Eight years ago, USC hammered Penn State in the 2009 Rose Bowl. Though sophomore running back Joe McKnight played sparingly in the 38-24 win — six touches for 23 yards — many Trojan fans are flashing back to his performance Jan. 1, 2009, with heavy hearts.
Last month, McKnight, who played four seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets (2010-12) and Kansas City Chiefs (2014) after leaving USC, was fatally shot in Louisiana. And on Monday, his college team will play their first game since they lost McKnight at just 28 years old.
In the Rose Bowl rematch against the Nittany Lions, they'll honor the former Trojans star who rushed for 2,213 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons (2007-09) with special "JM 4" helmet decals.
— USC FB Equipment (@USCEquipment) January 2, 2017