1966 Rose Bowl

1966 Rose Bowl

Name=1966 Rose Bowl
Date=January 1, 1966
Visitor School=University of California, Los Angeles
Visitor Name Short=UCLA
Visitor Nickname=Bruins
Visitor Record=7-2-1

Visitor Coaches=
Visitor Coach=Tommy Prothro
Visitor Total=14
Home School=Michigan State University
Home Name Short=Michigan State
Home Nickname=Spartans
Home Record=10-0-0

Home Coaches=
Home Coach=Duffy Daugherty
Home Total=12
Stadium=Rose Bowl
City=Pasadena, California
MVP=Bob Stiles
US Network=NBC
US Announcers=Lindsey Nelson, Terry Brennan
Odds=Michigan State by 14
Anthem=UCLA Band
Halftime=UCLA Band, Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band

The 1966 Rose Bowl game, played on January 1 1966 was the 52nd Rose Bowl game. The UCLA Bruins defeated the #1 ranked Michigan State Spartans by a score of 14-12. UCLA Defensive back Bob Stiles was named the Rose Bowl Player Of The Game. [http://www.bowlprograms.com/rosebowl/?pg=182 2008 Rose Bowl Program] , 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.]


The game was a rematch of the season opener in East Lansing, MI that was won by Michigan State, 13-3. However, unknown Gary Beban had a long TD pass play nullified by a penalty in that game. As it turned out, little UCLA gave MSU one of its toughest games of the season in its home opener, a fact that was forgotten when the 14 point odds came out favoring MSU for the Rose Bowl re-match. The two previous meetings also were won by Michigan State, the 1954 Rose Bowl and 1956 Rose Bowl.

Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State was undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation. Their key victory was a 32-7 win over Ohio State that ultimately decided the Big 10 title as the Spartans finished 1 game ahead of the Buckeyes. The Spartans featured Bubba Smith and George Webster.

UCLA Bruins

UCLA lost the season opener at Michigan State 13-3, upset highly regarded Syracuse and Penn State, tied at Missouri 14-14, then won 4 straight. Going into the 1965 UCLA-USC rivalry football game ranked number 7, the conference championship and 1966 Rose Bowl were on the line. Number 6 ranked USC, led by Heisman trophy winner Mike Garrett led 16-6 until UCLA got a touchdown on a pass from Gary Beban to Dick Witcher with 4 minutes to play. After the 2-point conversion made it 16-14, UCLA recovered an onside kick. Beban then hit Kurt Altenberg on a 50 yard bomb and UCLA won, 20-16. [ [http://www.english.ucla.edu/ucla1960s/6465/Smith2.htm UCLA Athletics: 1964-1965] UCLA.edu]

UCLA then faced Tennessee in the newly built Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, Prothro's native city. On the last play of a wild game, Tennessee defensive back Bob Petrella intercepted a UCLA pass to save a Volunteer win by a score of 37-34. Coach Prothro, was uncharacteristically upset. He criticized a pass interference call, a phantom holding call on end Byron Nelson that nullified a key UCLA play, claimed that the clock had been wrongly stopped twice on Tennessee's winning drive, and said that a dropped pass was a lateral and a fumble. He stated, "For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be a Southerner." [John Shearer - [http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_76809.asp Memories: 1965 UT Football Team, Coach Bill Majors] . The Chattanoogan.com, December 5, 2005]

The 1965 team were nicknamed the "Gutty little Bruins" as the defensive line was small with John Richardson at 225 pounds, Steve Butler at 220, and 200-pound defensive tackles Al Claman and Terry Donahue. [Stewart, Larry - For Pete’s Sake, Don’t Paint Town Cardinal. Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2003.]

Game summary

The weather was sunny and 65 degrees. Michigan State was a two touchdown favorite and the consensus #1 ranked team, but the undersized Bruins held their own through a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter, UCLA recovered a muffed punt inside the Michigan State 5 yard line; QB Gary Beban eventually took it in from one yard out to give the Bruins a surprising lead over the stunned Spartans. Then UCLA coach Tommy Prothro went into his bag of tricks and called for an onside kick. Kicker Kurt Zimmerman executed it perfecty and Dallas Grider fell on the ball. UCLA QB Gary Beban then threaded a pass between 3 Spartan defenders to Kurt Altenbeg, who made a great catch that put UCLA on the 1 yard line. Beban then scored on a short run to make it 14-0. UCLA's undersized defense continued to play well, but the larger Spartans were beginning to wear them down and began picking up bigger and bigger chunks of yardage on the ground. Midway through the 4th quarter, Michigan State finally broke through for a touchdown, but failed on the try for a 2-point conversion and UCLA led 14-6. Michigan State go the ball back and began to march down field in the waning moments. With under a minute to play the Spartans scored again, and trailing 14-12, lined up for a two point conversion attempt. They pitched out to their large Samoan fullback Bob Apisa, and as he turned the corner, it appeared he would fall into the end zone to tie the game. But UCLA defensive back Bob Stiles ran full speed and threw himself into Apisa, keeping Apisa out of the end zone and knocking himself out in the process. [Al Wolf - Bruin Crowd Brimming With Joy...It's 'Everybody's Win'. Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, California. January 2, 1966] [Larry Sharkey; Ben Olender; Joe Kennedy - Bruins Perform Surgery on Spartans' Line. Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, California. January 2, 1966] [Bruins Won It Easily. Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, California. January 2, 1966]


econd quarter

*UCLA — Gary Beban, one-yard run. Kurt Zimmerman converts.
*UCLA — Beban, one-yard run. Zimmerman converts.

Fourth quarter

*MSU — Bob Apisa, 38-yard run. Jimmy Ray’s pass failed.
*MSU — Ray, one-yard run. Apisa run failed.


Back in 1966, the final UPI poll was taken before the bowl games so Michigan State retained their #1 ranking in the UPI. Alabama, led by quarterback Steve Sloan and with a record of 8-1-1, handed undefeated and #2 ranked Nebraska a 39-28 loss in the Orange Bowl; the Crimson Tide were then voted #1 in the AP. UCLA ended up ranked #4 AP, #5 UPI.

In a 1995 vote of the greatest moments in Los Angeles sports history, Bob Stiles stop of Bob Apisa on the goal line ranked #26. The defeat of USC in the UCLA-USC rivalry game to get to the Rose Bowl ranked #35. [ [http://www.lasports.org/lagreatest_moments/greatest2.php L.A.'s greatest moments 100 greatest] #26 1966: Heavy underdog UCLA outlasts Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, 14-12, as 175-pound Bruin defensive back Bob Stiles stops 212-pound MSU fullback Bob Apisa on the goal line on a last-minute two-point conversion try. #35 1965: Bruin sophomore Gary Beban heaves fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Dick Witcher and Kurt Altenberg to stun USC and Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett, 20-16. ]

Prothro would never be able to bring the Bruins to the Rose Bowl again. In 1966, the USC Trojans were voted in ahead of the Bruins despite UCLA's 14-7 win over USC. In the 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game, a spectacular run by O.J. Simpson would give USC the bid and the National Championship. In the 1969 USC-UCLA football game, a battle of undefeated teams, USC would again prevail, 14-12.

Kurt Altenberg died in 2005. [White, Lonnie - Kurt Altenberg, 61; Ex-Bruin’s Touchdown Beat USC in 1965. Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2005]

Game Facts

*Future UCLA head coach Terry Donahue was a 195 pound defensive lineman for UCLA.
*Dallas Grider, who recovered the 2nd quarter onside kick that led to UCLA's second touchdown in the Rose Bowl, also recovered the onside kick in the UCLA - USC game that led to the Bruins' winning touchdown.
*Tommy Prothro became the first coach to take two different schools to the Rose Bowl, and he did it in successive seasons. Prothro guided Oregon State to the 1965 Rose Bowl. It was also Prothro's last Rose Bowl appearance. The AAWU conference voted 7-3 USC (a team 9-1 UCLA had beaten 14-7) in over the Bruins in 1966.
*Prothro was a quarterback for Duke University in the 1942 Rose Bowl.
*This was UCLA's first Rose Bowl win after 5 losses. It was Michigan State's first loss after two wins - both over UCLA.
*This game began a streak of West Coast dominance in the Rose Bowl as Pac-8/Pac-10 teams would win all but 4 of the next 22 Rose Bowls, often as the underdog.
*Both teams wore their home color uniforms, Michigan State in green jerseys, and UCLA in powder blue jerseys.
*Barry Leventhal was co-captain of the UCLA Bruins

External links

* [http://www.rosebowlhistory.org/rose-bowl-1966.php Summary at Rosebowlhistory.org]
* [http://www.tournamentofroses.com/rosebowlgame/ Rose Bowl Game official site]
* [http://www.mmbolding.com/bowls/Rose_1966.htm 1966 Rose Bowl] - Pictures and summary



*UCLA Football Media Guide (PDF Copy available at [http://www.uclabruins.com www.uclabruins.com] )
*Football's Bowl Week. Sports Illustrated, January 10, 1966 Volume 24, Issue 2

ee also

*Rose Bowl Game
*1965 college football season
*1967 USC vs. UCLA football game

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