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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

There Seems to Be No Shortage of Scores to Settle

January 01, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Controversial touchdowns are part of Rose Bowl lore. The most famous, perhaps, is attributed to Northwestern's Art Murakowski, who fumbled as he neared or crossed the goal line against California in the 1949 game.

Murakowski was awarded a touchdown and the Wildcats went on to win, 20-14. There was no television instant replay at the time, so it's a lingering dispute.

Not so in the 1979 game when USC's Charles White leaped to the goal line in a short-yardage situation in the second quarter against Michigan.

A touchdown was signaled, but instant replay clearly showed that White lost the ball before he crossed the goal line. USC went on to win, 17-10.

Three years later, in a final regular-season game at the Coliseum, USC's Michael Harper also scored a phantom touchdown that enabled the Trojans to defeat Notre Dame, 17-13.

Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler commented tartly: "USC has really perfected that play."

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Trivia time: Who holds the modern, single-game Rose Bowl record for most touchdowns?

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Magic act: Perhaps the most dazzling play in Rose Bowl history was called KF79. It occurred on a muddy field in 1934 when lightly regarded Columbia defeated Stanford, 7-0.

It was virtually a hidden-ball trick with Columbia quarterback Cliff Montgomery faking a handoff to a charging player up the middle and then spinning and handing the ball to Al Barabas.

Barabas scored a 17-yard touchdown, untouched and unseen.

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Woody's world: The Rose Bowl was literally Woody Hayes' stomping grounds. The irascible Ohio State coach brought the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl eight times, and wound up with a 4-4 record.

Ohio State defeated USC, 20-7, in 1955 and, after the game, Hayes wasn't charitable, saying: "There are about four, possibly five, teams in the Big Ten that could beat USC. Big Ten teams are better in the Rose Bowl because they are raised on tougher competition."

His last appearance was in 1976 when an underdog UCLA team, which had lost to Ohio State, 41-20, during the regular season, surprised the previously unbeaten Buckeyes, 23-14.

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Fitting score: An anonymous sports writer before the 1922 Rose Bowl game between lightly regarded Washington & Jefferson and California that ended in a 0-0 tie: "All I know about Washington & Jefferson is that they are both dead."

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Best and worst: USC coach Howard Jones had a perfect Rose Bowl record, 5-0, from 1930 to 1940; Schembechler had the worst record, only two victories in 10 appearances.

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Trivia answer: USC's Sam Cunningham in 1973, and UCLA's Eric Ball in 1986, each with four.

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And finally: Roy Riegels' wrong-way run in the 1929 game against Georgia Tech will be forever remembered as the most bizarre play in Rose Bowl history.

However, in the same game, the air completely went out of the ball on a California quick kick and it fell to the turf flat as a pancake.

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