Rose Bowl

1968

 

USC 14

Indiana 3

 

 

USC Fight Song

 

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Southern California’s national champion Trojans ended the fairy tale dreams of Indiana in the Rose Bowl this New Year’s Day as All-American halfback O.J. Simpson scored two touchdowns in a 14-3 triumph over the Hoosiers. Coach John McKay’s Trojans whose regular season of 9-1 matched Indiana’s, drove to a touchdown the first time they got possession of the ball after stopping the Hoosier’s initial series. The drive carried 84 yards in 13 plays, a march in which Simpson packed the ball eight times for 48 yards, including the final two (video).
 

O.J., the nation’s leading rusher in 1967 collegiate circles, finished the day with a total of 128 yards in 25 carries, which was at least five carries less than “Orange Juice” usually carries. Simpson was named the outstanding player of the game.

But Simpson had to share honors with quarterback Steve Sogge, who started and played most of the game, and such other backs as Dan Scott, who worked more than usual. The second Southern Cal touchdown consumed 45 yards in six plays, with Simpson contributing gains of 15, 5 and the final 8. Sogge, whose timely passes helped in the initial scoring drive, hit Ron Drake for a key 15-yard pass in the second scoring march.

Southern Cal missed a second touchdown in the first period when Scott, with the ball on the Hoosier two, was hit at the line. Mike Baugham recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Once the Trojans gambled on fourth and one and lost the gamble. The plucky Hoosiers tried it later in midfield and won. But this wasn’t the time that Gonso was forced out momentarily for repairs. Mike Perry came in to relieve Gonso. Perry, who had seen little action all year, was wide with a pass on fourth down – with the Trojans All-American defensive end, Tim Rossovich, almost on his neck. That was the way it went for the Cinderella kids as the clock struck midnight.

The Hoosiers, co-champions of the Big Ten, and a two touchdown underdog, held the powerful Trojans to a slender 7-3 lead until late in the third quarter but in the overall scene, it was too much Simpson. The Pacific-8 Conference champions, performing before a jammed crowd of 102,946, in this 54th Rose Bowl classic, scored in the first quarter on a two-yard dive by Simpson, and in the third on O.J.’s strong run of eight yards through the battling Hoosier line.

The daring young Hoosiers got their scores on a 27-yard field goal by Dave Kornowa in the second period, climaxing a 35-yard thrust in eight plays guided by sophomore Harry Gonso (video), who touched it all off with a brilliant 26-yard return of a punt. But the Cinderella-like luck of the Hoosiers, which had carried them through a 9-1 season, their best in more than two decades, couldn’t match the Trojans this sunny afternoon. Indiana was on a drive in the fourth quarter that could have narrowed the gap. But on a crucial series, Gonso injured his right ankle, came to the bench for two plays, and on a fourth and one attempt, a pass failed. Southern Cal took possession of the ball on its own 37.

 

That ended the Hoosiers hopes.

 

O.J. Simpson carries against Indiana. In the trenches at the Rose Bowl 1968.

 

IU's Harry Gonso sets to hand off during 1968 Rose Bowl.

 

OJ scores USC's second TD.

 

Gonso picks up first down early in game for Cinderella Hoosiers.

 

Attendance- 102,996

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
USC- Simpson 2 run (Aldredge kick)

Second Quarter
IU- FG Kornawa 27

Third Quarter
USC- Simpson 8 run (Aldredge kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
IU- Isenbarger 12-38, Cole 10-21
USC- Simpson 25-128, Scott 18-85

Passing
IU- Gonso 9-25-110
USC- Sogge 4-7-57

Receiving
IU- Gage 6-67, Butcher 3-43
USC- Drake 3-46, McCullough 2-23
 

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