"I don't know how he did it," said a disbelieving Jimmy Jones when told of Theismann's yardage. "There were times in the second half when all I'd have was a handful of mud after the snap."
"It was pretty sloppy," admitted Theismann himself. "I guess the one thing that made it possible was the turf. It was in fine condition. That helped."
But, as Joe noted, not enough to overcome "some horrible offensive mistakes." He said, "I made a big one, that fumble in the end zone. That cost us the ball game. But I have no excuses. They beat us. They beat us bad. If we could have sustained our running game [the Irish netted only 31 yards rushing], we'd have been in there. In the Cotton Bowl we'll have to be like the Trojans were today."
Parseghian, totally soaked, was totally distraught as well. "It doesn't matter if you lose by one point or 40," he said. "What happened was just what I feared after a review of their films. They caught the football. They didn't make the mistakes they had been making. They didn't get the penalties they'd had."
Over in USC's locker room John McKay, jaunty now, strode toward the shower sans all but his mud-soaked shoes and a fat cigar. "Well," he said, "it makes the winter livable."