College Football Belt - 1978 Southern Cal at Alabama

Southern Cal

Trojans

Alabama

Crimson Tide ©

Played September 23, 1978

at Legion Field

Birmingham, Alabama

  

Teams' Belt Records

Team

Belt

Reigns

Overall

Record

Home

Record

Away

Record

Neutral

Record

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

Southern Cal 2 13 2 1 .843 6 1 1 .813 5 1 0 .833 2 0 0 1.000
Alabama © 1 10 1 0 .909 5 0 0 1.000 4 0 0 1.000 1 1 0 .500

Previous Belt Meetings

10/8/1977

Alabama

21
Southern Cal © 20

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Southern Cal

7

3

0

14

24

Alabama

0

0

7

7

14

The 7th ranked, 2-0 Southern Cal Trojans of coach John Robinson traveled to Birmingham to battle the top-ranked, 2-0 Alabama Crimson Tide of coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in the rematch of their epic 1977 contest when Alabama took The Belt with a 21-20 victory over the Trojans.  Alabama brought a 12-game winning streak along with The Belt to battle the previous champion.  Southern Cal’s All-American RB Charles White rushed for 199 yards including a 40-yard touchdown in the 1st quarter & All-Pac 10 WR Kevin Williams caught 2 touchdown passes to lead the 10 ½-point underdog Trojans to a 24-14 upset which returned The Belt to Los Angeles.  Things did not start the way Southern Cal had planned though as the Trojans drove 73 yards to the Alabama 2-yard line but White’s fumble was recovered by Alabama's All-SEC S Murray Legg keeping the game scoreless.  White made up for his miscue on the next series with his 40-yard touchdown run on Southern Cal's famed "Student Body Right" sweep that gave the Trojans a 7-0 lead.  A field goal from Southern Cal's PK Frank Jordan made the score 10-0 & the Trojans’ defense used a solid goal-line stand to keep the Crimson Tide out of the end zone in the 1st half.  In the 3rd quarter another White fumble, the second recovered by Legg, gave the Crimson Tide the ball at the Southern Cal 42-yard line.  A 42-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Southern Cal defense by Alabama's RB Major Ogilvie followed as the Crimson Tide closed to within a field goal at 10-7 early in the 3rd quarter.  Early in the 4th quarter, Southern Cal took advantage of a short punt which gave the Trojans possession of the ball at the Alabama 39-yard line.  Southern Cal got the touchdown on a 6-yard pass from QB Paul McDonald to Williams pushing the Trojans' lead to 17-7 with 11:15 left in the game.  Southern Cal effectively put the game out of reach when McDonald connected with Williams on a 40-yard touchdown pass which was tipped into Williams’ hands by Alabama's CB Don McNeal.  A 41-yard touchdown pass from the Crimson Tide's QB Jeff Rutledge to TE Bart Krout with 7:10 to play closed the scoring.  Alabama had chances to score again but RB Tony Nathan's fumble was recovered by Southern Cal's S Ronnie Lott at the Southern Cal 12-yard line with 3:26 to play.  The Crimson Tide's final threat ended when Southern Cal's S Dennis Smith intercepted Rutledge inside the Trojans' 10-yard line.  McDonald finished with 113 yards passing with 2 touchdowns but an interception while the Trojans' defense forced 6 turnovers.  Rutledge threw for 119 yards with a touchdown but 4 interceptions in the loss.  Alabama finished the season 11-1; SEC Champions & National Champions while the Trojans finished 12-1, Pac-10 Champions, ranked 2nd nationally.  Alabama would play for The Belt again in 1983.

Southern Cal Game Stats Alabama Game Stats
 

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Charles White 29 199 1 Major Ogilvie 11 75 1
Lynn Cain 18 97 0 Tony Nathan 12 61 0
Dwight Ford 8 20 0 Lou Ikner 2 32 0
Paul McDonald 10 -7 0 Billy Jackson 5 26 0
        Joe Jones 3 10 0
        Steven Whitman 4 10 0
        Steadman Shealy 2 4 0
        Bruce Bolton 1 -2 0
        Jeff Rutledge 2 -7 0
 
Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs
Paul McDonald 16 9 1 113 2 Jeff Rutledge 19 8 4 119 1
Charles White 1 1 0 -5 0 Steadman Shealy 1 1 0 22 0
 

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Kevin Williams 2 46 2 Bart Krout 2 58 1
Calvin Sweeney 3 37 0 Keith Pugh 2 34 0
Ray Butler 1 14 0 Bruce Bolton 1 22 0
James Hunter 1 9 0 Tony Nathan 3 21 0
Charles White 2 7 0 Major Ogilvie 1 6 0
Paul McDonald 1 -5 0        

 

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