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O/NSO: It’s that off-season exhilarating video time again – Vol. 1 edition

The Obvious: With spring practice now well into the rear-view mirror, Trojans fans again begin the long wait until the first game on Sept. 4 against San Jose State in the Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious: In the meantime, USC fans will be searching for just a crumb of football news wherever they can find it, whether it be past, present, or future of their beloved cardinal and gold. So, has been our off-season video tradition, the O/NSO starts with some of our favorite memories of Trojans football throughout our 59 years of watching the Men of Troy. Some of these videos may be repeats of glorious USC football moments that you’ve already seen, but they never get old for me and hopefully for you, as well. 


The Obvious: How do you begin any Trojans’ video highlights without the classic 1967 USC-UCLA game, a game that was for all the national championship, conference, and bragging rights marbles? The signature play and probably the historical signature play of USC football, the 64-yard O.J. Simpson run, 23-blast – an audible, in the fourth quarter to beat UCLA, 21-20. The actual winning point came courtesy of placekicker Rikki Aldridge.

The Not So Obvious: Below, enjoy what is arguably the greatest run in USC history.

The Obvious: Although the Trojans didn’t defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 1969 Rose Bowl game, losing 27-16, it was still a classic memory when O.J. Simpson broke loose on that 80-yard touchdown jaunt and made O.J. believers out of the Buckeyes and their fans in Pasadena.

The Not So Obvious: Below, this O.J. 80-yard run made believers out of Ohio State.

The Obvious: There have been many outstanding to incredible touchdown catches in USC football history, the 1969 Sam Dickerson catch in the deep corner of the Coliseum end zone to win with just 1:32 remaining to beat UCLA, 14-12, certainly ranks right up there in time and controversy.

The Not So Obvious: Below, the Bruins cannot still accept this catch was in-bounds.

The Obvious: How in the world can you leave out the Anthony Davis second half “comeback” touchdown kickoff return in the 1974 Notre Dame classic in the Coliseum? It’s the loudest the O/NSO has heard the Coliseum for a half, and the final score was pretty loud, as well, 55-24.

The Not So Obvious: Below is the spark that started “The Comeback”.

The Obvious: One of the great winning drives in USC history was the 1981, 28-24, victory over powerful Oklahoma in the last 59 seconds at the Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious: Below, Oklahoma fans are still numb over that final Trojans drive.

The Obvious: When you discuss great catches during the 80s, you have to include the 1987 incredible but controversial 33-yard touchdown grab by Erik Affholter against UCLA with 7:39 to play, which lead to a heart-pounding, 17-13, victory over the Bruins.   

The Not So Obvious: Below, the miraculous catch by Erik Affholter.

The Obvious: Given the circumstances, probably the greatest and most exciting win in the South Bend history of the Notre Dame/USC series came in 2005 when the Trojans rallied in the final moments to defeat the Irish, thanks to an impossible 61-yard catch-and-run by receiver Dwayne Jarrett from quarterback Matt Leinart, which set up the legendary “Bush Push” for the numbing, 34-31, victory.  

The Not So Obvious: Below, the final drive in which Jarrett made his immortal catch.  

The Obvious: If you had never heard of tailback Reggie Bush, all you’d have to do was watch this one-man wrecking crew on that historic night in the Coliseum in 2005, a record-setting 513-yard all-purpose performance in a wild, 50-42, win over Fresno State.

The Not So Obvious: Below, the greatest all-purpose performance in USC history.

The Obvious: And a child shall lead them. The folks in the state of Ohio won’t soon forget what Trojans’ true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley did to their beloved Buckeyes in 2009, when all the freshman prodigy did was make one final comeback drive in “The Horseshoe” to shock the home team, 18-15, in the final minutes in front of an Ohio State record crowd of 106,033.

The Not So Obvious: Below, Ohio State fans still ask how could a freshman do that to us?

The Obvious: No way could one have ended this first installment of USC football memories without watching the end of the 2017 Rose Bowl game and Trojans’ placekicker Matt Boermeester’s 46-yard game winner on the final play of the game. Final score: USC 52, Penn State 49

The Not So Obvious: Below, did the Trojans win it or did Penn State lose it?

The Obvious: And finally, the aforementioned videos bring back such a positive vibe that they really are worth watching over and over again.

The Not So Obvious: As the off-season continues, the O/NSO will intersperse some of our favorite moments through video that many of you have experienced in person and for those of you that only know these wonderful memories from what you’ve read or heard about.  

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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