October 19, 1997 in Sports

Trojans Win One For The Skipper

Associated Press
 

Pac-10

As the USC players and the Trojans band ran onto the field at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., coach John Robinson stood on the sidelines, a happy smile on his face.

Maybe it isn’t time for him to step aside, after all.

“I don’t know where we’re going, but we took a step forward today,” he said. “We turned it around for a week. But who knows what’s coming next week.”

Robinson, in his 12th season at USC, said last week that he’d quit if he couldn’t get the Trojans (3-3) turned around by the end of the season. His players showed they’re not ready to let him go just yet, and their 20-17 victory Saturday over Notre Dame might have saved his job. Again.

Adam Abrams kicked the gamewinning 37-yard field goal with 1:05 left after linebacker Mark Cusano set up the score by picking off Ron Powlus’ pass and returning it to the Irish 29 with 2:40 left.

It was the first time USC has won at Notre Dame (2-5) since 1981. The players surrounded Robinson before running onto the field. The Irish players hung their heads, and receiver Malcolm Johnson lay on the field, covering his face with his hands as USC players stepped over him.

“All of us dedicated this game to him,” said tailback Delon Washington. “This is a big win. This is a steppingstone for the rest of the season.”

The game wasn’t pretty as the teams combined for 231 yards of penalties - 156 of which were USC’s. But Cusano said the players just wanted a victory, and they didn’t care how they got it or how it looked.

“Coach Robinson is a great coach,” Cusano said. “We came out here and we won this one for him.”

Robinson was in the same spot before last year’s Notre Dame game with his job on the line and his team struggling. And just like last year, it came down to a kick. Only this time, it was a field goal and it was good.

With a chance to put the game away last year, Notre Dame’s Jim Sanson missed a point-after attempt. USC rallied, and the Trojans won 27-20 in overtime, likely saving Robinson’s job and making Lou Holtz a loser in his final game.

“Last week, we fell on our face in the second half. This week we weren’t going to do that,” Robinson said. “I told Adam Abrams in the third quarter that he was going to kick the winning field goal.”

After Abrams kicked the winning field goal, the Irish had one more chance, but Powlus was sacked to end the game. Notre Dame fans booed as Powlus and the rest of the Irish ran off the field.

USC 7 7 3 3 - 20

Notre Dame 14 3 0 0 - 17

ND-Denson 2 run (Sanson kick), 12:42.

USC-Washington 3 run (Abrams kick), 6:30.

ND-Driver 1 run (Sanson kick), 1:29.

USC-Soward 18 pass from Fox (Abrams kick), 12:11.

ND-FG Sanson 27, :37.

USC-FG Abrams 42, 5:06.

USC-FG Abrams 37, 1:05.

A-80,225.

USC ND First downs 14 24 Rushes-yards 40-179 45-166 Passing 136 149 Comp-Att-Int 13-24-0 17-28-1 Return Yards 61 152 Punts-Avg. 6-43.3 2-60.0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0 Penalties-Yards 15-156 7-75 Time of Possession 28:28 31:32

RUSHING-USC, MacKenzie 20-69, Washington 12-34, Fox 4-28, Sermons 2-25, Soward 1-17, Van Raaphorst 1-6. Notre Dame, Denson 30-133, Barry 4-26, Stokes 4-18, Spencer 2-4, Jackson 1-1, Driver 1-1, Getherall 1-(minus 1), Powlus 2-(minus 16).

PASSING-USC, Fox 11-21-0-115, Van Raaphorst 2-3-0-21. Notre Dame, Powlus 17-28-1-149.

RECEIVING-USC, Harris 4-52, Soward 3-46, MacKenzie 3-16, Washington 1-12, Iacenda 1-5, Miller 1-5. Notre Dame, Denson 6-3, Johnson 4-54, Nelson 3-45, Barry 2-35, Brown 1-9, Stokes 1-3.

Arizona State 31, (25) Stanford 14

Jeff Paulk had a pair of 2-yard scoring runs and the defense forced five turnovers as the Sun Devils (5-2 overall, 3-1 Pac-10) defeated the Cardinal (4-3, 2-2) at Stanford, Calif.

Marlon Farlow added a 60-yard scoring run and Mike Martin had a 7-yard touchdown run for Arizona State.

Anthony Bookman had a 70-yard scoring run and Mike Mitchell had a 2-yard touchdown run for the Cardinal, but Stanford’s running attack was shut down for the second straight week.

Farlow gained 129 yards on 13 carries and Martin added 124 yards on 23 rushes for ASU, which has won five of its last six games against Stanford.

Arizona St. 7 10 0 14 - 31

Stanford 0 7 0 7 - 14

ASU-Martin 7 run (Nycz kick), 11:16.

STA-Bookman 70 run (Miller kick), 9:08.

ASU-Paulk 2 run (Nycz kick), 4:29.

ASU-FG Nycz 46, 1:20.

ASU-Paulk 2 run (Nycz kick), 14:17.

ASU-Farlow 60 run (Nycz kick), 7:26.

STA-M.Mitchell 2 run (Miller kick), 6:01.

A-43,909.

ASU Stan First downs 18 20 Rushes-yards 45-259 32-114 Passing 195 285 Comp-Att-Int 14-36-1 24-45-2 Return Yards 46 89 Punts-Avg. 7-43.0 7-41.0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-3 Penalties-Yards 11-106 3-25 Time of Possession 30:22 29:38

RUSHING-Arizona State, Farlow 13-129, Martin 23-124, Paulk 5-11, R. Boyer 1-4, Kealy 3-(minus 9). Stanford, Bookman 6-61, M. Mitchell 13-43, Ritchie 3-27, Husak 4-22, team 1-(minus 2), Hutchinson 5-(minus 37).

PASSING-Arizona State, Kealy 14-36-1-195. Stanford, Hutchinson 20-35-2-214, Husak 4-10-0-71.

RECEIVING-Arizona State, L.Jackson 4-82, K. Mitchell 4-62, Bates 3-22, R.Boyer 2-11, Martin 1-18. Stanford, Walters 8-113, Dunn 7-94, Hanson 3-36, M. Mitchell 2-24, J. Johnson 2-9, Pitts 1-9, Bookman 1-0.

Oregon 31, Utah 13

Jason Maas passed for a career-high 369 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the Utes in a nonconference game at Eugene, Ore.

Maas completed 20 of 36 passes while compiling the 10th-best yardage total in Oregon’s school history. Blake Spence caught six passes for 214 yards, including a 39-yarder for a touchdown.

Oregon broke the game open when Maas threw scoring passes to Spence and Saladin McCullough in the third quarter..

Utah 7 6 0 0 - 13

Oregon 3 14 14 0 - 31

Ore-FG J.Smith 30, 13:36.

Utah-Johnson 6 run (Truke kick), 5:14.

Ore-McCullough 3 run (J.Smith kick), 11:47.

Ore-Jelks 3 pass from Maas (J.Smith kick), 6:11.

Utah- FG Truhe 42, 2:22.

Utah- FG Truhe 31, :14.

Ore-Spence 39 pass from Maas (J.Smith kick), 9:40.

Ore-McCullough 13 pass from Maas (J.Smith kick), :30

A-39,389

Utah Ore First downs 25 26 Rushes-yards 45-239 39-181 Passing 196 374 Comp-Att-Int 21-42-2 21-38-0 Return Yards 0 2 Punts-Avg. 5-34.4 4-37.8 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0 Penalties-Yards 9-92 8-80 Time of Possession 31:58 28:02

RUSHING-Utah, Johnson 32-190, Fuamatu-Maafala 8-43, Lepule 1-4, Allen 1-1, Crosswhite 3-1. Oregon, McCullough 23-114, Maas 4-20, Cooper 3-19, Winn 3-11, Young 1-7, Latimer 3-7, Brooks 1-2, Parker 1-1.

PASSING-Utah, Crosswhite 21-42-2 196. Oregon, Maas 20-36-0 369, Feeley 1-2-0 5.

RECEIVING-Utah, Anderson 8-75, Dyson 5-53, Bendinger 4-21, Utu 2-23, Jahries 1-12, Arceneaux 1-2. Oregon, Spence 6-214, McCullough 5-36, Johnson 4-34, Hartley 2-46, Jelks 2-39, Parker 1-5, Latimer 1-0.

(17) UCLA 34, Oregon St. 10

Junior quarterback Cade McNown and the UCLA offense shrugged off a woeful start as the Bruins extended their winning streak to five games by beating the Beavers at Pasadena, Calif.

McNown didn’t have one of his better days, but he became UCLA’s career leader in total offense, surpassing Tom Ramsey, who finished his career with 6,255 yards by rushing and passing. McNown has 6,320.

Oregon St. 3 0 0 7 - 10

UCLA 0 14 3 17 - 34

OS-FG Cortez 28, 6:21.

UCLA-Grieb 21 pass from McNown (Sailer kick), 4:21.

UCLA-Lewis 2 run (Sailer kick), 1:02.

UCLA-FG Sailer 20, 9:57.

UCLA-McElroy 31 pass from McNown (Sailer kick), 10:23.

UCLA-K. Brown 1 run (Sailer kick), 5:26.

UCLA-FG Sailer 40, 2:42.

OS-Prescott 22 pass from Tomich (Cortez kick), 1:09.

A-38,165.

OS UCLA First downs 20 16 Rushes-yards 26-32 38-113 Passing 275 210 Comp-Att-Int 28-64-1 11-26-1 Return Yards 18 60 Punts-Avg. 11-34.9 8-40.0 Fumbles-Lost 5-3 3-3 Penalties-Yards 6-60 5-46 Time of Possession 30:31 29:29

RUSHING-Oregon St., Alexander 12-26, Davis 7-17, Walker 4-9, Tomich 3-(minus 20). UCLA, S. Hicks 9-39, Lewis 9-38, K. Brown 11-32, Caldwell 2-7, Price 3-6, Walendy 1-1, McNown 3-(minus 10).

PASSING-Oregon St., Alexander 15-29-0-127, Tomich 13-34-1-148, Tompkins 0-1-0-0. UCLA, McNown 11-25-1-210, Bennett 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING-Oregon St., Tompkins 10-89, Ainsworth 9-104, Prescott 2-28, Battle 2-22, Davis 1-15, Alexander 1-9, Kuykendall 1-4, Walker 1-3, Lazetich 1-1. UCLA, McElroy 4-89, Grieb 3-57, Farmer 2-24, Lewis 1-36, Poli-Dixon 1-4.

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