Remembering Steve Riley

This week I am going to remember Trojans who died in 2021.

Today, a look at offensive tackle Steve Riley, who was an All-American offensive tackle in 1973.

Steve Riley died on Sept. 16 from cardiac arrest. He was 68.

Riley was an offensive tackle on the 1972 national championship team that went undefeated and named an All-American in 1973.

Riley was a first-round pick in 1974 and spent 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, where he started 128 of the 138 games he played.

In 1976, Riley took over the starting left tackle spot, where he remained a fixture throughout the rest of his career. He started in Super Bowl XI to cap that season and helped Minnesota advanced to the 1977 NFC Championship Game.

He also played in Super Bowls IX and XI.

His games played rank fourth-most in Vikings history among tackles behind Ron Yary (199), Grady Alderman (194) and Tim Irwin (188).

“Steve had a great attitude, and he was proud to be a Viking,” former Vikings coach Bud Grant said. “He was as nice a guy as you could have, and he had a tough job as the left tackle. He was an athletic player and very intelligent.

“He and Ron Yary were our bookends at tackle, a couple of Southern California guys, and they did a great job.”

Over his career, Riley helped the Vikings reach the playoffs seven times. 

He came to USC from Castle Park High School in Chula Vista.

24 thoughts on “Remembering Steve Riley

      1. Pete had a great run at USC and a really good run at Seattle. A few different decisions, and maybe there would have been another natty or two at USC and another SB at Seattle. Might be a good time to go to the announcer’s box. But that isn’t Pete…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah…I’m afraid Pete’s thinking, “…ya know, with a healthy Russell Wilson next season will be aces!”…..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ironically, Helton probably would have a much better job today had he negotiated a buyout after Darnold left, knowing that with Sam gone, so would be success. Now he is at freakin’ Georgia Southern. What USC coach ever went from USC to freakin Georgia Southern?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Things usually turn out better when you do the right thing –Helton SHOULDA stepped down after the Cotton Bowl. Meyer cleaned his clock and showed him he was nothing but a second rater (just like Saban did the year before). Instead Helton marched over to the A.D.’s office and asked for more money and an extension. He deserves his fate.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Michael, Helton’s fate is using his last year of eligibility and having to face the ‘Bama D, lining up under center. Or lining up for a shotgun and having Toa be the center.


        Liked by 1 person

      6. Playing QB with Toa at center could end a love affair real fast…
        “So the grand affair is over
        And whoever coulda guessed
        It would leave us feeling empty
        And so vaguely unimpressed…”
        —Leonard Cohen

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, if I’m a speed burner and I have a new coach who knows how to win FB games and develop talent in the media center that is USC, why would I transfer.

      Oh, I failed to mention that there is no RB talent on the USC sidelines at this time other than the Mater Dei recruit. The Barlow RB runs well and will have a good year, but Kenon is “special.”


  1. I have never seen (what I assume is are) those WSU uniforms. The snark and banter are great but the history and information, however unpopular it is for mainstream, can be found nowhere else. Love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Let’s not forget a great Trojan- Steve Riley passed away. He was part of probably the greatest college football team ever in 1972 and played along side Pete Adams, Alan Graf, Charles Young, and Alan Gallaher. What a tremendous offensive line that was. It has been a tough year losing Steve Riley, Sam Cunningham, and Manfred Moore from that team. RIP in Peace Steve we will not forget you!!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Scooter,

    for me, those years set the bar for SC football which really have never been met except for Carroll and a few years with him. SC was dominant from the late 60’s through the early 80’s. Just outstanding athletic talent that we may never see again. God Bless Riley.

    Liked by 2 people

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