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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Youthful Sharpshooter From Oregon Puts Another Notch in His Gunbelt

October 11, 1987|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

EUGENE, Ore. — Billy the Kid gunned down the USC Trojans here Saturday, 34-27.

Bill Musgrave, a redshirt freshman quarterback who has played in just five college football games, made it look easy as the Oregon Ducks stunned the Trojans before 39,587 fans at Autzen Stadium.

The young Oregon quarterback, who was ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency behind UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman going into the game, completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Ducks moved into a tie with the idle Bruins for the Pacific 10 Conference lead.

"Billy the Kid did a hell of a job," said Bob Toledo, Oregon's offensive coordinator. "He has a lot of poise for a guy who had never played college football."

Musgrave needed an escort from security guards to work his way through the delirious Duck fans who poured onto the field after the game to celebrate Oregon's first win over USC since 1971. It was the most points that Oregon has scored against USC since 1915.

"It was wild out there," Musgrave said of the Oregon fans who tried to tear down the metal goal posts. "I'm just glad that I gave them something to celebrate."

It was Musgrave's second consecutive big game. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns as Oregon knocked off Washington, 29-22, last week.

"I thought I played better last week," Musgrave said. "We should have had another touchdown in the first half (Saturday)."

But Oregon won't have long to celebrate.

The Ducks play UCLA next Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

"Obviously, I think that UCLA will be favored," Oregon Coach Rich Brooks said. "They're a great football team and they have the No. 1 quarterback in the nation.

"Like every week, we're going to be the underdog. But we're in the best position we could be in."

Said Musgrave: "How am I going to celebrate tonight? I'm going to go home and watch some games on ESPN and start thinking about playing UCLA next week.

"I'm sure the Bruins will be tough. UCLA has got all of that prestige. They're a hell of a team."

Musgrave got off to a fast start as the Ducks built a 21-0 halftime lead.

Oregon's game plan, which was devised by Brooks and Toledo, a former USC assistant coach, was to throw early. And Musgrave and the Duck offense executed it to perfection.

"It's a funny feeling beating USC," Toledo said. "I've got some great friends at USC, and to know that you beat someone you love is strange. It's like seeing your ex-wife."

In the first half, Musgrave completed 15 of 24 passes for 214 yards, including touchdowns of 28 and 6 yards to tight end Tim Parker.

However, Brooks said that this wasn't even Musgrave's best game.

"It was probably his worst game," Brooks said of Musgrave. "He turned the ball over twice on interceptions and he had a couple of fumbles. Don't get me wrong, though, he did a lot of good things today."

Said Toledo: "You saw Billy at his worst today. He hadn't made many mistakes until today."

Parker was Oregon's leading receiver against USC, catching 6 passes for 82 yards, including the two first-half touchdowns.

"I was dreaming about playing against (USC linebacker) Marcus Cotton," Parker said. "And I think I had a pretty good day. Cotton is a great athlete, but I don't think he hit me cleanly all day."

With the Trojans looking for the pass, Oregon went to its rushing game in the second half.

The Ducks had 448 yards of total offense, 287 in the air and 161 on the ground.

Running back Derek Loville led Oregon on the ground, rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown.

"I wanted to go to school at USC when I was a kid because I wanted to play tailback there," Loville said. "But I don't want to go there anymore."

Oregon's players aren't surprised at how well they're playing this season.

The way the Ducks are playing, they may not need an airplane to fly to Pasadena next week.

Said split end Terry Obee, who caught 2 passes for 39 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth period: "I wasn't surprised that we beat USC and Washington. The team knows that we're good; we just had to make everybody else believe it."

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