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USC-UCLA: O.J.'s 64-yard run

USC-UCLA: O.J.’s 64-yard run

Nov. 18, 1967: USC’s junior halfback O.J. Simpson heads downfield behind teammate Bob Klein during his game-winning 64-yard touchdown. The fourth-quarter run gave No. 2-ranked USC a 21-20 victory over No. 1-ranked UCLA.

UCLA was led by senior quarterback Gary Beban, who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy. Simpson would win the award the following year as a senior.

L.A. Times Sports Editor Paul Zimmerman wrote about the run:

“An audible signal called at the line of scrimmage by quarterback Toby Page in the fourth quarter turned O.J. Simpson loose on a 64-yard touchdown run at Memorial Coliseum Saturday to put USC in the Rose Bowl.

It was to have been a pass play to Ron Drake, hardly calculated to go the distance.

When Page saw the UCLA defense go into double coverage on his split end, he changed to a weak-side smash by his work-horse halfback. O.J. put on a spectacular burst of speed once he broke into the clear, reversed his field and went all the way for the score.

Sophomore Rikki Aldridge kicked the extra point, to give the Trojans a 21-20 victory after a rugged contest that had attracted a wild-cheering crowd of 90, 772 and held the attention of an estimated 10 million television viewers.”

Times Columnist Jim Murray wrote:

“It (the game) was a four heart-attack feature. More fun than watching Sophia Loren getting ready for bed with the shades up. A total of 41 points were scored. One more and UCLA is in the Rose Bowl.

Everything was at stake but French Equatorial Africa in this one. The Heisman Trophy, the Rose Bowl, the conference championship, the national championship and probably the Republican nomination.”

Los Angeles Times staff photographer Joe Kennedy took this image of Simpson’s run. It ran as lead art on the next day’s sports section front.

1 Comment

  1. December 14, 2011, 4:14 pm

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