In the Rose Bowl, USC defeated Wisconsin 42-37, and Bedsole was brilliant. He caught four passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns, one a spectacular 57-yard pass-run that girl friend Cathy didn't see because she was out at the time getting a hot dog. What Cathy did see, however, was Bedsole slamming into Wisconsin Quarterback Ron VanderKelen when VanderKelen was down and five yards out of bounds in the first quarter. It was one of three personal fouls charged against Bedsole for the day. "That has to be an all-world record," he says. When VanderKelen went down, half a dozen Wisconsin players jumped Bedsole for his eagerness. Actually eagerness had nothing to do with it, said Bedsole. What he really had in mind was to put VanderKelen through the Wisconsin bench, head first, like a woodscrew. "I don't know what got into me," he said. "All I could think of was that I had chased him 10 yards and I wanted to get him. I really ripped him, too. His guys hit me with their helmets, their fists, anything. I got my lumps and I deserved every one." He was not so humbled, however, that he could not say afterward that he thought he was a better end than Pat Richter, the Wisconsin All-America.
Hal Bedsole's candor still makes people wince; ex-marine Giddings has to get nose-to-nose with him at a minimum of once a week, and his advanced case of butter fingers has Beathard, McKay and half the West Coast worried stiff. But no one quite believes that en route to becoming a gentleman Hal Bedsole has forever lost his football finesse.
"The thing you must remember about Bedsole is that everything comes so incredibly easy for him," says Pro Scout Klosterman. "He'll come around. If you told him to run a zip-and-out and do a flip and a handstand and catch the ball with one hand and play the trombone with the other, he could do it. He has fantastic legs. He is the most devastating runner after the catch I've ever seen, and he's almost as fast as Willie Brown. On a drive pattern he is positively fierce [tackling Bedsole in the Rose Bowl cost Wisconsin Halfback Billy Smith seven teeth and a fractured jaw]. He's like Boyd Dowler without Dowler's raw speed, or he's like Chris Burford of our club with more speed, I heard one scout say he was convinced Bedsole wouldn't make it as a pro because of his attitude. 'Poison!' he said. 'Who needs him?' I'll tell you who need's him. Anybody in football."
Color Southern Cal's Hal Bedsole very much alive.