(Associated Press – Berkeley Daily Gazette, Monday, November 13, 1939) … University of Washington right halfback ERNIE STEELE (# 29 in light jersey), the talented sophomore who tallied his first collegiate touchdown against the UCLA Bruins in the Huskies’ second game of the season previously, smashes into the center of the University of California Golden Bears defensive line during the Pacific Coast Conference tilt watched by the sub-standard crowd of just 25,000 spectators at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on November 11, 1939.
The UCLA BRUINS, ranked # 11 in the country according to the latest Associated Press college football poll, took a breather on the second weekend of November in 1939 … but all seven of the other Pacific Coast Conference schools chasing the coveted Rose Bowl berth took to the gridiron fields and produced plenty of heart-stopping action in the process.
Results – November 11, 1939
USC Trojans 33 – Stanford Indians 0
Oregon State Beavers 19 – Oregon Ducks 14
Washington Huskies 13 – California Golden Bears 6
Washington State Cougars 21 – Idaho Vandals 13
PACIFIC COAST CONFERENCE standings – Nov 12, 1939
USC Trojans ………………………. won 4 … lost 0 … tied 1
UCLA Bruins ………………………. won 3 … lost 0 … tied 1
Oregon State Beavers ………….. won 4 … lost 1 … tied 0
Oregon Ducks ……………………… won 3 … lost 2 … tied 1
Washington Huskies ……………. won 2 … lost 3 … tied 0
California Golden Bears ……….. won 1 … lost 4 … tied 0
Washington State Cougars ……. won 1 … lost 4 … tied 0
Stanford Indians…………………… won 0 … lost 4 … tied 1
NOTE — only results of games involving the eight Pacific Coast Conference schools actually eligible to go to the Rose Bowl are included in the standings above; the teams’ overall records at this point in time are : USC Trojans (5-0-1), UCLA Bruins (5-0-1), Oregon State Beavers (6-1-0), Oregon Ducks (3-3-1), Washington State Cougars (3-4-0), Washington Huskies (3-4-0), California Golden Bears (2-6-0), Stanford Indians (0-5-1)
After moving up three places following their decisive triumph over the formidable Oregon State Beavers seven days earlier, the mighty USC TROJANS confirmed their new # 4 ranking in the AP Poll by racking up 435 yards of total yards from scrimmage in routing the cellar-dwelling STANFORD INDIANS 33-0 in front of 50,000 witnesses at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In this photo here, explosive USC quarterback GRENVILLE LANSDELL (# 78) leaves a trail of Indians in his wake less than five minutes into the game after scampering 16 yards to score the first of the Trojans’ five touchdowns against Stanford. The senior who originally transferred to the University of Southern California after spending a season playing for Pasadena Junior College had set the tone against the Indians by gaining 28 yards on the Trojans’ very first play from scrimmage. Lansdell, who would be named Third Team All-America by the Associated Press in 1939 and was the 10th overall player taken at the 1940 National Football League Draft when selected by the New York Giants in the first round, ultimately scored two touchdowns and finished with an even 100 yards on 14 carries his last time out against Stanford.
The resurgent WASHINGTON HUSKIES, who had lost their first four contests to open this 1939 NCAA campaign, used big plays on both offense and defense to rally past the struggling CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS 13-6 and post its third consecutive victory. The visitors fell behind in the second quarter but responded immediately when triple-threat left halfback DEAN MCADAMS hooked up with standout left end JAY MACDOWELL, a three-time First Team All-Pacific Coast choice during his collegiate career, for a spectacular 79-yard touchdown. Later in the second period, after Washington quarterback DON MEANS had grabbed a fumble out of mid-air at the Golden Bears 37-yard line and rambled down to the California six-yard line, the skillful McAdams, whom the Brooklyn Dodgers would pick eighth overall in the first round of the 1941 NFL Draft, scored the winning points after making a sensational one-handed catch of a pass thrown by substitute left halfback BILL GLEASON.
(George H. Godfrey photo – Eugene Register-Guard, November 12, 1939) … Hard-charging Oregon Ducks fullback FRANK EMMONS (# 36), the senior who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round (# 32 overall) of the 1940 National Football League, is confronted by determined Oregon State Beavers left halfback VIC KOHLER during the exciting intra-state Pacific Coast Conference clash watched by the crowd of 20,500 partisans at Hayward Field in Eugene on November 11, 1939.
Perhaps the most pulsating Pacific Coast Conference game of the day was to be found in Eugene, Oregon. There, the visiting Oregon State Beavers, who had gone from # 11 in the AP Poll to being completely unranked after losing to the Trojans 19-7 in Los Angeles the week before, bounced back well to beat their ultimate adversaries, the Oregon Ducks. Beavers left halfback BOB OLSON provided the visitors with a first quarter lead after throwing a touchdown pass to quarterback GEORGE PETERS and then extended Oregon State’s advantage to 17-7 by returning the second half kickoff 93 yards for another six points.
Oregon left halfback JAY GRAYBEAL did all he could to keep the Ducks in contention. The Pendleton Jackrabbit cut the home side’s deficit in the second quarter after catching a 58-yard pass from BOB SMITH and then throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to Oregon end DICK HORNE, himself. And, just thirty seconds after Olson’s second half kickoff return had silenced the partisan crowd, Graybeal pulled his team back to within three by scoring on a 66-yard pass from Smith.
The Oregon State defense would not yield again, however, and eventually contributed the final two points to a 19-14 scoreline when Graybeal was tackled in the end zone with less than sixty seconds left on the clock.