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THEM'S THE BOUNCES
Douglas S. Looney
October 05, 1981
USC capitalized on the rushing of Marcus Allen and fast and loose ball handling by Oklahoma to pull out a last-minute victory
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October 05, 1981

Them's The Bounces

USC capitalized on the rushing of Marcus Allen and fast and loose ball handling by Oklahoma to pull out a last-minute victory

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The game looked to be won, at last, for the Trojans when on the next play Mazur saw Allen crossing to his right and open in the end zone. But suddenly, coming from the other direction, leaping to tip the pass away, was Cornwell, the same guy who had just been called for holding. On the play, Cornwell normally would have delayed at the line of scrimmage, but Robinson had instructed him on the sideline to fire out immediately. Thus, he was in the way of Mazur's throw. Ignorance sometimes is bliss, and Cornwell had no idea that the pass was intended for Allen, not him, until so informed by reporters after the game.

"Really?" he exclaimed, and shouted over to Allen, "Well, sorry, Marcus." It was poetic justice that Cornwell—the man of double-blunder—would run the same route on the next play, make the catch for the winning TD and turn the Coliseum into bedlam. "That," said Cornwell, "was fun."

Which is how Allen has viewed it all along. "I have nothing to complain about," he says. "I'm on a team everybody wants to play on, playing a position everybody wants to play." That the Trojans are hot on the trail of another national championship just makes it all the more fun.

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