Score by Quarters
The Los Angeles Times’ Paul Zimmerman wrote: “In a tense game that saw fans boiling over in the end zones and both goal posts torn down before the finish, Purdue made its first Rose Bowl appearance a victorious one Monday.”
In what would be the first of three consecutive Rose Bowl Game appearances for USC, the Trojans, who entered the game 12½-point underdogs, came up just one point short as they elected to go for a win instead of playing for a tie, attempting a two-point conversion with little time left in the game before eventually losing, 14-13, to Purdue in the 1967 Rose Bowl Game.
Bud Furillo of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner commented: “In a season in which it was fashionable to play football for ties – one team did it and won the national championship – John McKay, the ol’ blackjack player, hit 13 and went broke in the Rose Bowl.”
The Los Angeles Herald Examiner’s Allan Malamud opined: “The guy who’s more anxious to win than he is afraid to lose now is 0-4 in games decided by futile two-point conversion attempts.”
USC had a chance to win after quarterback Troy Winslow fired a 19-yard strike to Rod Sherman with 2:28 to play that put the Trojans within a point of the Boilermakers.
“I talked to the kids for three or four weeks about beating Purdue,” McKay said, “and I would have denied them that opportunity if we didn’t try for two points.”
Paul Zimmerman of the Los Angeles Times reported: “Winslow tried another pass for the two points. He had Trojan receiver Jim Lawrence free in the end zone but George Catavolos, a busy defender for Purdue all day, stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted.”
“I still can’t believe it,” said Lawrence. “The ball was right there – I could feel it – and this guy came up from behind at full speed and took it away.
“He was going so fast that he was at the 5-yard line before I could even react.”
“My man was Lawrence,” Catavolos said. “I was afraid Sherman was going to come over and try to screen me out of the play so they could hit Lawrence. But John Charles (the defensive Player of the Game) knocked Sherman off his pass route.
“George Olion (defensive end) had Winslow contained so he couldn’t run wide. I was right between Lawrence and Winslow. There was no way Winslow was going to get the ball over my head to Lawrence.
“But Winslow had to do something, so he tried to throw to Lawrence anyway. In desperation, I guess.”
The game featured a showdown of two of the country’s top quarterbacks – USC’s Winslow and future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese of Purdue. Winslow outplayed Griese on this day though, connecting on 12 of 17 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown compared to Griese’s 10 of 18 for 139 yards and no touchdowns.
Melvin Durslag of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner concluded: “With so much on the line, it is disappointing to fail. But gambler McKay at least has one distinction. This is the first time a man has thrown craps with 35,000,000 watching.”
Pur – Williams, 1-yard run (Griese kick good)
USC – McCall, 1-yard run (Rossovich kick good)
Pur – Williams, 2-yard run (Griese kick good)
USC – Sherman, 19-yard pass from Winslow (Winslow’s pass for 2-point conversion failed)
Purdue: Jack Mollenkopf
USC: John McKay
The 1967 game featured Bob Griese, who would go on to become an NFL Hall of Famer. His son, Brian, would earn Player of the Game honors in 1998 when he led Michigan Wolverines to a 21-16 victory over Washington State.
Pur: P. Williams 20-61; Baltzell 11-25; Griese 6-15; Keyes 2-4
USC: McCall 22-92; Hull 7-53; H. Williams 5-29
Pur: Griese 10-18-139
USC: Winslow 12-17-174
Pur: Beirne 4-69; Griffin 2-19; Baltzell 1-13; Finley 1-11; Hurst 2-27
USC: Sherman 7-102; Lawrence 3-52; McCall 1-12; Cahill 1-8
Pur: Griese 3-115; Emch 1-40
USC: Cashman 3-102