Huskers, Trojans battle to a draw in Los Angeles
When football historians review the 1970s, they’ll probably list the Nebraska-Southern California 21-21 tie in 1970 as one of the great games of the decade.
It was that kind of game as Nebraska’s two-TD underdogs three times led the highly regarded Trojans in a game that left 73,768 fans breathless on the last play — a 50-yard incomplete USC pass.
Nebraska got the jump on the Trojans in the second quarter — Husker Joe Orduna earlier had fumbled at the USC 5 — when fullback Dan Schneiss took a handoff from quarterback Jerry Tagge and threw a surprise 17-yard pass to Guy Ingles.
USC tied it on a 4-yard run by Jimmy Jones, but Nebraska roared back for a 14-7 halftime lead on Tagge’s 15-yard pass to Johnny Rodgers to cap a 74-yard drive.
Back stormed the Trojans in the third quarter to tie it at 14-14, but on the second play after the next kickoff, Orduna tore 67 yards on a great run to put Nebraska ahead again, 21-14.
Nebraska’s chance for icing a victory misfired in the final quarter when a bad snap caused Paul Rogers to miss a 22-yard field goal that would have given NU a 24-14 lead.
USC then moved 80 yards for the tying TD, with Clarence Davis going the last nine yards with 8:16 left in the game.
Both teams had final chances in the wild finale, but a great college game ended 21-21.
Joe Orduna eludes Trojans during his 67-yard TD run. | Lyell’s call · St. Louis Post-Dispatch · Newspapers.com
- Jerry Murtaugh’s fourth-and-one tackle halted a promising USC drive at midfield in the game’s final three minutes.
- The tie preserved USC’s 23-game regular-season unbeaten streak.
- USC coach John McKay said he would have gone for a two-point conversion if the last touchdown had occurred with five minutes or less remaining.
- The Trojans entered the game ranked third nationally by AP, Nebraska ninth.
- Bob Devaney shuffled the defense during the week before the game.
- The Huskers got a postgame visit from comedian Bill Cosby.
- By USC officials’ estimate, 12,000 Nebraska fans attended the game.