Each Saturday through the season, the Hotline will highlight a handful of memorable Pac-12 games.
Here we go …
Oct. 21, 1989: Notre Dame 28, USC 24
Seems appropriate, on the day of the 86th meeting in this storied rivalry, to look back at one of the many memorable games.
(It was also a memorable pre-game: The teams fought in the tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium after finishing warmups.)
These were the Irish of Lou Holtz and Rocket Ismail, the Trojans of Larry Smith and Todd Marinovich.
Top-ranked Notre Dame remained undefeated by repelling a late USC charge, as Marinovch’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Prior to that, the redshirt freshman had been sensational, completing 33-of-55 passes for 333 yards.
But the ninth-ranked Trojans couldn’t slow Notre Dame’s running game or take full advantage of five Irish turnovers.
Said Holtz (per an L.A. Times account):
“I didn’t believe it was possible to win a game with five turnovers. It was unbelievable. I have never seen the ball on the ground that much, even in a soccer game.”
The Trojans (Junior Seau, Mark Carrier, Tim Ryan) would finish 9-2-1 and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
Oct. 21, 2000: Oregon State 44, UCLA 38
Remember when Oregon State beating a ranked opponent — on the road, no less — wasn’t an upset?
The Beavers rallied from double-digits down in the fourth quarter as quarterback Jonathan Smith threw for 351 yards, with the help of his fabulous receivers, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
The victory came three week after the Dennis Erickson-coached Beavers handled USC, marking the first sweep of the Los Angeles teams in OSU history.
UCLA’s inability to hold the late lead could have been due to fatigue:
The Bruins had played triple-overtime a week earlier at Cal, a 46-38 loss.
Oct. 21, 2016: Cal 52, Oregon 49 (2OT)
It is over yet?
Two bad defenses, a rookie quarterback (Justin Herbert), a transfer quarterback (Davis Webb) and load of entertainment on a Friday night in Berkeley.
In addition to the 101 points, the teams combined for 203 plays (an FBS record) and 1,086 yards.
And incredibly, only one turnover.
The Bears led by 20 points midway through the third quarter, fell behind, regained the lead, lost it, missed a chance to win in regulation, then escaped in overtime.
“Just another boring Cal football game,” Coach Sonny Dykes said.
It lasted four hours and 18 minutes.
And Cal had a game six days later. On the road.
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