On this day in sports history

BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE

The Greenville Standard

 

Today’s article is about Sept. 23, 1978, the Alabama versus Southern California game at Legion Field. On October 8, 1977 Alabama was ranked number seven, USC was ranked number one with a 15 game winning streak. Alabama won 21-20.

In the 1978 game, Alabama was ranked number one and had twelve game winning streak. USC was ranked number seven. Alabama (2-0) beat #10 Nebraska 20-3, and #11 Missouri 38-20.

USC beat unranked Texas Tech (17-9), Oregon (37-10). USC had a very talented team. Two Heisman Trophy winners in Charles White(1979) and Marcus Allen(1981).

Offensive Lineman-Howell(Oilers), Brad Budde(d), Keith Van Horne(Bears), Anthony Munoz(Bengals). Defensive Players Ronnie Lott(49ers) and Chip Banks(Browns). Alabama received the opening kickoff; Tony Nathan was one man away from returning it for a touchdown. Alabama was forced to punt. USC drove the ball inside the red zone.

Alabama forced a fumble which was recovered by the Tide. In the next USC drive, Charles White scored on 40 yard run. USC kicked a 40 yard field goal to go up 10-0.

The second quarter Alabama drove the ball inside the USC five yard line. On second down, an official signaled touchdown for Alabama. It was ruled not a touchdown. Two plays later, Alabama turned the ball over on downs. At half the score was USC 10-0.

Alabama came out fired up in the second half. Major Ogilvie scored on a 41-yard run to make the score 10-7. USC scored two touchdowns to go up 24-7. The second one looked like an interception for Alabama which bounced out of Don McNeal’s hands into the Wide Receivers hands for a touchdown the wrong way.

Alabama scored quickly on a Rutledge to Krout 41 yard pass to make it 24-14. A blocked punt could not be converted into a touchdown. Six turnovers (4 interceptions and 2 fumbles) did not help the cause. A few weeks later, USC lost to Arizona State 20-7.

Next week I will discuss the September 30, 1978.

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