Score by Quarters
The UCLA Bruins manhandled the Illinois Fighting Illini in the 1984 Rose Bowl Game with Rick Neuheisel putting on a passing clinic against the Illinois defense, throwing four touchdown passes.
Neuheisel’s four-touchdown performance surpassed USC’s Pete Beathard for the most touchdown passes in a Rose Bowl Game.
“I wonder who wrote the story,” Neuheisel said after being named the game’s Most Valuable Player. “Things worked out well for me and UCLA. A lot of people wrote us off, but we turned it around. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”
“Illinois came to this 70th annual Rose Bowl with wonderful press clippings, a No. 4 national ranking and expectations of an easy romp over UCLA,” wrote Paul Attner of the Washington Post. “The Fightin’ Illini left embarrassed by a devastating 45-9 loss to the unheralded, unranked Bruins, who weren’t considered the Pac-10’s best team this season.”
The first quarter was quiet compared to the scoring onslaught that UCLA would produce later in the game. Neuheisel found tight end Paul Bergmann in the end zone for his first touchdown of the day on the Bruins’ first drive of the game. Illinois would answer back with a field goal in the beginning of the second quarter.
But then the UCLA scoring machine got untracked. Running back Kevin Nelson began the scoring blitz with a 28-yard touchdown run. Illinois didn’t help its cause when quarterback Jack Trudeau was picked off on the ensuing drive.
“We were trying to get the big play early, but we didn’t,” Trudeau said. “We were getting into situations of second- and third-and-long.”
Neuheisel made quick work of the turnover finding receiver Karl Dorrell in the end zone. Again, Illinois shot itself in the foot with another miscue, this time losing a fumble to the UCLA defense. Neuheisel capitalized by finding Mike Young in the end zone, making the score 28-3 at halftime.
The Bruins put the game out of reach in the third quarter, as Neuheisel found Dorrell for his second touchdown of the game, and UCLA added a field goal to post 31 unanswered points and increase its lead to 38-3.
The Illini took their closing third-quarter drive into the fourth quarter and produced their first touchdown of the game, with Trudeau passing to fullback Thomas Rooks. .
UCLA completed its scoring with an eight-yard run by Bryan Wiley.
“Rick Neuheisel’s performance today is one of the great performances in UCLA history,” UCLA Head Coach Terry Donahue said. “I’m stunned; what can I say. I’m still trying to get a feel for what happened out there. We played a magnificent game. This is certainly one of the biggest wins in my career.”
“UCLA did a super job and they deserve all the credit,” said Illinois Head Coach Mike White. “The first quarter was not a good quarter for us; it set the tempo for the game. As the game went on, there was less and less of what we could do offensively. UCLA took us out of our game. It’s a helpless feeling watching the points go up.”
Sunny; 84 degrees
UCLA – Bergmann, 3-yard pass from Neuheisel (Lee kick good)
Ill – C. White, 41-yard field goal
UCLA – Nelson, 28-yard run (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Dorrell, 16-yard pass from Neuheisel (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Young, 53-yard pass from Neuheisel (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Dorrell, 15-yard pass from Neuheisel (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Lee, 29-yard field goal
Ill – Rooks, 5-yard pass from Trudeau (Trudeau pass to Rooks failed for the 2-point conversion)
UCLA – Wiley, 8-yard run (Lee kick good)
UCLA: Terry Donahue
Illinois: Mike White
In the 1984 Rose Bowl Game, a prank played by students from nearby California Institute of Technology altered the scoreboard display, an incident reminiscent of the Great Rose Bowl Hoax of 1961. A pair of Caltech students evaded security at the Rose Bowl, hacked into the electronic system and installed a computer that could be remotely controlled to alter the display on the stadium’s digital scoreboard. During the game, the students from Caltech remotely altered the scoreboard display to show the teams playing in the game as Caltech and MIT, in place of UCLA and Illinois. One of the prank’s perpetrators had received approval from his Caltech professor for the prank, which earned college credit for the course “Experimental Projects in Electrical Circuits.”
UCLA: Nelson 18-69; Wiley 6-26; Andrews 5-13; Cephous 12-86; Dorrell 1-23; Tennell 2-5
Ill: Beverly 4-22; Rooks 8-21
UCLA: Neuheisel 22-31-298
Ill: Trudeau 23-39-178; Cruz 2-8-27
UCLA: Tennell 1-2; Dorrell 5-61; Wiley 1-10; Sherrard 4-25; Nelson 2-17; Young 5-129; Bergmann 4-54
Ill: Williams 10-88; Beverly 1-8; Benson 1-7; Brewster 5-60; Golden 2-7; Rooks 6-35
UCLA: Bono 5-174
Ill: Sigourney 7-305