When Garrett failed to gain an inch at Notre Dame's frantic middle, Fertig called time. Then the quarterback—"the best pure passer in college football," says McKay—spotted Hill on a down-and-in pattern for 23 yards. First down on the Irish 17. Fertig called time again and then shot a flat pass to Garrett, which carried out of bounds on the 15. On the following play Fertig found Hill racing wide open in the end zone, and blistered a pass toward him. The end made a diving grab that looked good, but an official ruled he was out of bounds on the catch. If USC considered the call debatable, it was no more so than the earlier holding penalty on Notre Dame that Ara Parseghian will have nightmares over for many a winter's night. When Fertig threw incomplete on third down, the Trojans' hopes sagged, but the senior quarterback had one more play left—a thing called 84-Z.