Rose Bowl

1953

 

USC 7

Wisconsin 0

 

USC Fight Song

 

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Nineteen fifty-three may turn out to be a rough one in other ways, but for Pacific Coast football it's already a Happy New Year.

 

The Big Ten's embarrassing stranglehold on the Rose Bowl, six years of rubbing West Coast noses in the turf of the big saucer, came to an end Thursday as Southern California outlasted a tough bunch of Badgers from Wisconsin, 7-0.

 

A rangy senior from St. Louis, 186 pound tailback Rudy Bukich, was the surprise hero of the victory, which also served to restore some of SC's tarnished glory in this granddaddy of all post-season classics.

 

Until they lost to Alabama, 34-14 in 1946, and to Michigan, 49-0, in 1948, the Trojans had won eight straight New Year's games.

 

Bukich, 22 years old and 6’1” ½ , spent most of his college career understudying. This season it was to all-America Jim Sears. But Sears went out of the Rose Bowl game after only three minutes and 33 seconds, with what the doctor called a broken fibula bone in his lower left leg. That left it up to Bukich.

 

Rudy came through in fine style. For the day he completed 12 passes out of 20 for a 60 percent average and 137 yards.

 

The scoring drive, naturally, was the best performance of the day for Bukich. The two teams- SC, champion of the Pacific Coast Conference and Wisconsin, champion with Purdue of the Big Ten, had battled each other to a scoreless standoff through the first half.

 

In the third quarter, Wisconsin took the kickoff and put the ball in play on its own 13. On the first play, big Alan (The Horse) Ameche broke loose off the left side for 54 yards before he was hauled down. Jim Haluska passed nine yards to Erv Andrykowski and it looked like the Badgers were finally rolling. But, with the ball on SC's 21, Roy Burks fumbled and ball-hawking End Bob Hooks recovered for SC on the 27.

 

Using only three ground plays in the drive, Bukich had a touchdown in nine plays. Five of his six passes were good- for nine yards to End Ron Miller, 11 to End Tom Nickoloff, 14 and then 9 to Miller again, and the payoff, a 22 yard toss to Halfback Al Carmichael, all alone on the goal line.

 

It was a perfect pitch, a new play for SC which caught the Badgers unable to cover four potential receivers. Carmichael stepped over, Sad Sam Tsagalakis booted the conversion, and it was 7-0.

 

That was the ball game, but Wisconsin didn't know it. Haluska kept pitching strikes, Ameche kept plugging away at the staunch SC line, and right up to the finish the visitors kept trying to maintain the Big Ten's record of no defeats in the current series, which still has a year to go.

 

Hardly a soul of the 101,500 who saw the game in sunny weather left the bowl early.

 

As it had on several other occasions, SC held when pushed back near its goal. During the day, it stopped Wisconsin drives on the 14, 21, 7, 17, and 20 yard lines.

 

Wisconsin did its share of stopping, too, holding the Trojans once on the 22, again on the 15. The latter ended with a field goal try by Tsagalakis which hit an upright.

 

For the Badgers, Ameche showed the power for which he is famous in the second half, after being well bottled up in the first. He finished the day with 133 net yards of 211 Wisconsin got on the ground. SC, by comparison, lost more yards in running plays than it netted, 54 against 48.

 

Haluska's passing was always dangerous, and his 11 completions out of 26 tries netted 142 yards. Burks, despite his costly fumble, was a standout- filling in with a game knee for Bill Hutchinson, who got the left halfback starting assignment when Harland Carl was hurt in pre-game practice. Hutchinson went out in the first half, badly shaken after a tackle, and didn't get back in until the closing minutes.

 

One of the most important factors in SC's win was the kicking. Bukich and Des Koch, the country’s leading punter this season, put together an average of better than 51 yards. And Koch got one away, from behind his own goal, for 72 yards. It was a Rose Bowl record, topping a 68 yarder by Gus Shaver of SC in the 47-14 victory over Pitt in 1930.

 

Trojan Coach Jess Hill, who played in that same Pitt game and thus became the only man both to play in and to coach a winning Rose bowl game, had high praise for Bukich, Carmichael and George Bozanic, The latter took over Sears' signal-calling duties.

 

Wisconsin Coach Ivy Williamson sort of summed it all up, however, when he said: "We played up to our ability. They were just too good for us."

 

Hero of the 1953 Rose Bowl, Rudy Bukich carries through the Badger defense.

 

USC's Al Carmichael scored the only touchdown. Jerry Witt (49) and Lindon Crow fight for pass.

 

Bob Hooks of USC goes low to tackle Witt after he carried for 23 yards.

 

Wisconsin's Bill Hutchinson is chased by Harold Han (46) and Chuck Weeks (72) on punt return.

 

Attendance: 101,500

 

Scoring Summary

 

Third Quarter

USC- Carmichael 22 yard pass from Bukich (Tsagalakis kick)

 

Individual Scoring

 

Rushing

UW- Ameche 28-133, Witt 10-47, Burks 7-31

USC- Haw 6-28

 

Passing

UW- Haluska 11-26-142

USC- Bukich 12-20-137

 

Receiving

UW- Andrykowski 3-32, Peters 3-29

USC- Nickoloff 7-73, Stillwell 3-35

 

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