USC Defeated; Irish, UCLA Win in Bowls
Notre Dame staked a claim to its 14th national football championship, and the roses went to Michigan as the glut of college bowls wound up with an extravaganza of seven games Monday.
The top-ranked Fighting Irish completed the first 12-0 season in their storied football history with a 34-21 victory over third-ranked, previously undefeated West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., and the 11th-ranked Wolverines rallied in the second half to beat fifth-ranked USC, 22-14, in the 75th Rose Bowl at Pasadena.
Ninth-ranked UCLA upheld the honor of the Pacific 10 Conference, winning a record seventh straight bowl game by downing eighth-ranked Arkansas, 17-3, in the Cotton Bowl at Dallas.
Miami, Florida State Win
In night games, No. 2 Miami, which lost only to Notre Dame, routed No. 6 Nebraska, 23-3, in the Orange Bowl at Miami, and No. 4 Florida State held off No. 7 Auburn, 13-7, in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans.
In other games, No. 13 Clemson beat No. 10 Oklahoma, 13-6, in the Florida Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Fla., and No. 17 Syracuse dominated No. 16 Louisiana State, 23-10, in the Hall of Fame Bowl at Tampa, Fla.
Notre Dame will likely receive its first national title since 1977 today when the Associated Press’ final poll of the media is released. Coach Lou Holtz will join Irish coaches Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Dan Devine in winning national titles in their third seasons at Notre Dame.
Leahy won in 1943, 1946, 1947 and 1949, Parseghian in 1966 and 1973, and Devine in 1977. Knute Rockne won six other national titles before the AP poll began in 1936.
Junior quarterback Tony Rice led the way for Notre Dame, passing for two touchdowns and a career-high 213 yards. Rice also rushed for 75 yards.
Notre Dame built a 23-6 half-time lead, and West Virginia (11-1) had to settle for the first 11-victory season in its 96-year football history.
USC (10-2) had a 14-3 half-time lead but was overpowered by Michigan (9-2-1) in the second half.
Second Victory in Nine Trips
The victory gave Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler only his second victory in nine trips to the Rose Bowl and marked the first time the Big Ten had won consecutive Rose Bowls since the 1964-65 seasons.
Michigan State defeated USC, 20-17, last year.
Michigan fullback Leroy Hoard rushed for 142 yards and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Hoard put the Wolverines ahead, 15-14, with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the final period, then locked up the victory with another 1-yard scoring run with 1:52 left. He set up the last touchdown with a 61-yard gain to the Trojan 9.
Quarterback Rodney Peete, frustrated most of the game by the Michigan defense, scored for USC on runs of 1 and 4 yards.
UCLA (10-2) used the efficiency of quarterback Troy Aikman and an overpowering defense to become the first school ever to win bowl games in seven consecutive seasons--all with Terry Donahue as coach--before a partisan Arkansas crowd of 74,304.
Several Bowls Involved
The Bruins’ victory streak also includes three Rose Bowls, a Fiesta Bowl, an Aloha Bowl and a Freedom Bowl.
Aikman completed 19 of 27 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown, and converted 12 of 20 third-down situations into first downs. Freshman Shawn Wills gained 121 yards in 18 carries against the Razorbacks (10-2).
The Dallas Cowboys are expected to make Aikman the first player chosen in the National Football League draft. Cowboy personnel director Gil Brandt congratulated Aikman under the goal posts after the game.
However, it was the UCLA defense that carried the day, holding Arkansas to 42 yards of offense and four first downs.
Complete reports in Sports.