- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
UCLA had momentum. Corral booted another field goal early in the fourth quarter—26-20—and the Bruins got the ball back on their 20 with 11:07 left in the game.
The march was slow but steady. Bashore passed. He handed off. One time he kept, was trapped and squirmed for an impossible first down. With less than five minutes to go, the Bruins had a first down on the Trojan three. Three plays and two minutes later it was fourth down on the one. Time out. Bashore consulted with his coach, Terry Donahue.
When the clock started, Bashore rolled right on a run-pass option. Hemmed in, he found Tight End Don Pederson in the end zone and hit him for a touchdown. The conversion put UCLA ahead 27-26 with 2:51 to play.
Having squandered a 16-point lead, USC then put together a march that would have done credit to Johnny Unitas. The runs were wide so that the backs could get to the sidelines, stopping the clock. So were the pass routes. USC did commit one menial error, using its last time-out when the clock had already stopped. But it got a break when pass interference was called against the Bruins at the UCLA 40. One play later Randy Simmrin made a circus catch, and the Trojans had the ball at the UCLA 23.
Two plays later, with 24 seconds left and the ball on the 19, USC's Mosi Tatupu ran for no gain toward the middle of the field to position the ball for a field-goal attempt. The field-goal unit raced in. Clock moving, UCLA taking their time getting up. Scrambling against time—12 seconds—lining up for the field goal—11 seconds—something Jordan, Center Mike McDonald and holder Mike Carey—10 seconds—had practiced many times—nine seconds. Jordan placed his tee—eight seconds—quickly at the Bruin 28—seven seconds—and as Carey flicked a hand for the snap—five seconds—Jordan moved forward.
Even as the ball was in the air, Jordan leaped almost as high. At the same time distraught UCLA defenders threw themselves to the ground. Two seconds left. USC the winner 29-27.
And so Washington will go to the Rose Bowl to meet Michigan, USC will take on Texas A&M in the Bluebonnet Bowl and UCLA will wish them both a Happy New Year.