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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

November 21, 1994|ALLAN MALAMUD

Thumbs up to the Rams for the kind of gutsy and intelligent performance Sunday night that might have beaten 26 of the other 27 NFL teams. . . .

They just weren't quite good enough to beat the team that has Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. . . .

San Francisco's 31-27 victory probably was the last in the L.A. Ram-49er series and certainly one of the best. . . .

*

Six days before the Notre Dame-USC game at the Coliseum, former Fighting Irish stars Tim Brown and Rocket Ismail scored all three touchdowns for the Raiders in their victory over the New Orleans Saints. . . .

It should also be noted that former Trojan blocker Don Mosebar helped to protect Jeff Hostetler during all three of those pass plays. . . .

Nobody could doubt the courage or competitive spirit of Jim Everett, who took some hard shots before rallying the Saints late in the fourth quarter. . . .

The Raiders' touchdown drive after the opening kickoff was a thing of beauty--87 yards in 10 plays, five runs, five completions in five attempts to four receivers, and no L.A. penalties. . . .

For those 5 minutes 51 seconds, they looked like the Super Bowl contenders that they should be. . . .

But Hostetler, who had a pass intercepted in the final four minutes when he shouldn't have been throwing, continues to be guilty of trying to force things. . . .

Like most teams, the Raiders aren't very good when they play prevent defense. . . .

The defense shut out New Orleans the rest of the game, the Saints' first touchdown coming on a return of a fumble recovery. . . .

Most surprising statistic of the day: The Raiders weren't penalized in the first quarter. . . .

Least surprising: The Raiders finished with 11 penalties for 89 yards. . . .

The Raiders must use the same generous crowd counter as the Clippers. . . .

Terry Donahue put it best Saturday at the Rose Bowl. . . .

"We're red hot, but we've run out of games," the UCLA coach said. . . .

The Bruins were awesome the last two weeks, blasting Arizona State, 59-23, and cruising past USC, 31-19. . . .

However, they won only three of their first nine and their season is over at 5-6. . . .

It's a classic case of "what if." . . .

If J.J. Stokes hadn't been sidelined most of the season, if Carl Greenwood hadn't gone down early, if Skip Hicks had been ready sooner, or if the injury-free players had reacted better to adversity, the Bruins would be receiving some kind of a bowl bid. . . .

The caliber of the invitation USC will get probably will depend on how the Trojans fare against Notre Dame. . . .

A repeat of their performance at the Rose Bowl would mean a 12th consecutive loss to the Fighting Irish to go along with four in a row to the Bruins. . . .

The second half was a combination of UCLA being very good and USC something far less. . . .

UCLA was aggressive on defense, Stokes was Stokes, Sharmon Shah was ultra-tough, and Wayne Cook was cool and confident. . . .

USC reverted to its sloppy tackling of early in the season, couldn't make the big plays on offense and, for reasons unfathomable in a rivalry such as this, appeared to get outhustled. . . .

"We didn't play up to their emotional level," USC center Jeremy Hogue said. . . .

Many of the Trojans' errors were unforced. . . .

For instance, Cole Ford, the long-ball kicker, booted two kickoffs out of bounds, giving the Bruins good field position at their 35-yard line, from where they mounted touchdown drives. . . .

*

What was supposed to be the fight of the year wasn't even the fight of the month at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. . . .

The suspense to Roy Jones' 12-round victory over James Toney on Friday evaporated after about a minute when it became apparent that Jones was too quick for a super middleweight who had weighed 208 pounds a few weeks earlier. . . .

An uncommon talent with a common name, Jones is probably the best fighter pound-for-pound because he has the punching power that Pernell Whitaker lacks. . . .

But there might not be anybody to test Jones. . . .

Oregon got to Pasadena the best way--through the front door.

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