USD Football 1991

THE BAY AIR-EA until coach Jimmy Aiken adopted the T. The Ducks went 9-1 in I948, and Van Brocklin went on 10 a great pro career. Chuck Taylor continued Stanford's passing excellence when he became head coach in I95 I. Taylor, a former All-American line- man under Shaughnessy, directed Stanford to the Rose Bowl his rookie year behind quanerback Gary Kerkorian. His successor was Bobby Garrell, the NCAA passing champion and an All-American in I953, a season in which he set a confer- ence record with 17 TD passes and threw for 324 yards against mighty USC. Then came Brodie, an Oaklander who was the NCAA's No. I passer as an All-American in I956, completing a conference-record I39 passes that season. "I credit Stanford's image of the '50s for all the great quanerbacks from Nonhern California," Robinson said. "The whole area has a tradition of pulling the ball in the air," observed Paul Wiggin, an All-American lineman at Stanford in the '50s and later the coach of his alma mater. The Bay Area's prolific passing continued in the '60s. Monon and Berry, both prep stars in the Santa Clara Valley, shared All- American honors as college seniors in 1964, the laller at Oregon. John Ralston, a Cal grad, became Stanford's coach and intended to run the ball to success, as he did at Utah State. Plunkell con- vinced him otherwise, launching a three-year career which resulted in 52 touchdowns, 7,809 yards and a senior year crowned with a Heisman Trophy and a Rose Bowl upset of Ohio State. "l believed we could win by running off tackle when I got to Stanford," Ralston conceded. "But I was bumping my head against the wall. Players at USC and other schools were physically superior, so we had to do something else. Plunkell was a pure pass- er, and we took off with him." Ralston had competent help in making the transition to the passing game. When assistants White and Roger Theder depaned Stanford and switched to Cal in I972, the Golden Bears immediately gained passing prominence with the likes of Bankowski, Ferragamo, Roth and Campbell. Bankowski was the NCAA passing champion and an All-American in I974. The legacy was enhanced at Stanford when Walsh began his head coaching career in I977 and developed Benjamin into the NCAA passing champion. He proved it was no fluke when Dils earned similar honors in I978. When Walsh moved 10 the 49ers in I979, Rod Dowhower replaced him at Stanford and Schonert made it three national passing titles in a row. Elway assumed the quanerback duties in 1980, never winning a passing crown while generally being acknowledged as the greatest quanerback in Stanford history. Campbell got into the act by selling NCAA records with 21 con- secutive completions, a .707 season percentage and a .644 career percentage for Cal. By 1982, MSU's Rogers and Illinois' White already had chal- lenged the old order of the Big I0, which no longer was a run-ori- ented conference. White used his Northern California roots to allract Eason from Walnut Grove, near Sacramento, and Trudeau from Livermore. "The Big IO started to change its thinking and became more com- petitive about that time," White said. "The rest of us may not have been on a par with Michigan and Ohio State, but we could give them a game." Four Nonhern Californians were especially proficient passing the ball during the mid- '80s: Robbie Bosco o f Roseville, near Sacramento, who took over for McMahon at BYU; Santos, for the valley town of Selma, who thrived under Scovil at San Diego State; Mike Perez of San Jose State; and Kevin Sweeney, who played for his father, Jim, at Fresno State. The most recent rage is UOP's Kopp, who burst upon the national scene last fall with outrageous performances in three consecutive October games for HarrisĀ· run and shoot. With Kopp back this season, Northern California's passing tradi- tion remains alive and well. TOUCHDOWN ILLUSmATED

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