1 NOV. 18, 1967
USC 21 UCLA 20
KEY PLAY: O.J. Simpson's fourth-quarter 64-yard touchdown run
THE SKINNY: The game pitted No. 1 UCLA and star senior quarterback Gary Beban against No. 4 USC and star junior tailback Simpson (right). UCLA led 20-14 in the fourth quarter when Simpson made the greatest run in school history. On a third-and-eight from the USC 36, Trojans quarterback Toby Page called an audible for Red 23-Blast when he saw the Bruins' linebackers drop back into pass coverage. Simpson took the handoff, cut through the line, bounced left, then cut back right, sprinting up the field for a 64-yard touchdown and the winning score.
POSTSCRIPT: The victory gave the Trojans a conference title and a spot in the Rose Bowl, where they beat Indiana 14-3 to complete a 10-1 season and claim the national title.
2 JAN. 1, 1975
USC 18 OHIO STATE 17
KEY PLAY: Game-winning two-point conversion from quarterback Pat Haden to wide receiver Shelton Diggs
THE SKINNY: The No. 4 Trojans were on their way to holding eventual Heisman winner Archie Griffin (above) of third-ranked Ohio State to 75 yards but trailed 17-10 late in the Rose Bowl. After Haden hit wideout John McKay with a 38-yard pass with 2:03 left, Haden then found wideout Diggs in the end zone for the biggest two-point conversion in USC history--and the victory.
POSTSCRIPT: The Trojans finished 10-1-1 and shared the national title with 11-0 Oklahoma.
3 NOV. 30, 1974
USC 55 NOTRE DAME 24
KEY PLAY: Running back Anthony Davis's 102-yard kickoff return to start the second half
THE SKINNY: USC trailed 24-0 with under a minute to go in the first half when Pat Haden hit Davis (28) on a seven-yard scoring pass. Davis took the opening kickoff of the second half 102 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-12. The Trojans scored four more TDs in the quarter and 55 unanswered points in less than 17 minutes. Davis finished with four touchdowns.
POSTSCRIPT: The Trojans (10-1-1) were named UPI national champions.
4 NOV. 21, 1931
USC 16 NOTRE DAME 14
KEY PLAY: Johnny Baker's game-winning 33-yard field goal
THE SKINNY: Though they'd played five times before, USC and Notre Dame truly began their rivalry here. The Irish, riding a 26-game unbeaten streak, led 14-0 after three quarters, but USC scored 16 points in the final period, capped by Baker's 33-yard field goal with one minute left.
POSTSCRIPT: When the Trojans returned to Los Angeles the following week, they were given a downtown ticker-tape parade attended by an estimated 300,000 people. It was USC's first win in South Bend, and the season ended with a national championship.
5 SEPT. 26, 1981
USC 28 OKLAHOMA 24
KEY PLAY: Tight end Fred Cornwell's seven-yard touchdown reception
THE SKINNY: Sound familiar? It was No. 1 USC vs. No. 2 Oklahoma. The Sooners dominated for three quarters and led 24-14 before Marcus Allen (right), who finished with 208 yards on 39 carries, scored his second TD to cut the deficit to three. With 4:30 to go, sophomore QB John Mazur drove USC 78 yards, hitting Cornwell in the end zone with two ticks on the Coliseum clock.
POSTSCRIPT: The Trojans were upset by Arizona 13-10 two weeks later to derail their national title hopes. They ended the season with a 9-3 record, including a loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. Allen, meanwhile, rushed for 2,427 yards and 22 touchdowns and became the fourth Trojans tailback to win the Heisman.