USC a Winner Now (6-5) in Tokyo, 20-6
Rodney Peete threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Hank Norman; Ryan Knight scored on a one-yard plunge, and Don Shafer kicked two field goals today to lead USC to a 20-6 victory over Oregon in the Mirage Bowl at Tokyo.
The win gave USC a 6-5 record going into the Dec. 28 Aloha Bowl at Honolulu, where the Trojans will probably face Alabama. Oregon finished at 5-6.
After spotting Oregon a 3-0 lead, USC drove 33 yards to Knight’s touchdown following the recovery of a Duck fumble on a punt return in the first quarter.
The Trojans made it 10-3 in the second quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Shafer after recovering a fumble at the Oregon 29.
Late in the second quarter, USC drove 65 yards to Norman’s score, making it 17-3. The big play was a 45-yard pass play from Peete to Al Washington. The Trojans kept the drive alive with a fourth-and-one gamble at their own 45-yard line. Freshman Aaron Emanuel, returning to action after missing the last three games, picked up the first down.
In the first half, Emanuel gained 64 yards in 12 carries, and Knight had 56 yards in 11 carries. Peete completed 6 of 11 passes for 77 yards.
In the third quarter, Oregon closed to 17-6 on a 36-yard field goal by Matt McLeod. USC went ahead, 20-6, in the fourth quarter on a 46-yard field goal by Shafer. The Trojans had driven to the Oregon 10, but an offensive pass interference call on Joe Cormier put the ball back on the 25.