Rose Bowl

1944

 

USC 29

Washington 0

 

 

USC Fight Song

 

Note: Due to wartime travel restrictions, the Rose Bowl was a Pacific Coast affair in 1944. The Pacific Coast Conference regular season was thrown into turmoil 1943 because of these restrictions. In spite of the shortened season, Northern Division champion, Washington, faced the Southern Division champion, Southern California, in the Rose Bowl.  In actuality, plans for a full football season for Washington were abruptly cut off early in the fall when Oregon quit conference ball, followed immediately by Washington State, Oregon State and Idaho. Although the Huskies had not played a ball game since Oct. 30, Washington was a still a heavy favorite, having won their four games by wide margins, including a victory over Marsh Field. USC, 7-2, had lost only to powerful service teams.

 

By Maxwell Stiles

Oakland Tribune

PASADENA ROSE BOWL

 

Pasadena Rose Bowl- Jan. 1. Exponents of the saliva test were divided here this New Year's Day afternoon as to whether they should have examined University of Washington's Huskies after that mid-season victory over March Field, or whether they should hold up Southern California's end of the purse here today.

 

In the most amazing overturning of gridiron form the Pasadena Rose Bowl annual has known since Russ Saunders slaughtered Pittsburgh's seven All-Americans and Columbia trounced the Stanford wow boys, Coach Jeff Cravath's again terrific Trojans conquered Washington, 29 to 0 before 70,000 unbelieving witnesses.

 

It was the seventh Rose Bowl victory for Southern California in as many starts—and Washington's fourth failure in a quartet of opportunities.

 

The two teams were unbeaten in collegiate play, and the victory gave ' S.C. the 1943 championship of the Pacific Coast Conference. This was the first defeat for Pest Welch's Huskies in five games. The two defeats on the season's record of Southern California were suffered at the hands of service teams.

 

The bare facts that Southern California won was not so great an upset. Fans have learned to expect Southern California to win on New Year's Day. But the scoring of four touchdowns and a safety against a team that had been a 2-1 or from 7 to 14-point favorite, in the betting came as a distinct shock to practically everybody.

 

Actually, Washington at no time looked like a probable winner. The teams battled on nearly even terms until late in the first half when, with Jim Hardy taking over the quarterbacking duties from Ainsley Bell, Southern California's aerial supremacy began to make itself felt and a score was made less than a minute before the half-time gun.

 

Gaining from the experience of that touchdown, the Trojans returned to the air after the intermission and, finding the Husky halfbacks easy to get behind, rang up two more touchdowns in the third period, a safety and a touchdown in the fourth.

 

The first two touchdowns were made by George Callanan on passes from Hardy. The next two were snatched out of the air by Gordon Gray on passes respectively by Hardy and Bell. Hardy's feat of throwing three touchdown passes was reminiscent of Saunders against Pitt and Dixie Howell against Stanford, while his brilliant aerial exhibition in the waning moments of the second period brought back memories of Troy's Doyle Nave pitching to beat Duke in the final seconds of the 1939 game.

 

The Huskies were in Trojan territory only four times during the afternoon, twice being stopped on the 28 and twice on the 39-yard lines. They were never closer than the 28. Southern California, on the other hand, penetrated Washington territory on nine separate occasions and took full advantage of their position when there by scoring four times.

 

The odd two points were scored by Al Akins on a safety following blocked punt, and three conversions by Dick Jamison completed the scoring.

 

Hardy, the generalissimo who engineered the victory under the tutelage of the happy Jeff Cravath was popular a coach as ever won a Rose Bowl game, said after the contest that from the end of first quarter on the only thing the Trojans feared was that Washington might run back a kick. The Trojans figured that they had Washington's running attack stopped, and indeed they did, and that there was little danger from the sir. But the speed burner Akins, who played safety, was a constant threat.

 

Sam Robinson, Washington's ace back, played a fine game on offense, was tricked a few times while on defense, in general failed by several times around the world at the equator to live up to George Varnell's pre-game quote that here was another Husky as good as the great George Wilson. The only thing the two have in common is that both always played their heart out, and that both played in the Rose Bowl.

 

Robinson was giving everything he had, and he was probably the best back in the game, but only those with short memories could compare him with Washington's immortal Wilson than whom the West has never known a better back.

 

It was Hardy who stole the show, though he did little except pitch and punt. He completed eight out of 15 passes for 97 yards. Southern California's failure to lose the game, if one might speak in reverse English, was due to a new secret weapon- they didn't lose the ball on fumbles once all afternoon. For a team that had fumbled 50 times during the season and recovered only 21 of the 50 bobbles, this was a surprise that was so loud you could almost hear it. The Trojans fumbled twice and recovered both times. Add that to the Wonders of the World.

 

Two giant figures throughout the day were the opposing centers, Bill Gray for Southern California and Gordon Berlin for Washington. Both backed up the right side of the line- and both were spilling ball carriers all over the place like a couple of drunken waiters spilling coffee down your neck in a crowded beanery. Gray seemed to be a little the more ubiquitous of the two, either because nobody could have been better than Bill was here today or because he had a little more help from a better team, but actually you couldn't say Berlin was outplayed and be fair about it. He wasn't.

 

Except for a brief threat by Washington early in the game when the Huskies advanced to the Trojan 28 on a 15-yard run by Robinson, a 9-yard plunge by Wally Kramer and plunge by Akins, the story of the game begins when Hardy went into pitch.

 

The Husky threat had been turned back by two knocked down passes and an interception by George Callanan and then the antagonists had traded comers to start all over again with the second quarter.

 

Hardy ran back a punt 11 yards to the Husky 39 and then passed for first down on the 28, Parsons receiving, but the threat was broken up and then with Robinson, Austin and Akins outstanding the Huskies drove again to the Trojan 28 only once more to be denied. Then it began to happen.

 

Less than three minutes of the half remained and the Trojans were on their own 28. Eddie Saenz rang the bell for 9 and was stopped by Berlin. An off-side penalty against Washington gave Troy first down on their own 40. Hardy experimented with a pass and it clicked to George Callanan for first down on the Husky 49. Robinson made the tackle.

 

Hardy then tossed to Gordon Gray, who flicked a neat lateral to George Callanan and the latter ran to the Husky 25. The play gained 25 yards and very obviously shattered Husky confidence in their own defenses. Berlin stopped Saenz on the 20. Then Hardy passed to George Callanan on the 12 and again it was Robinson who checked the play. Hardy passed to Saenz for one as Kramer came booming up with terrific tackle on the 11. Robinson knocked down Hardy's next aerial heave, then Akin batted away one that was intended for Gordon Gray.

 

With 30 seconds of the half remaining, Hardy passed 7 yards to George Callanan. Catching the ball on the 4-yard line in the northwest corner of the field, Callanan played cat and mouse with Robinson, away from the Husky ace by side-stepping neatly infield after feinting toward the sideline, and crossed the goal without being touched. Jamison kicked goal and a few seconds later the half ended, 7 to 0, in favor of Troy.

 

Saenz returned a Husky kick eight yards to the Washington 41 to set up the second score shortly after the third period opened. George Callanan sprinted 29 yards to the Husky 12 where Akins brought him down, then Saenz fumble was recovered by Capt. Norman Verry on the 10. Then Hardy passed to George Callanan in the end zone for the score as Jack Tracy, Washington able all-coast end, stood there with his teeth in his mouth and did nothing to bat down the ball. Jamison again converted and was 14 to 0.

 

The third score wasn't long in coming. Jamison's kickoff over the goal was brought back by Akins to the Husky 39 where he fumbled. The gruesome twosome, Hardy and George Callanan, fell on it together.

 

The Trojans wore held and Hardy punted out on the Washington 11. Robinson picked up 13 yards but Akins fumbled when hit by Verry and Ted Ossowski recovered the rambled egg on the Washington 31. Saenz and Evans packed it to the 21 for the first down and on the next play Hardy made suckers of the Washington pass defense once more when he lobbed a high one into the end zone that came down into the arms of Gordon Gray with nobody looking on from closer than the first row of seats in the northeast stands.

 

This time Jamison's try for point was blocked by Tracy. Just which of three hurtling Trojan linesmen actually blocked Austin's end zone punt in the fourth period, was not apparent from the press box. But, out of the exhibition of plain and fancy diving that followed, Akins emerged with the ball and so it went down as a safety and two points for Southern California.

 

The final score followed almost with the next tick of the clock. Dreblow returned Washington's kickoff 34 yards to the Husky 30, then followed up with an 18-yard dash for half the distance to the goal line. Dreblow it was who added three to the 15, and then Ainsley Bell, not to be outdone by his alternate, Hardy, tossed one to Gordon Gray in the end zone.

 

Jamison added the extra and 29th point and what happened after that must remain a civilian secret as it wasn't important and it's time to say "30," to this which the Trojans couldn't do lacking one number.

 

USC's PAT is blocked following their third touchdown. In pursuit of the ball are USC's Eddie Saenz (29) and Jim Hardy (21) and Washington's Bill Ward (15) and Sam Robinson (4).

 

George Callanan catches one of his two touchdowns on the day.

 

USC Rose Bowl Media Guide

 

Attendance: 68,000

 

Scoring Summary

 

Second Quarter

USC- Callahan 11 yard pass from Hardy (Jamison kick)

 

Third Quarter

USC- Callahan 10 yard pass from Hardy (Jamison kick)

USC- Gray 21 yard pass from Hardy, (Kick failed)

 

Fourth Quarter

USC- Safety- Austin punt blocked in the end zone

USC- Gray 15 yard pass from Bell, (Jamison kick)

 

Individual Statistics

 

Rushing

USC- Callahan 6–46, Saenz 10–26, Dreblow 4–24.

UW- Akins 9–41; Sam Robinson 9–35

 

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