Nov. 13, 1967: Rick's Ramblings

Nov. 13, 1967: Rick's Ramblings


The following "Rick's Ramblings" column originally ran in the Monday, Nov. 13, 1967, edition of the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Maximum security was ordered around the University of Southern California dressing room late Saturday afternoon.

You had to be wearing a USC uniform to get into the place. No one even tried.

Eventually Johnny McKay was summoned out of the silent quarters and led into a cubicle for the customary post-game interview with the press corps.

It seemed like an hour before anyone had the courage to ask him a question. His face personified the extreme disappointment that the Trojans must have experienced.

"You win a few and you lose a few," McKay tried to quip. But his usual sense of humor — and he is one of college football's great quipsters — was obviously gone. It had disappeared on the sidelines of Parker Stadium a few minutes earlier.

He didn't blame the mud

"It was muddy," McKay admitted. "But if we had the best team, we would have won on the muddy field."

McKay did feel it "wasn't much of a day for passing ... when we went back to pass, we just slipped and fell down ... both quarterbacks seemed to have trouble getting back there."

USC came here thinking of a national championship, not a conference championship.

In fact, McKay wasn't certain of his team's Rose Bowl status after the loss. Perhaps he knew, but he may have been in a minor state of shock.

"I guess that pretty much knocks us out of it ... I really don't understand that voting now."

He's wrong, of course. It boils down to the Trojan-UCLA game this Saturday. Oregon State isn't in contention. That early loss to Washington is still haunting the Beavers.

First national title loss

Was it McKay's biggest coaching disappointment?

"I've had many disappointments ... this is one of them ... but this is the first time we've been knocked out of a national championship ... yes, it's tough for us to take."

"We wanted to be 10-0 and then let them vote," McKay added.

On Oregon State, the Trojan boss offered very little.

"They played a real fine game and beat us," he summarized.

He said he wasn't surprised by anything the Beavers did.

"We performed well today ... they just performed better."

"No there was no certain turning point ... they made their field goal, we missed ours."

Kick was long for Aldridge

What McKay forgot was that a 36-yarder by his kicker, Rikki Aldridge, is almost out of his range. And Mike Haggard missed an easy one with 22 seconds left in the first half, a 28-yarder.

I just hurried and missed it," Haggard admitted.

McKay also questioned some of his strategy.

"We did something foolish by trying to pass ... we'd just lose six yards."

The Trojans got off 10 aerials but quarterback Steve Sogge was thrown for 27 yards in losses by the Beaver pass rush.

Everyone was confused

One play had everyone in the stadium confused in the fourth quarter. That included the Oregon State coaches.

Charlie Olds returned a punt 55 yards before fumbling. The ball was bouncing along the sidelines and Olds, stumbling, managed to reach down and bat the ball out of bounds.

The officials ruled it a personal foul and gave the Trojans the ball at that spot of the infraction, fortunately only the USC 35. Intentionally batting a free ball out of bounds on a punt or kickoff is a foul and the ball goes to the offended team.

It was a correct call, but a play that few have ever seen. And it may be years before you see it again.

Only happens on kicks

If the play had been a normal scrimmage run, OSU would not have lost possession. But on a punt or kickoff, where possession is changing, the foul is loss of possession.

We think we understand it now.

"We didn't work on that too much last week," Andros kidded afterward. Although he came on the field to protest -- which could mean a penalty — the official was most understanding because of the unusual-ness of the situation.


"1967: Conquering giants in a season to remember"

Oct. 23, 1967: "Beavers celebrate greatest football win ever"

Nov. 6, 1967: "Beban says Bruins lucky to gain tie with Beavers"

Nov. 6, 1967: "Rick's Ramblings" (Jack Rickard sports column)

Nov. 13, 1967: "Veteran's Day, 1967 ... one to long remember"

Nov. 13, 1967: "Beavers eye ranking after conquest of No. 1"

Nov. 13, 1967: "It was a great Saturday!" (Gazette-Times editorial)


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