Quarterback John Mazur passed six yards for a touchdown to junior tight end Fred Cornwell with two seconds remaining as Southern California retained its No. 1 ranking with a dramatic last-minute drive to defeat second-ranked Oklahoma, 28-24, today.
Oklahoma came onto the field first. Eight minutes later, the Sooners made it to the end zone first, too.
The Trojans had possession and, as expected, put Allen to work. The tailback, who carried the ball 22 times against Tennessee and 40 times against Indiana, ran the ball five times for 30 yards on the first drive. But the Trojans stalled near midfield.
Then, the Sooners scored almost as soon as they got the ball. Quarterback Kelly Phelps, leading the Oklahoma wishbone with trickery and efficiency, finished off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the quarter. Phelps threw two passes on the drive -- half as many as he threw in the opener against Wyoming (Oklahoma won that game 37-20). He completed one, a 19-yarder to Bobby Grayson on third and 13 from the USC 43.
Allen ran three times when the Trojans got the ball, but they went nowhere. Oklahoma then moved 31 yards to the Southern California 21 before Stanley Wilson fumbled and USC's Chip Banks recovered. It was the third Oklahoma fumble in the quarter, but the first one lost.
Then USC retaliated.The Trojans drove 80 yards in seven plays. Allen ran four of them, including the 28 yarder that got the Trojans even with a little more than three minutes left in the period. Allen ran 12 times for 70 yards in the quarter.
By halftime, Allen had gained 103 yards in 18 carries. But Oklahoma had 175 yards rushing and a 17-14 lead.
The Sooners scored on their first possession of the second quarter, too. Only the quarterback had changed. Darrell Shepard entered and led the Sooners on an 80-yard drive in 15 plays. Fullback Stanley Wilson ran one yard to end the six-minute drive. Oklahoma led, 14-7.
On Oklahoma's next series, Shepard passed 46 yards to Bobby Grayson, advancing the ball to the USC 19. Michael Keeling's 27-yard field goal with four minutes left in the half made it 17-7.
Again, the Trojan offense was buried in the Southern California haze. But Elbert Watts fumbled the USC punt at the Sooners 40 and USC recovered.
Then John Mazur, the first sophomore quarterback to start for USC since Pat Haden in 1972, came back to throw a one-yard scoring pass to John Kamana with 42 seconds left. Steve Jordan's point after made it 17-14.
Even though the Trojans had been outgained in total yardage in the half, 252-156, they trailed by only a field goal.
The third period was scoreless. It was also full of errors, the sort you wouldn't expect from the two teams that the wire services insist are the best in the country.
For the Trojans, Steve Jordan missed two field goals -- the first from 45 yards and the second from 41. Both misses were in the early part of the third period.
For the Sooners, there were drives. And there were fumbles. First Weldon Ledbetter, in for his first play, fumbled at midfield. That came with nine minutes left in the period.
Then after Phelps threw a 40-yarder to Grayson, four minutes and one possession later, bringing Oklahoma to the USC 32-yard line, Phelps fumbled on the the next play.
USC did not take advantage of either mistake.
So entering the final period, Oklahoma had outgained USC, 396-233. Allen had 161 yards on 27 carries. Things did not look good for the Trojans.
Shepard then orchestrated a 14-play drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. It also spanned 74 yards and kept the Trojans' vietory horse in its stable.