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Looking back

Grider got Beban the ball

November 28, 2007|Lonnie White

The USC-UCLA rivalry has produced many legendary players who are remembered for great offensive plays in the series -- from O.J. Simpson's 64-yard touchdown run in 1967 to Gaston Green's 224 yards and four rushing touchdowns in 1986 to Erik Affholter's debated touchdown catch in 1987.

But the rivalry also has had more than its share of stars on defense, starting with last year's instant legend, UCLA's Eric McNeal. This week, The Times provides a look back at six memorable defensive efforts in the series:

UCLA's Dallas Grider, 1965

USC and UCLA were both undefeated in conference play and the winner of the 1965 game was guaranteed a trip to the Rose Bowl.

But USC needed only a tie and for nearly 56 minutes, the Trojans completely dominated play. With tailback Mike Garrett rushing for 210 yards, the Trojans had 405 total yards and piled up 21 first downs in taking a 16-6 lead late in the fourth quarter.

That's when UCLA, which had been held to five first downs and 85 yards in offense, turned things around behind opportunistic linebacker Dallas Grider.

The first big play Grider made came when the Trojans had the ball at their own 23-yard line. USC quarterback Troy Winslow rolled out to pass, but before he could get rid of the football, Grider hit him and forced a fumble.

UCLA recovered the ball and quarterback Gary Beban led the Bruins to a touchdown and successful two-point conversion to cut USC's lead to 16-14.

With four minutes remaining, UCLA Coach Tommy Prothro called for an onside kick. Again, Grider was in the right place at the right time.

He came up with the Bruins' desperation kick and UCLA had the ball back near midfield. Beban then did the rest, completing a touchdown pass to Kurt Altenberg to give UCLA a 20-16 come-from-behind victory and trip to the Rose Bowl.

All made possible by Grider.


-- Lonnie White

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