Score by Quarters
The USC Trojans defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 1985 Rose Bowl Game, 20-17.
“Hadn’t we seen this before?” wrote Christine Brennan in the Washington Post. “Same time, same date, same bowl game? Same New Year’s Day script? A furious late rally to save face by the big Midwestern boys who run the ball a lot falls just short, allowing the local beach boys to pull off the annual upset everyone has come to expect.”
Ohio State scored on the game’s opening drive, settling for a 21-yard field goal. USC, however, was not to be outdone on its opening drive, kicking a 51-yard field goal. The Trojans then took the lead on an eight-play drive, capped by a touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Green to tight-end Joe Cormier.
The Trojans continued their scoring in the second quarter with another Green pass, this time hitting flanker Timmie Ware. USC had gained excellent field position with an ill-advised throw by Ohio State quarterback Mike Tomczak, who was intercepted by cornerback Tommy Haynes. With USC taking a 17-3 lead, Ohio State settled for another field goal before halftime.
The defenses dominated in the third quarter, as USC managed six points on a pair of field goals to extend its lead to 20-9. It would be the last points scored by USC, but it would prove to be enough on this New Year’s Day.
The Buckeyes finally scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, when Tomczak teamed up with receiver Chris Carter. Tomczak found his way into the end zone on the two-point conversion to pull the Buckeyes within three points of tying the game.
Ohio State regained control of the ball after USC’s drive sputtered and Tomczak began to move the Buckeyes downfield. However, he took two costly sacks and was unable to find any of his receivers on fourth down.
“Against (Ohio State tailback Keith) Byars we figured we had to do exactly what we did today,” said USC Head Coach Ted Tollner. “That’s to take the 40-plus-yard run away from them, and then when they got close, to keep them out of the end zone. Byars is a quality player and you don’t stop him. We hoped to minimize his outstanding ability.”
Byars’ first carry of the day scorched the USC defense for 50 yards. However, it was his only big play.
“Keith Byars was the best back I’ve played against in my career,” USC linebacker Jack Del Rio said. “And nobody gave us as much trouble as he did. After Byars’ 50-yard run I said to the team in our huddle, ‘We can do it.’”
Sunny; 75 degrees
OSU – Spangler, 21-yard field goal
USC – Jordan, 51-yard field goal
USC – Cormier, 3-yard pass from T. Green
USC – Ware, 19-yard pass from T. Green (Jordan kick good)
OSU – Spangler, 46-yard field goal
OSU – Spangler, 52-yard field goal
USC – Jordan, 51-yard field goal
OSU – Carter, 18-yard pass from Tomczak (Tomczak run for a 2-point conversion)
Ohio State: Earle Bruce
USC: Ted Tollner
Ohio State’s Rich Spangler made the longest field goal in Rose Bowl Game history (51 yards).
OSU: Wooldridge 2-20; Byars 23-109; Walker 2-4; Lanese 1-3; Blair 1-1
USC: Pola 9-51; Crutcher 21-72; Ware 1-12; Knight 6-4
OSU: Tomczak 24-37-290
USC: T. Green 13-24-128
OSU: Lanese 3-33; Carter 9-172; Wooldridge 2-27; Byars 5-26; Taggart 4-30; Groza 1-2
USC: Ware 3-56; Crutcher 3-19; Norman 1-20; Cormier 3-19; Boyer 2-15
OSU: Tupa 4-191
USC: Richardson 7-295