Georgia Tech’s B.J. Bostic (7) dives for a pass while defended by Southern California’s Nickell Robey during the Sun Bowl NCAA college football
Georgia Tech's B.J. Bostic (7) dives for a pass while defended by Southern California's Nickell Robey during the Sun Bowl NCAA college football game Monday in El Paso, Texas. (Mark Lambie/AP Photo)

Related stories: Vincent Bonsignore: USC's struggles show in Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech | Sun Bowl Live Blog: USC vs. Georgia Tech | Sun Bowl Final: USC 7 - 21 Georgia Tech | Photos of the Sun Bowl


USC offered one of its worst offensive performances in history on Monday and pretty much summed up an awful season with a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl before 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

The Trojans (7-6) managed just four first downs in the first three quarters. School records only went back to 1962 and showed seven first downs against Washington in 1990 as the fewest.USC eventually got its seventh midway through the fourth quarter.

This loss was even worse than the 1998 Sun Bowl, when TCU beat USC 28-19. The Horned Frogs featured future NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson. This Georgia Tech team featured no such stars.

But it appeared the Yellow Jackets were more fired up for the game, especially after Coach Paul Johnson yanked his team from a joint dinner earlier in the week because the Trojans were late.

The Trojans' season was personified on Georgia Tech's third touchdown that gave the Yellow Jackets a 21-7 lead.


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Quarterback Tevin Washington rolled out on third-and-17 from the 17-yard line and found tailback Orwin Smith in the flat, who was then completely missed by cornerback Nickell Robey, which allowed Smith to go into the end zone on third-and-17.

The Trojans got down to the Georgia Tech 4-yard line in the fourth quarter but Wittek was intercepted in the end zone.

The first half was unimpressive as neither team looked sharp, perhaps because of the wind.

Georgia Tech running back David Sims, top, leaps over a pile up of Southern California defenders during the Sun Bowl NCAA college football game Monday in
Georgia Tech running back David Sims, top, leaps over a pile up of Southern California defenders during the Sun Bowl NCAA college football game Monday in El Paso, Texas. Georgia Tech won 21-7. (Mark Lambie/AP Photo)
Wittek struggled much of the half, completing 7 of 13 passes for 58 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Georgia Tech (7-7) does not pass much and it showed as quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee were 3 for 6 for 31 yards with a touchdow and interception.

USC tailback Silas Redd caught a nine-yard pass from Wittek and dove into the end zone to tie the game, 7-7. That followed Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee's 3-yard touchdown pass to David Sims that gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 lead.

Kyle Negrete's low line-drive punt is scooped up by Jamal Golden and he runs 57 yards through the coverage down to the USC 1-yard line. Quarterback Tevin Washington scores two plays later and the Yellow Jackets are back on top.

Notes: USC coach Lane Kiffin chewed out kicker Andre Heidari for standing at midfield and posing with his arms on his chest after the opening kickoff. Kiffin followed Heidari to the USC bench and missed the first play of the game to angrily confront Heidari for not going downfield to tackle.

Heidari kicked a 37-yard field goal that was initially ruled good by an official, who was then overruled by the replay official. The replay showed he missed the kick wide left.

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee lined up as a rusher on USC's punt return coverages.