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O/NSO: Cabin fever edition

The Obvious: On Thursday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered its nearly 40 million residents to stay at home through mandatory restrictions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Californians are being asked to stay in their homes – the only exemptions being the essential public’s needs for gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, and delivery restaurants. Feeling like millions of sports fans across the country, this whole necessary Coronavirus stay-in-your-house, self-quarantine is really testing to the extreme one’s fears, patience, and self-discipline by the second – not to mention just plain cabin fever. And if you try to dash in and out of a market without the Coronavirus attaching to some part of your being, it all seems like something out of The Twilight Zone, the legendary 60s sci-fi TV show.

The Not So Obvious: Good readers, cabin fever is now fully upon us, and how is a USC football fan to survive? My friends, you need some positive diversion; something that will give you a renewed enthusiastic state of mind if not a plain diversion even for a few brief moments. So, as an O/NSO public service and thanks to YouTube, we present below nine USC football games from our favorite memory achieves. The O/NSO thinks these games from over the many decades will bring a smile and a respite from the current environment. And as a bonus, we’ve included a little documentary regarding the Notre Dame/USC rivalry, as seen through the Irish perspective. So, sit back and enjoy the show!

The Obvious: Let’s begin with the 1963 Rose Bowl game (cover photo above – No. 26 is USC standout back/receiver Willie Brown), which featured the Trojans and Wisconsin for all the national marbles. What a wild shootout that was, and it featured a Rose Bowl with no lights. Enjoy the card stunts. Card stunts, what’s that? Just sit back, watch, and enjoy as Trojans’ golden throat radio voice Pete Arbogast describes the highlights.

The Not So Obvious:

Trojans’ All-America end Hal Bedsole (photo above – No. 19) scores against Wisconsin in the 1963 Rose Bowl. The Trojans went on to a wild 42-37 victory that gave Trojans future Hall of Fame head coach John McKay his first national championship.

The Obvious: There’s nothing quite like USC and Notre Dame. How did it begin and what is the Irish perspective of the rivalry? Let’s find out in the link below. Oh, and as a public service, this should be required viewing for Trojans’ first-year President Carol Folt.

The Not So Obvious:

The helmets of USC and Notre Dame (photo above) add to the color and pageantry of the country’s greatest and longest intersectional rivalry.

The Obvious: There was never a game that inflicted so much pain on the Irish and pleasure for the Trojans than when these two college bluebloods collided in 2005 in South Bend, so help me Reggie Bush.

The Not So Obvious:

Notre Dame was more than happy to see Reggie Bush (photo above – No.5) depart early for the NFL, especially after the 2005 Trojans pulsating 34-31 victory in South Bend.

The Obvious: Okay, the O/NSO is beginning to feel your happiness. And nowwwwwww, the legendary 1974 USC comeback against the Irish. Oh, BTW, that is WeAreSC Defensively Speaking columnist Kevin Bruce (No. 50) making a big fumble recovery in the second half.

The Not So Obvious:

WeAreSC Defensively Speaking columnist Kevin Bruce (photo above – No. 50) had a huge fumble recovery against Notre Dame in the famous 1974 Comeback Game in the Coliseum, a game that saw the Trojans down 24-7 at halftime but came out in the second half to drill the Irish 55-24.

The Obvious: The O/NSO can see the look of boredom and cabin fever on your face slowing being wiped away. Here’s another big upper…unless you’re an Oklahoma fan. Let’s enjoy watching the Trojans and Oklahoma in the BCS title game in the 2005 Orange Bowl. We dedicate these highlights to former Trojans OC Norm Chow.

The Not So Obvious:

Former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow (photo above on left) was a major reason why the Trojans’ offense was so prolific in the BCS title win over Oklahoma. The Trojans routed the Sooners 55-19.

The Obvious: The greatest victory and game for USC? If you haven’t seen the 1967 game, here is your chance to see and hear what all the commotion is all about. USC and UCLA fighting for the national championship, the conference championship, the Heisman Trophy, the Victory Bell, and it was all on ABC in a national telecast. Enjoy the background leading up to the game itself.

The Not So Obvious:

Trojans’ legendary head coach John McKay (photo above) was the toast of the town in Los Angeles after the Men of Troy defeated UCLA, 21-20, in 1967, a game that many still call the greatest and most important victory in USC football history.

The Obvious: USC and Ohio don’t meet very often unless it’s usually the Rose Bowl. So, the O/NSO is going to mix it up a bit and show you two Rose Bowl games and the “Drive” when quarterback Matt Barkley was a freshman against eh Buckeyes.. But first, here’s the 1972 Trojans, arguably the greatest college football team of all-time, against Ohio State in the 1973 Rose Bowl. For your info, No. 28 is tailback Anthony Davis, No. 39 is fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham, No. 22 is receiver Lynn Swann, and No. 83 is LB Richard “Batman” Wood. The QB is Mike Rae, who was vastly underrated.

The Not So Obvious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5hEsrwhy4o

Former USC All-America fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham (photo above) scored four legendary over-the-top touchdowns against Ohio State to lead the Trojans to a resounding 42-17 victory over the Buckeyes. The victory gave coach John McKay his second national championship.

The Obvious: If you want to make it hurt for your Buckeye buddy, let’s take a look at the 1974 Trojans and his “Thee” Ohio State. The Trojans’ QB is No. 10 Pat Haden, tailback No. 28 Anthony Davis, wide receiver No. 25 J.K. McKay, fullback No 42 Ricky Bell, fullback No. 15 David Farmer, and wide receiver No 26 Shelton Diggs. Watch this video ESPN Classic piece to the end as some of the Trojans players introduce themselves. Now this is when men were men.

The Not So Obvious:

USC coach John McKay (photo above on left) and tailback Anthony Davis (photo above on right) combined for two national championship victories over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl Games of 1973 and 1975. The 1975 Rose Bowl game was a dramatic 18-17 victory that clinched McKay’s fourth national title.

The Obvious: Perhaps his greatest moment as a Trojans quarterback,take a look at true freshman QB Matt Barkley and his legendary, late fourth quarterback drive at Ohio State. The ending stunned the Buckeyes and a sellout crowd at “The Horseshoe.”  

The Not So Obvious:

Trojans’ true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley (photo above – No. 7) was all smiles after helping upset Ohio State, 18-15, on a legendary drive late in the fourth quarter in Columbus.

The Obvious: And finally, the O/NSO hopes these highlights and history are a little bit of a pickup and keeps you going until next week.  

The Not So Obvious: Next week? Yeah, there is nothing like looking at the greatest moments of USC football. It sure beats worrying about the Coronavirus.

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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