Granted, it was a heartbreaker for Penn State.
But it was a game for the ages and the sages.
And then some.
Indeed, the Rose Bowl — already etched in folklore as the Granddaddy of Them All — just might have been the Greatest of Them All Monday night.
It featured two epic comebacks, first by Penn State and then by USC; a delicious abundance of spectacular plays and heroics; 101 points; 1,040 yards of offense; and more drama than even Broadway has seen.
The electrifying encounter even had the requisite heart-thumping ending with Matt Boermeester, who already had missed two field goals, nailing a 46-yarder amidst the cacophonous tension as time expired to give the Trojans, who had rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, a synapse-snapping 52-49 victory.
The field was chockfull of great plays by great players, but the Greatest of Them All was Southern Cal freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, whose wonderful arm talent and riverboat-gambler nerve helped him pass for 453 yards and five touchdowns.
Darnold was the embodiment of Clutch.
The game was the embodiment of Classic.