Southern Cal

Trojans ©

Michigan

Wolverines

The Rose Bowl

Played January 1, 1979

at the Rose Bowl

Pasadena, California

  

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 © 4 19 3 1 .848 9 1 1 .864 8 2 0 .800 2 0 0 1.000
Michigan 1 9 3 0 .750 5 1 0 .833 4 1 0 .800 0 1 0 .000

Previous Belt Meetings

1/1/1977

Rose Bowl

Southern Cal ©

14
Michigan 6

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Southern Cal

7

10

0

0

17

Michigan

0

3

7

0

10

The 5th ranked, 10-1 Michigan Wolverines of coach Bo Schembechler traveled to Pasadena for the 1979 Rose Bowl to meet the 3rd ranked, 11-1 Southern Cal Trojans of coach John Robinson.  Each team’s only loss of the season came on October 14, the fifth game of the season, at the hands of a conference foe – Michigan State & Arizona State respectively.  The Wolverines had an experienced offense led by QB Rick Leach playing in his 3rd straight Rose Bowl but the Trojans' array of stars was too much for them to overcome.  Southern Cal used a 17-point 1st half to defeat the Wolverines 17-10 & hand Schembechler his 5th straight loss in the Rose Bowl.  The Trojans opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass from QB Paul McDonald to TE Hoby Brenner.  The touchdown was set-up when Southern Cal's S Ronnie Lott intercepted Leach.  A 36-yard field goal by PK Gregg Willner accounted for the only Wolverines' points of the half.  White scored on a controversial 3-yard run as the line judge ruled White had crossed the goal line prior to fumbling the ball giving the Trojans had a 14-3 lead.  Many at the game & watching on television believed White, stripped by Michigan's All-Big Ten LB Ron Simpkins, had fumbled into the hands of Wolverines' LB Jerry Meter prior to scoring but the ruling by referee Paul Kamanski favored the Trojans.  Kamanski was the same official who ruled in favor of the Trojans on an apparent fumble by McDonald late in the Notre Dame game which allowed Southern Cal to retain the ball & drive for the winning field goal.  Late in the half, PK Frank Jordan kicked a 35-yard field goal as Southern Cal took a 17-3 lead to the locker room.  Michigan scored the only points of the 2nd half when Leach connected with RB Roosevelt Smith on a 44-yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter but neither team threaten again.  White & Leach were named Co-MVP of the game.  White finished with 99 yards rushing with his touchdown, McDonald threw for just 23 yards with his touchdown, & the Trojans' defense held Michigan to just 99 yards rushing.  Leach threw for 137 yards with a touchdown but 2 interceptions & finished as the Rose Bowl career leader in plays, total yards, & passing yards.  Southern Cal finished the season 12-1; Pac-10 Champions & ranked 2nd nationally while the Wolverines finished 10-2, Big Ten Co-Champs & ranked 5th nationally.  Michigan would play for The Belt again in 1981.

Southern Cal Game Stats Michigan Game Stats
 

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Charles White 32 99 1 Russell Davis 8 28 0
Lynn Cain 14 90 0 Harlan Huckleby 9 28 0
Paul McDonald 8 -55 0 Roosevelt Smith 10 22 0
        Rick Leach 12 22 0
        Butch Woolfolk 1 -1 0
 
Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs
Paul McDonald 9 4 0 23 1 Rick Leach 21 10 2 137 1
            Tony Jackson 1 0 0 0 0
 

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Dan Garcia 1 12 0 Roosevelt Smith 4 58 1
Hoby Brenner 1 9 1 Ralph Clayton 2 40 0
Charles White 2 2 0 Gene Johnson 2 23 0
        Doug Marsh 1 9 0
        Harlan Huckleby 1 7 0

 

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