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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996 | GAME REPORT: USC 27, Notre
Dame 20

No Bowl for Notre Dame?

December 01, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY and JIM HODGES

Representatives of the Fiesta and Independence bowls requested credentials for the Notre Dame-USC game, with the Fiesta in line to bring the Irish to Tempe, Ariz., had they beaten USC, and the Independence figuring to have a chance at Notre Dame in case of a loss.

The question remained whether Notre Dame, which puts so much emphasis on the bowl alliance, would accept a bid to play in Memphis, Tenn., and, if so, whether Lou Holtz would coach them one more time.

But after the game Notre Dame Athletic Director Mike Wadsworth ruled out the Independence Bowl, and Notre Dame players said they were told by Holtz that this would be their last game.

*

John Robinson's coaching staff, virtually intact since he returned to USC in 1993, will start breaking up this week.

Offensive coordinator Mike Riley, who already has been interviewed by Fresno State, will be interviewed by Oregon State officials Monday in Los Angeles. He's also been contacted by the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Keith Burns, defensive coordinator, is a candidate for two Texas head coaching jobs, SMU and Baylor.

It's also expected that Athletic Director Mike Garrett will insist Robinson fire some other assistants, and sources say the coach's son, linebackers coach David Robinson, and running backs coach Charles White are in jeopardy.

*

It had to hurt, even it was a father and son, seemingly locked in an almost violent two-way hug.

Sid Otton, Brad Otton's father and high school coach at Tumwater, Wash., first tired to rescue his son from a victory pummeling at midfield, in the wild celebration that erupted when the game ended.

He failed, then pushed his way up the Coliseum tunnel and past security guards to find his son. He found him, as Otton was being taken to an interview room, to meet the press.

How did his ribs feel afterward?

"They hurt, but more from people pounding on me in the victory celebration than from the game," Otton said.

"My four-month-old nephew kicked me in the chest the other night and I thought I'd die. I thought, 'if that hurts, what will it be like when Kory Minor hits me?' "

He did, and it hurt a lot. It was Minor, the Notre Dame linebacker, who knocked Otton out of the first half with a hard hit on the game's sixth play.

*

Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus had a tough time on the Irish's final touchdown, drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty, then failing to turn the ball so that the laces pointed out on Jim Sanson's kick, which was pulled to the left.

"I won't say what I did," said Powlus of the penalty. "Just say I was penalized."

*

The Irish lost linebacker Kory Minor, from La Puente Bishop Amat High, in the first quarter because of a bruised knee, but he came back to play later, but not in the fourth quarter.

"No doubt the loss of Kory Minor hurt us a lot on defense," Coach Lou Holtz said. "But we have no excuses."

Minor had leveled SC quarterback Brad Otton on the game's sixth play, sending him to the sideline until the second half.

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