"If we can play the game indoors in our stockings, I think we're ready," McKay said.
"The coach must think we're pretty good," said Swann. "Last year he hollered at us a lot. This year he's mellow. When we do something wrong, he just says, 'Way to miss a block, Swann.' "
To this, McKay said, "You don't have to holler so much when you win."
The Trojans started winning fast against UCLA, leading 10-0 after six minutes of the first quarter. UCLA managed a nice drive before the period ended to narrow it down to 10-7 and it looked, briefly, as if there might be a football game. Then came the second quarter. First, Davis fumbled a punt and gave UCLA the ball on USC's 27-yard line. If the Bruins had been able to get any points out of it, the Trojans might at least have had something to be concerned about. But the team that upset Nebraska way, way back there in early September just couldn't wishbone it any closer than the 16-yard line, and then missed a field goal. After that, with the Bruins for some reason refusing to pass—young Mark Harmon didn't get his first completion until deep in the third quarter—the UCLA attack came almost to a halt.
One of the reasons UCLA could not move all evening were some young defenders who promise to keep USC a terrific defensive team for another season or so, primarily two linebackers named Richard Wood, a sophomore, and Jim Sims, a transfer junior. They made about 25 tackles between them, never letting UCLA's James McAlister and Kermit Johnson get more than a glimpse of daylight. One play was typical. McAlister broke loose over tackle and turned toward the outside, and after five yards there didn't seem to be anyone between him and Pasadena. But out of nowhere came Wood, a 6'2", 220-pound cat from Elizabeth, N.J., to catch him from behind and nail him for only those five yards.
It was late in the second quarter, with Rae throwing and Davis pulling his disappearing act, that USC motored 80 yards for the touchdown that made it 17-7 at the half, and it was in the third quarter that USC did more of the same on a 96-yard drive to wind up the scoring and let the contest rattle around in UCLA futility throughout the last period.
It was so easy that UCLA Coach Pepper Rodgers could only sigh, "I guess USC is the best team I've ever seen, period. There isn't anything they don't do well on offense or defense and they know they can do it, and they do it."
Anthony Davis said afterward, "It was funny how unemotional we were. We were high, sure, but we weren't in a frenzy the way I always thought USC was supposed to be for UCLA."
John McKay sat grinning in the locker room. "The I-Bone is back," he said. "I don't care what happens the rest of the year because we're going home." Home is the Rose Bowl, which almost became McKay's personal property there for a while. At least it did until Stanford went the past two years.
"Gentlemen," said McKay, "I'd like to announce that the Rose Bowl no longer belongs to Radcliffe."