As we continue on our daily countdown towards the 2007 season, #74 on our list takes us back to the 1974 season, and what a year that was for the Trojans...
Though the Trojans won a national championship that season, 1974 will probably be remembered most for the game simply dubbed, "The Comeback" (watch the highlights below).
It was November 30 as the 6th ranked Trojans hosted #5 Notre Dame. The Irish got off to a 24-0 lead, until it became the Anthony Davis show. Davis scored on a 7 yard TD pass from QB Pat Haden just before halftime, cutting the deficit to 24-6. He then ran back the opening kickoff of the 2nd half 102 yards for a touchdown, and opened the flood gates. USC went on to score 35 points in the 3rd Quarter and a total of 55 unanswered points en route to a 55-24 win. Davis ended up scoring 4 TDs, and coupled with his six TD performance against the Irish in 1972, earned him the nickname "The Notre Dame Killer." This game should have won Davis the Heisman Trophy, who finished second to Archie Griffin, but ballots were due prior to the game. Instead Davis was robbed of the trophy, and voting for the Heisman was then postponed until after the regular season following the tragedy of that season. Here's the highlights of Anthony Davis' legendary performance:
The 1974 season was capped off by an appearance in the Rose Bowl, where the Trojans triumphed over the Ohio State Buckeyes 18-17, which then led to USC winning their 8th national championship. The title did not come easy though, as the Trojans trailed 17-10 late in the 4th Quarter and began their final drive at their own 17 yard line. After reaching the Buckeye 40 yard mark, the Trojans converted a crucial 4th and 1, even despite losing star tailback Anthony Davis to injury. On the very next play, QB Pat Haden hit Johnny McKay, son of head coach John McKay, for a 38 yard TD pass with 2:03 left in the game. Rather than kicking the PAT and tying the game up, McKay chose to go for two and the win. USC converted and held on for the victory. Below is a highlight video from that epic 1975 Rose Bowl game: