Frank Jordan kicked a 37-yard field goal with two seconds to play yesterday to give No. 3-ranked Southern California a dramatic 27-25 victory over No. 8-rated Notre Dame to ruin a brilliant fourth-quarter comeback bid by the Irish.
Jordan, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior whose 38-yard field goal with two seconds left, last season beat UCLA and out Washington in the Rose Bowl, put the finishing touches to one of the greatest battles in the USC-Notre Dame rivalry.
After Joe Montana passed two yards to Pete Holohan for a touchdown with 46 seconds left to put Notre Dame ahead, 25-24, the Trojans went 50 yards in four plays to the Notre Dame 20, from where Jordan booted his three-point. On the game-winning field goal, there wasn't any doubt and the crowd of 84,256 erupted in the pandemonium.
The Trojans' final march began on their 30-yard line. The key play was a 35-yard pass from quarterback Paul McDonald to wide receiver Calvin Sweeney.
On the next day, tailback Charles White ran for four yards, then Jordan, who had missed an extra point and a short field goal attempt earlier in the contest, made the deciding kick.
Trailing 24-6 entering the final period, Notre Dame scored three touchdowns, two on passes by Montana.
McDonald threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Kevin Williams late in the first quarter, hit Dan Garcia on a 35-yard touchdown strike in the second period and Jordan kicked a 39-year field goal as Southern Cal built a 17-3 halftime lead.
A one-yard dive by White in the third quarter was the Trojans' only second-half score until Jordan's dramatic field goal.
Montana completed 20 of his 41 passes for 358 yards, including 17 of 26 for 286 yards in the second half. He fired a 57-yard touchdown bomb to Kris Haines early in the fourth quarter to begin Notre Dame's comeback and marched his team 98 yards to set up a one-yard scoring run by Pete Buchanan with 3:01 left to get the Irish within five points.
Notre Dame got the ball back on its 43-yard line after a Southern Cal punt, then Montana marched the Irish to the Southern Cal two-yard line, where he hit Holohan to put his team ahead for the first time.