Tag Archives: Cade McNown

Rivalry Week…Congrats Skip !…Drei’s Favorite SC-UCLA Moment, A Skip Toward 6

Leading Off…

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Congratulations to our 2016 Manager of the Year, Dave Roberts ! In spite of the many injuries particularly to the starting rotation, the rookie manager led the Dodgers to their 4th straight NL West title. Like the starter rotation, Roberts alma mater, UCLA, will have to overcome some huge obstacles if they are to beat S.C. this Saturday…

Divided We Are…

The only thing that can divide Dodger fans, aside from recent elections, is the annual SC-UCLA game. Over the years USC has had the decided edge not only in wins but in conference and national championships

Prior to last season UCLA had won 3 straight from the Men of Troy. UCLA also owns the longest winning streak in the series, having won 8 straight from 1991 to 1998. 

After a 1-3 start that included an embarrassing loss to Alabama, USC has recovered remarkably, winning 6 straight including last weeks impressive win over the Washington Huskies. 

USC  is a heavy favorite over UCLA. Deservedly so. 

As we all know, when these two meet, all records are thrown out…

20 Years Ago…1996…A Skip Toward 6

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.

Hicks was an All-American running back his senior season with the Bruins and went on to play five seasons in the NFL, but it seems Bruins fans only remember his performance in one game: UCLA’s improbable comeback victory over USC in 1996.

“Hey, at least they remember me,” Hicks said.

It would be difficult for Bruins fans to forget. “

Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com, Nov 30,2010

As for this Bruin fan, those 2 TD’s and that exhilarating Saturday afternoon will be ever so hard to forget…150 years down the road.

The afternoon would not start off so great for the UCLA faithful. USC would jump out to a 17-0 en route to a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks in large part to a pick six by Sammy Knight and a 67 yard TD reception by R.J. Soward. Both TD’s would finish in the NE corner of The Rose Bowl endzone…Right in front of me…Nothing but grass separating my vision of those two and their path…

The second half would start off with a bang as UCLA QB Cade McNown would find Danny Farmer on a post down the middle to draw UCLA within 10. SC would strike back though with a long drive of their own to bring the deficit back to 17 late in the 3rd…

Puig_VictoryBell

The Victory Bell…The prize that both schools play for…Currently in that “Other” schools possession in that “awful” shade of red…

With UCLA trailing by 17 once again, prior to SC kicking off, I couldn’t help but to take a glance at the Victory Bell…Painted a glorious Blue 5 years in a row…Possibly on the verge of being surrendered…A fact not lost among the UCLA cheerleaders, huddled around the bell as two of them had their arms tightly wrapped around the frame…

If UCLA was to surrender The Bell they wouldn’t do it lying down…Certainly not UCLA QB Cade McNown…McNown and company would counter back with a long drive, capped off by his 9 yard TD scramble that would bring UCLA back within 10…

20160924_154638 Kicking it with Cade McNown, 9/24/2016 prior to the UCLA-Stanford game

With the Bruins back in the game heading to the 4th, both teams exchanged punts. With just over 10 minutes to go, SC QB Matt Koffler finds R.J. Soward streaking down the sideline with…Once again…Nothing but grass separating him from the endz one…The NE Corner no less…Yup, right in front of me (I sure was having a great day huh?)…Putting SC back up by 17. At that point, it seemed all hope was lost…

As UCLA was driving toward a “possible” miracle, I head over to visit a buddy of mine who was seated in the SE corner of the upper end zone. Bjorn Merten would draw UCLA back within 2 scores with just under 7 minutes left. The SC fans in the south end zone, confident their 5 year losing streak was over, we’re chanting something about UCLA to the SC Band’s tune of Tusk…

As I returned to my seat in the NE corner of the endzone, UCLA would get the ball back and score a quick TD to pull them within 7 with just under 3 minutes to go…Some hope is still left…If we can recover the onside kick…Too bad it would go out of bounds…

After an SC first down, now inside 2 minutes, hope was all but gone for UCLA. One more first down and the 5 year streak would be over…Just as R.J. Soward proclaimed after putting his Men of Troy up by 17 earlier in the 4th…

Only a miracle would save UCLA…

Did I say only a miracle would save UCLA? As USC was trying to run out the clock, Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover a LaValle Woods fumble! The Bruins would have new life! 

Inside a minute to go and the ball now at the SC 11 thanks to a huge 3rd down conversion to seldom used WR Rodney Lee, after an incomplete pass, the armchair QB in me tells the fans “GET THE BALL TO HICKS, LET HIM TAKE IT UP THE MIDDLE…” …

On 2nd and 10…” Hicks, up the middle…TOUCHDOWN UCLA !!!”

The Rose Bowl is in a frenzy. UCLA, who trailed for most of the game by as much as 17 had now tied the game at 38, capped off by that 10 yard run by Skip Hicks…A proud bearer of the number 42…The run that…Your’s Truly…Sitting a hundred yards away…Called

That’s one of the two TD’s this…And many other Bruin Faithful remember from Skip Hicks…

With everyone at The Rose Bowl on their feet since about the halfway point in the 4th, SC, however, would threaten. The final seconds of regulation would come down to a last-second 41 yard FG attempt by Adam Abrams. As SC was getting set to end their 5 year skid, I, along with 80,000 souls in The Rose Bowl, was yelling perhaps the loudest I could ever. Adam Abrams attempt at glory…BLOCKED !!! OVERTIME WE GO !!!

1996 would be the first year college football would have an overtime. During the first OT neither team could do much, both exchanging field goals. So now, the second OT…

UCLA would get the ball first…On the first play form scrimmage, Skip Hicks would take the handoff from Cade McNown. For a moment, it seemed a USC defender had Hicks wrapped up. Somehow, Hicks broke loose…Break loose he did…Just like that, UCLA would have their first lead of the day…As for the Hicks TD, where would it finish?

HICKS TD

All the way back and beyond the NE corner of the end zone. The fan just above Hicks to his right in the blue and yellow hat? Yup, you guessed it ! (Thank You YouTube !!!)

Other players and fans joined in the celebration…A celebration that seemed like an eternity! Game over right? Uh, not yet…

SC would get their turn with the ball and on 3rd and 3, spotting a UCLA blitz, Koffler would find a wide open RJ Soward…Nothing but grass ahead of him en route toward, yet again, the NE corner of the end zone and a possible taunt fest with us Bruin Faithful…If only he caught the ball…

Soward, who would have a record setting day for USC…Soward, BOASTING the 5 year skid was over…Did what so many wide receivers tend to do…Turn up field before securing the football ( To today’s UCLA’s receivers, take note…)

Now 4th down, USC was now in a do or die situation. Convert and their still alive. Otherwise, the streak continues…And on what would be the final play of the game, Matt Koffler’s floating duck, and I DO mean floating, flailed into the waiting arms of Anthony Cobbs.

BALLGAME !!! UCLA 48 USC 41

After trailing for much of the game, UCLA would mount a furious comeback, capped off by that miracle run by Skip Hicks. 30 minutes after the final play, we the Bruin Faithful we’re still in a frenzy…

As for me, in my “youthful innocence”, as I was still caught up in the Blue and Gold frenzy along the venerable Rose Bowl concourse, I just could not help but bellow out my version of Tusk…Even yelling out U-C-L-A…Daring the defeated Trojan Nation to yell out what they yelled during the 6 minute mark in the 4th. Nothing doing…

I ain’t gonna lie. There are plenty of emotions involved in this game from all involved. Students, fans, lifetime alums. Do I still get worked up for this game? You bet I do. Would I still be able to act the fool that I did 20 years ago? Uh, not entirely. At 42, a popular number from Westwood to The Ravine, it doesn’t quite come off the same…

42_UCLA Quad

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I also remember yelling ” I’VE STILL NEVER LOSS TO SC, I DON’T EVER WANT TO KNOW THE FEELING OF LOSING TO SC !!!…”

Well, that feeling is long gone now, the experience being far too frequent now.

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.”

Oh yeah, as for that 2nd TD, while many Bruins fans will forever remember, this Bruin fan will forever have it etched in his heart…

DREI_SKIP Kickin’ it with Skip Hicks, 2005. Other than Skip Hicks, and current linebacker Kenny Young, who will be the last Bruin to wear 42, some other Bruin that wore 42 would eventually wear another shade of blue as a MLB player…I wonder how he turned out…

Drei’s Prediction…

Drei is going with his heart once again. SC is a 12 1/2 point favorite. They just may be playing the best football in the Pac 12 right now. UCLA has struggled this season. UCLA is going with a backup QB in Mike Fafaul. Does Mike duplicate what John Barnes did for the Sons of Westwood in 1992. Can UCLA’s D keep it close enough to give them a chance in the 4th quarter. As they say in these rivalry games, throw out the record books…Anything can happen… UCLA 24 USC 23

Overtime…

As for Drei’s favorite SC-UCLA moment…20 Years Ago…Here it is, in it’s entirety…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rivalry Week… USC vs. UCLA, Drei’s Favorite UCLA Moments

When talking about rivalries here we talk about the Dodgers and Giants. Ah, but this week, we focus on the one thing that divides Dodgers fans ( And Angels fans too ) .  The annual SC-UCLA football game, taking place this Saturday afternoon at The Rose Bowl. With Oregon State’s recent upset win over Arizona State, the Bruins now find themselves in the drivers seat to win the Pac 12 South.  Win their final 2 games of the season against USC and Stanford, and they will be playing Oregon in Levi Stadium on December 5th for the Pac 12 Championship.  Of course, there are these other tie breaking scenarios that could also happen in the wild and crazy Pac 12 South.  OK, before we move on, how about some Dodger trivial facts tied into this weeks rivalry…

Dodgers who played at USC

Ron Fairly

Len Gabrielson

Mark McGwire ( Coach )

J.P. Howell

Dodgers who played at UCLA

Tim Leary

Ron Roenicke

Todd Zeile

Eric Karros

Dave Roberts

and of course…

JACKIE_STATUE

Jackie Robinson…

JACKIE_MURAL

This statue and mural of Jackie Robinson are located along the first base concourse over at Jackie Robinson Stadium where the UCLA baseball team plays it’s home games.

USC-UCLA Fun Facts…

USC leads the rivalry 44-30-7

USC has won 12 of the last 14 meetings since 1999

UCLA has won the last two meetings

UCLA owns the longest winning streak in this series with 8 consecutive wins from 1991-98

UCLA is 9-7 against USC at The Rose Bowl since moving their home games to Pasadena in 1982

Puig_VictoryBell

The Victory Bell It’s what both these schools play for each year.  The winning school not only is the recipient of this prized possession, but also get’s to paint the bell in it’s main school color.  Here, our Mini Puig seems to enjoy his place next to The Victory Bell, which has been in the hands of UCLA the last two seasons.  ( Mini Puig look’s like he want’s to start an 8 Clap…)

VICTORYBELL

Oh the joy of ringing that Victory Bell, um, that Bruin Blue Victory Bell !!! ( I’m sure by now you have figured out where my allegiance in this rivalry stands…)

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Posing with The Victory Bell and displaying one of the greatest to wear both the Bruin and Dodger Blue, Jackie Robinson…

In the spirit of Rivalry Week, Drei here now brings you his Fave 5 USC-UCLA games attended over the years….

5. 11/17/2012 UCLA 38 USC 28

One year removed from the 50-0 debacle at The Coliseum, with 1st year coach Jim Mora taking over the head coaching reigns and redshirt QB phenom Brett Hundly under center, the Bruins would storm out to a quick 24-0 lead in the 1st half.  SC would later close the gap to 3 points in the 4th quarter, however, the Bruins would counter on a Jonathan Franklin touchdown run late in the 4th and a huge sack of Matt Barkley from Anthony Barr would seal the deal for The Sons of Westwood.  Prior to this game, SC had won 11 of 12 in this series.  UCLA has now won the last two, with Hundley sporting a perfect 2-0 record against the Spirit of Troy.

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Brett Hundley and Bruin Wide Receiver Shaq Evans celebrating a 3rd quarter TD in the 2012 game.  ( Yup, I was that close folks…)

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Shaq Evans and I proudly displaying my pic of him and Hundly celebrating.  Shaq is currently in the IR with the New York Jets.

4. 12/2/2006 UCLA 13 USC 9

A USC win would not only put USC back in the National Title game for the 3rd straight season, but also tie the rivalry record for most consecutive wins by either school at 8.  With USC driving for a possible game winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter, Eric McNeal picks off a John David Booty pass deep in UCLA territory.  The interception would be huge as UCLA would prevent USC from playing in the National Championship game as well as preserve the longest winning streak in the series at 8.

POSTGAME 2006 Postgame celebration. I’m the one holding the dreaded horse hanging on it’s noose…

3. 11/20/1993 UCLA 27  USC 21

With a Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth on the line for both schools, UCLA would race out to a 17-0 lead, a lead they would carry into halftime.  However, USC would mount a comeback and late in the 4th quarter USC QB Rob Johnson would drive his team all the way to the UCLA 2 inside a minute to play, trailing UCLA 27-21.  But on 3rd and Goal, Marvin Goodwin stepped in front of SC tight end Tyler Cashman to intercept what may have been the game winning TD for USC.  The win not only sent UCLA to it’s first Rose Bowl in 8 years, but also ended a streak of 10 games which USC had won with a Rose Bowl berth on the line.

2. 11/21/1992 UCLA 38 USC 37 

Due to a string of injuries to UCLA QB’s, John Barnes, who did not even have a spot on the spring roster, John Barnes, a walk-on only because his previous school UC Santa Barbara, dropped their football program, would be called upon to guide the Bruins in the biggest game of the season.  A tall task to ask of a 6th string QB huh ?  It seemed that way heading into the 4th quarter with UCLA trailing 31-17.  Ah, but this is where the legend of John Barnes was born.  UCLA would score 3 TD’s in the 4th quarter, two of them to J.J. Stokes, who would have a huge 4th quarter himself and etch his name into the hearts of every Bruin fan as well.  The 3rd of the 3 4th quarter TD’s would be a 90 hookup, Barnes to Stokes ( Still a popular phrase among the Bruin faithful who witnessed that magical evening in ’92… Barnes to Stokes ) to give UCLA a 38-31 lead.  SC would not go away as Rob Johnson would hookup with Johnny Morton on a huge 4th down conversion inside the UCLA 10 with less than a minute to play.  2 years prior, Johnny Morton would break the hearts of UCLA fans and nearly pulled off the same feat.  However, after a Rob Johnson TD, SC would decide to go for 2 rather than tie ( No OT in college football at the time ), and Rob Johnson’s pass would be knocked down by Nkosi Littleton, and UCLA would go on to upset SC 38-37.  John Barnes would finish with 385 passing yards, and  J.J. Stokes would finish with 6 catches, 263 yards receiving and 3 TD’s, including the game winning 90 yarder which many a Bruin looks back upon with these words… Barnes to Stokes .

And finally,  Drei’s all-time favorite SC-UCLA game ?  This will be no quick recap, I’ll warn you right now.  So enjoy folks… 

1. 11/23/1996 UCLA 48 USC 41, Double OT

It was the first season of the post Terry Donahue era.  UCLA came into this matchup with a mediocre at best 4-6 mark.   SC, who had high expectations heading into the season, was no better at 5-5.  UCLA had carried a 5 year winning streak heading into this contest, the longest streak in the rivalry at that time.  USC would storm to a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks in large part to 2 TD passes from Brad Otton to USC freshman phenom R.J. Soward.  Soward would finish the game with 6 recptions, 3 TD’s and 260 yards receiving, virtually the same stats J.J. Stokes had 3 years prior. 

The second half would be the most thrilling half I would ever have as a UCLA fan.  It would also be an emotional roller coaster ride as well.  The second half would start out strong for UCLA as UCLA QB sensation Cade McNown would connect with Danny Farmer on a long TD pass to close the gap to 24-14.  However, SC would answer back on a long drive of it’s own, brining the lead back up to 17. 

Before the kickoff, from my seat in the NE corner of the endzone, I take a quick glance at the Victory Bell and I see members of the UCLA Spirit Squad huddling around it, with two of the cheerleaders wraping their arms around it.  I knew what they we’re feeling.  The bell had been in UCLA’s possesion 5 years in a row and now the Bruins we’re in danger of surrendering the rivalry’s grand prize.  I was ready to step in front of the bell myself to be honest…

So on UCLA’s next possesion, after converting 3 huge 3rd down conversions, one of them a 3rd and 21, Cade McNown rushes for a TD to close the gap back to 10 heading into the 4th quarter. 

After both teams exchanged punts, with Matt Koffler now replacing an injured Brad Otton at QB for USC, Koffler would connect with R.J. Soward on a quick TD strike, giving SC what seemed to be an insurmountable 17 point lead .  That would be RJ Soward’s third TD reception of the game, 2 of them in which he would score in the NE corner of the endzone, yup, right in front of me.  In addition, SC safety Sammy Knight would also have a pick 6 finish, that’s right, in the NE corner of the enzone, uh-huh, right in front of me.  I was really having a great day to that point, wasn’t I ? 

So if UCLA had any thought’s of prolonging their winning streak to 6, they would need to mount a furious comeback.  After a Bjorn Merten field goal with just over 6 minutes left to play cut the deficit to 14, UCLA would get the ball back after keeping SC out of the enzone.  UCLA would score another TD to close the gap to 38-31 with under 3 minutes remaining.  SC would recover the onside kick and after a first down, all SC needed was one more first down and they would be able to run out the clock, and UCLA’s 5 year streak would be over.  Only a miracle would save UCLA…

Did I say a miracle would save UCLA ?  On a 2nd down run, SC running back LaValle Woods would have the ball stripped from him and Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover for UCLA.  Here was UCLA’s chance.  One play after a huge 3rd down conversion from Cade McNown to little used Rodney Lee, UCLA running back Skip Hicks would bust up the middel 11 yards for the game tying score.  SC would have one last shot to win the game in regulation after a huge 3rd down reception by Chris Miller at the UCLA 23.  However, Adam Abram’s attempt at a 41 yard game winner would be blocked, and for the first and only time in the history of USC-UCLA, it was on to overtime.

In the first OT, both schools would exchange field goals.  On the first play of the second OT, Skip Hicks, running up the middle and seemingly stopped, would sneak out of nowhere and rush for  a go-ahead scoring TD to give UCLA it’s first lead of the game 48-41.  Where would Hicks’ TD run finish ?   You got it, the NE corner of the endzone, and beyond…

HICKS TD Here I am, in the blue hat with the gold rim, congratulating Skip Hicks on his 25 yard TD run that would be the eventual game winner.  Behind Hicks is Danny Farmer

Yup, there I was, the first to greet Hicks after one of the biggest and most memorable TD’s in the rivalry’s history…

SC was not finished.  On their next possesion, on 3rd and 3, Brad Otton would spot RJ Soward wide open after picking up UCLA’s blitz.  Soward had nothing but grass ahead of him.  Where would his potential game tying TD finish ?  Yup, right there in the NE corner of the endzone, right in front of me.  But it was not meant to be, as he would drop a sure TD and on 4th down, Koffler’s desperation pass would be intercepted in the endzone, and UCLA would win it’s 6th in a row over USC.  The streak would eventually reach 8, still the longest in the series. 

Though neither school would play in a bowl game that season, the ’96 game will always have a special place in my heart, of course for obvious reasons.  I mean, c’mon.  When you go to these games, you expect to talk about your favorite moments, but really, even though it’s 18 years later, does anyone really expect to also talk about their involvment with the players during one of the greatest moments that happended DURING the game ?  As one of my best friends Josh always says, ” You can’t make up stuff like this…”

DREI N SKIP 05 Chillin’ with Skip, 2005

Drei’s Prediction

Both schools come into the game with momentum on their sides.  UCLA come’s in with still a shot at the PAC-12 South title.  The key for UCLA to win once again will be Brett Hundley, as also acknowledged by USC.  SC’s defense has been known to wittle down in the 2nd half, and in the previous 2 meetings between these schools, Hundley’s mobility has proved to be SC’s achilles heel.  If UCLA can maintain that and keep SC’s defense chasing their running game, particularly in the 1st half, that can play huge later in the game.

UCLA 34  USC  24

HUNDLEY COOK Brett Hundley and Wayne Cook, past and present, a combined 4-0 against USC.  Hundley looks to make it 5-0 come Saturday…

DREI N BRETT Let’s make it 3 in a row over SC Brett !!!