Freshman tailback Charles White scored on an seven yard run with 3:03 remaining and a late Michigan drive in the closing minutes failed on USC's 13 yard line as Southern Cal beat Michigan, 14-6, in the Rose Bowl today.
Until White's run, all the scoring had been in the second period. Michigan scored first on a one yard plunge by running back Rob Lytle but the conversion kick was blocked.
Southern Cal, playing most of the game without Rickey Bell, who was injured early, scored minutes late when quarterback Vince Evans ran for a touchdown on fourth and goal on the one yard line. The conversion kick gave the Trojans a 7-6 lead.
There was no more scoring in the defensive struggle until White's run in the fourth quarter. Southern Cal gained twice as many yards as Michigan.
Michigan quarterback Rick Leach fumbled on a quarterback keeper. SC linebacker Clay Matthews recovered and SC took over at its 42. But it was a costly and frustrating possession.
On their fifth play from scrimmage, tailback Ricky Bell of the Trojans suffered a savage hit after a six-yeard gain and left the game, apparently suffering from a head injury.
The Trojans moved the ball steadily downfield and a 12-yard carry by Bell's replacement, freshman Charles White, gave Southern Cal at first and goal at the six.
But sturdy Michigan held and Trojan kicker Glen Walker missed a 23-yard field goal attempt to the left.
Bell left the field with two minutes to go in the first quarter for further examination, and was not expected to return to action. The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
Michigan finally began to move early in the second quarter, after takinv over at Midfield.
They drove 50 yards in 12 running plays, to a touchdown. Bob Lytle's one-yard dive over the top of the line came with 7:08 left in the first half.
Lytle gained 27 of those yards, and Leach picked up six on a critical third down and three play from the 19 to keep the drive alive.
Walt Underwood blocked Bob Wood's extra point attempt.
That score ignited a small fire under the Trojans, and they finally became untracked on their next series. They moved from their 20 to the Michigan four in eight plays, the big gainer a 30-yard pass from Evans to wide receiver Shelton Diggs that carried to the Wolverine 18.
The final four yards were tough. Michigan forced the Trojans into a fourth and goal from the one.
Evans faked a hand-off up the middle to White, who dove over the pile as if he had the ball. Evans put it back on his hip and rolled around the left end untouched for the touchdown.
Walker's conversion attempt was successful and Southern Cal led, 7-6, with 1:28 left before intermission, a lead it maintained through the first half.
White, freshman tailback, was a more-than-adequate replacement for Bell. He gained 57 yards in 14 first-half carries. Michigan's Rob Lytle led all runners with 60 yards in 13 attempts.
Evans completed five of his first seven passes for 62 yards and scored one touchdown. His Michigan counterpart, Leach, threw the ball only four times for one completion for 12 yards at the half.
A decision was made at halftime not to allow the injured Bell to return. He was hit in the back of the head, and said he did not remember the play, only that "it was kind of like being in a dream."
Early in the third period, Lytle was hit by Ricky Odom as he caught a pitchout from Leach. Lytle fumbled and David Lewis recovered at the Michigan eight.
But Southern Cal gave the ball back. White took a handoff from Evans but never had control of it. The ball flew over the line of scrimmage, into the waiting hands of Dom Tedesco, Michigan defensive end.
Michigan caught its breath and took over at its 10. Unable to move, the Wolverines punted.
South Cal was on the move again on their next possession, driving to a first town at the Michigan 25. But again the Trojans stalled.
Evans was sacked for a 10-yard loss on first down by Tedesco, and got seven yards back on a keeper. His third-down pass to tight end Bill Gay at the sideline was dropped and Walker came on to attempt at 45-yard field goal.
His kick was short and Michigan took over at its 20.
Michigan changed its backfield alignment, moving Lytle from tailback to fullback and bringing in Harlan Huckleby at tailback.
The moves juiced up the Michigan attack well enough for the Wolverines to drive from their 20 to a first down at the Southern Cal 42.
But the Trojans stiffened and held. On third and one from the 33, Lytle was thrown for a yard loss by Eric Williams.
Michigan gambled on fourth down and lost. Leach rolled out to the wide side of the field, but was nailed for a two-yard loss by all-American tackle Gary Jeter. The Trojans took over at their 36.
They were on the move quickly, mostly through the air. Diggs made a spectacular catch flat on his back - the back actually bounced off his chest twice before he finally grabbed it - for an 11-yard gain and a critical first down at the Michigan 45.
Diggs caught two more third-down passes for important first downs, but they were wasted.
The Trojans took over at their 42 with 7:34 to play.
A 27-yard pass from Evans to Randy Simmrin carried to the Michigan 30.
Fullback Mosi Tatupu bulled 20 yards up the middle to the Michigan seven.
White took a pitchout from Evans, headed around the right side and cut inside blocks thrown by Marvin Powell and Otis Page for seven yards and a touchdown. Walker's extra point increased the Southern Cal lead to 14-6 with 3:03 left to play.