Alabama, known as the "wooden horse" led at the half 20–0 and the Trojans had a net loss of 24 yards. USC, which had won eight straight Rose Bowl games since 1923, didn't make a first down until the third quarter when the score was 27–0.
Alabama outgained USC 351 to 41 yards. Quarterback Harry Gilmer threw only 11 times in the game for one touchdown and ran for 116 yards on 16 carries. Hal Self scored twice, on a one-yard run and on a 24-yard Gilmer pass. Gilmer went over from the one, and Lowell Tew hit left guard from the two for points and Norwood Hodges scored up the middle on a one-yard plunge. Hugh Morrow kicked four extra points in the game.
This was the last Rose Bowl game played with "at large" teams from outside the Pac-8/Big 10 conferences. These two elite conferences openly admitted restricting the Rose Bowl, because they were tired of getting beaten by teams playing "hillbilly ball". The same reason they cited for not inviting them pre-1920.