A Good Time To Recall Some Strange Rose Bowl Memories

The death of Marv Marinovich brings back a lot of memories of the 1963 Rose Bowl, where No. 1-ranked USC defeated No. 2 Wisconsin, 42-37.

And when I say memories, I can’t say they were all great for USC.

First, the defensive line was a shambles when Wisconsin made its second-half comeback. Marinovich was ejected in the second quarter for personal foul; defensive tackle Gary Kirner cut his hand on a luggage rack and extremely limited while Mike Gale was out with a neck injury.

The entire USC roster was 59 players and starters went two ways that season so a few injuries could be significant.

USC hung for the victory and won the national championship but legendary coach John McKay wasn’t in a mood to celebrate.

When he entered the locker room, a USC official who had not seen the end of the game asked him what happened? McKay shoved the official and said, “Get out of my way.”

When the team entered the locker room, McKay was livid.

“He chewed us out for 45 minutes,” said wide receiver Hal Bedsole, who was the game MVP. “You would have thought we lost the game.”

You don’t hear those two things every day from the winning locker room of a Rose Bowl.

In the picure, you can see how players were required by play two ways. USC QB Pete Beathard is trying to make a goal-line tackle with Bedsole (19).

4 thoughts on “A Good Time To Recall Some Strange Rose Bowl Memories

  1. “USC QB Pete Beathard is trying to make a goal-line tackle with Bedsole (19)” – With Beathard and Bedsole as the last stand before the goal line, no wonder Wisconsin scored 37 points.

    McKay was probably steamed at himself. At the start of the 4th quarter, it was something like 42-14, McKay pulled the starters, then all hell broke loose. Trojans finished 11-0 for the natty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great background story, t1967!
      I recall reading about this game later on as a wee kid in one of my scholastic books. Back in those years, it was considered a “classic” Rose Bowl. Ron VanderKelen of UW lead an improbable comeback–as you suggest–against walk-ons and second-stringers.

      I recall fondly as a kid knowing every Jan 1 that the Pac 8 would humble the Big 10.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. And the whole team drank from the garden hose after the game. It was a respect out of fear, and gratitude. McKay cared enough to make his players tough.
    Our current situation can be symbolized with cotton balls. Clay Helton is a teddy bear.

    Liked by 1 person

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