenhall (5) just led to more lost yardage.
In the press box, LA Times writers pour over notes and statistics.
In another part of the press box, reporters frantically write copy to make their deadlines.
Hershel Dennis (34) moments after scoring the final USC points of the game. It was a touching moment for the 6th year senior who had overcome a series of serious injuries and only scored once before, against Notre Dame in 2003.
Pete Carroll cracks a smile while trying to answer questions for a mob of reporters.
Lawrence Jackson admires the Rose Bowl trophy.
Rey Maualuga, John David Booty, and Pete Carroll address the press after the game.