USC 38
Iowa 17

January 2, 2003 – Pro Player Stadium
Palmer Leads USC Rout
The 2003 Orange Bowl match-up between Southern California and Iowa restored a traditional postseason match-up between Big Ten and Pac-10 conference champions. It was just a tad further east than normal. This traditional Pasadena match-up played out instead in South Florida and created a tremendous amount of interest on the national scene.
In the end, it was the perfect ending to a storied season and collegiate career for USC’s star quarterback Carson Palmer. The Heisman Trophy winner dominated his duel with Heisman runner-up Brad Banks, throwing for 303 yards and a touchdown to help No. 5 USC beat No. 3 Iowa, 38-17.
Palmer led scoring drives of 79, 80, 99, 85 and 61 yards and added MOP honors to his long list of 2002 accolades. USC mounted long touchdown marches on its first three possessions of the second half to open-up a game that was 10-10 at halftime.
Iowa’s biggest play came when C.J. Jones returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, an Orange Bowl record.
USC held the ball for over 38 minutes and did not turn the ball over. Justin Fargas led the way on the ground with 20 carries for 122 yards and Sultan McCullough added another 77 yards on 12 carries.


  USC Iowa
First Downs 30 18
Rushing Attempts 49 22
Rushing Yards 247 119
Passes Attempted 31 36
Passes Completed 21 15
Had Intercepted 0 1
Passing Yards 303 204
Total Offense 550 323
Punts/Avg. 2/37.5 5/42.6
Fumbles/Lost  2/0 2/1
Penalties/Yards 6/45 13/85


USC 7 3 14 14 - 38
Iowa 10 0 0 7 - 17

IOWA: Jones 100-yard kickoff return (Kaeding kick); USC: Fargas 4-yard run (Killeen kick); IOWA: Kaeding 35-yard FG; USC: Killeen 35-yard FG; USC: Williams 18-yard pass from Palmer (Killeen kick); USC: Fargas 50-yard run (Killeen kick); USC: McCullough 5-yard run (Killeen kick); USC: Byrd 6-yard run (Killeen kick); IOWA: Brown 18-yard pass from Banks (Kaeding kick) MOP: Carson Palmer (USC)
USC Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Iowa Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz



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