Are you excited about the USC-Notre Dame game?
It’s a great road trip even if USC is awful. Don’t let the Trojans’ 3-3 record spoil it.
This week, there was a list of the five greatest USC-Notre Dame games by Athlon. Frankly, it was a pretty bad list, with the 1929, 1948, 1978, 1986 and 2005 games selected. The 1986 game was decided by a late field goal by John Carney to give Notre Dame a 37-35 victory but there was nothing really at stake.
Athlon left out the best part of the 1948 game, which was a 14-14 tie. As the final gun sounded, an earthquake rocked the Coliseum that was felt from Colorado to Mexico.
The 2005 game was a classic, and the best stadium atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. But why did Athlon’s omit these games?
- 1931: A 16-14 USC victory in last minute. More than 300,000 attended a ticker-tape parade in Los Angeles to celebrate the Trojans’ victory. USC won the national championship that season.
- 1974: 55-24. At one point in first half, it was 0-24. USC scored 55 unanswered points. Another national championship season for the Trojans.
- 1964: 20-17. At halftime, USC trailed 17-0. Notre Dame entered the game unbeaten and ranked No. 1.
USC linebacker Ernie Pye walked through a plate-glass window at the team hotel dining room, cut his heel and missed the game.
“O.K., fellows. Ernie’s given us the idea for today,” John McKay said. “We’ve got to crash their glass.”
Notre Dame fumbled in the third quarter at the USC 9-yard line and then had a holding penalty on a 1-yard TD run.
Those plays kept USC within striking distance and set up one of the most memorable plays in USC history as quarterback Craig Fertig found wide receiver Rod Sherman on fourth-and-8 with 1:43 left for the game-winning TD.
The celebration was muted later that night when USC found out the faculty representatives of the Athletic Association of Western Universities curiously voted for co-champion Oregon State to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.
USC was 7-3. Oregon State was 8-2. The USC argument was it played a tougher schedule. The Trojans defeated then-No. 2 Oklahoma, lost to then-No. 2 Ohio State and beat No. 1 Notre Dame.
The Beavers had beaten then-No. 8 Syracuse and No. 10 Oregon.
“So far as I am concerned, this is one of the rankest injustices ever perpetrated in the field of intercollegiate athletics,” USC athletic director Jess Hill said.
- If you are in South Bend on Saturday, I recommend stopping by the only tailgate right next to Notre Dame Stadium. It’s also the only tailgate gate in the Stadium Parking Lot, right behind the Frank Leahy gate. Tell them Scott Wolf sent you.
- Every local news channel on Thursday night reported from the Row on the reports of sexual assaults at the Sigma Nu house. It’s the latest scandal for USC, which had gone about a week without something embarrassing taking place.
It will be interesting to watch Carol Folt handle this because it didn’t happen before she became president like so many other mishaps that have been in the news.
- USC is cracking down on students going to the roof of the Seeley G, Mudd building, which apparently has become a rite of passage. It’s the tallest building on campus and has a helipad and great views. My favorite story involving the rooftop was when Pete Carroll sent a staffer up to the top with mannequin and told the team the staffer caught a UCLA spy watching practice.
- The team, which was at Howard Jones Field, watched the staffer wrestle the mannequin. The staffer shocked the team by throwing the mannequin off the roof.
- But the the better part is the mannequin nearly hit a unsuspecting student walking below. It probably could have killed the student. The things Carroll got away with in those days . . .