Dec 3, 1939 : Stage Is Set, UCLA & USC To Battle For Rose Bowl Bid In Regular Season Finale

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(United Press photo – Berkeley Daily Gazette, December 2, 1939) ……………… USC Trojans right end BOB JONES (# 32), the 185-pound homegrown sophomore from Black Foxe Academy in Los Angeles who was making his very first start of the season, recovers a fumble by Washington Huskies left halfback Dean McAdams as 1939 consensus All-Pacific Coast end BILL FISK (# 50) watches during the Pacific Coast Conference tilt played before a reported crowd of 50,000 spectators at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Trojans, who were tied with Texas A&M for the # 1 ranking in the weekly Associated Press national poll coming into the game, almost quadrupled the total yardage output of their guests (261-68) but were kept out of the end zone for well more than fifty-eight minutes by the stubborn Huskies. The home side only narrowly preserved their unbeaten record when USC star quarterback Grenville Lansdell threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to right end John Stonebraker, the massive (6’2″ 219 lbs) senior right end from Los Angeles who also came out of Black Foxe Academy, with less than ninety seconds remaining in the contest.
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Results – November 30 & December 2, 1939
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UCLA Bruins 24 – Washington State Cougars 7
Stanford Indians 14 – Dartmouth Big Green 3
USC Trojans 9 – Washington Huskies 7

PACIFIC COAST CONFERENCE standings – Dec 3, 1939
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USC Trojans ………………………… won 5 … lost 0 … tied 1
UCLA Bruins ………………………… won 4 … lost 0 … tied 2
* Oregon State Beavers …………. won 5 … lost 1 … tied 1
* Oregon Ducks …………………….. won 3 … lost 3 … tied 1
* Washington Huskies …………… won 3 … lost 4 … tied 0
* California Golden Bears ………. won 2 … lost 5 … tied 0
* Washington State Cougars …… won 2 … lost 5 … tied 0
* Stanford Indians …………………. won 0 … lost 6 … tied 1

NOTE — only results of games involving the eight Pacific Coast Conference teams 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 (7-0-1), UCLA Bruins (6-0-3), Oregon State Beavers (7-1-1), Washington State Cougars (4-5-0), Washington Huskies (4-5-0), Oregon Ducks (3-4-1), California Golden Bears (3-7-0), Stanford Indians (1-7-1)

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Washington Huskies right halfback ERNIE STEELE leaps high into the air and intercepts a pass thrown by not-pictured USC Trojans quarterback Doyle Nave, the hero of the 1939 Rose Bowl who was destined to be the sixth overall player selected when tabbed by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1940 National Football League Draft, near the goal line. It was on this very play in the fourth quarter that the sophomore Steele, a dangerous punt returner who would eventually be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 10th round (# 81 overall) of the 1942 NFL Draft, inadvertently provided USC with the pair of points that would prove to be the difference against visiting Washington. Steele, who had sent the Huskies to the lead by snaring a touchdown pass in the first quarter, circled back into his own end zone while attempting to avoid a USC tackler and conceded a critical safety after his knee was ruled to have touched the ground.
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Pacific Coast Conference scoring leaders as of Dec 3, 1939
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Grenny Lansdell, USC ……………………. 8 ga … 54 pts … 9 tds
Jim Kisselburgh, Oregon State ……….. 9 ga … 36 pts … 6 tds
Jay Graybeal, Oregon …………………….. 8 ga … 32 pts … 3 tds ….. 5 xp, 3 fg
Kenny Washington, UCLA ……………… 9 ga … 30 pts … 5 tds
Jackie Robinson, UCLA …………………. 9 ga … 26 pts … 4 tds ….. 2 xp
Don Jones, Washington …………………. 9 ga …. 19 pts … 3 tds ….. 1 xp
Frankie Albert, Stanford ……………….. 9 ga …. 19 pts … 2 tds ….. 7 xp
Ambrose Schindler, USC ……………….. 8 ga …. 18 pts … 3 tds
Ernie Steele, Washington ………………. 9 ga …. 18 pts … 3 tds
Jack McQuary, California ……………. 10 ga …. 18 pts … 3 tds
Len Younce, Oregon State ……………… 9 ga …. 14 pts … 0 tds … 11 xp, 1 fg

UCLA Bruins right halfback JACKIE ROBINSON, the lightning-fast transfer from Pasadena Junior College who ended up leading all NCAA Division I players by averaging 16.4 yards per punt return in 1939, jumped up into fifth place on the Pacific Coast Conference scoring chart after scoring two touchdowns against the Washington State Cougars at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thanksgiving Evening. It was the second time that season that the Bruins’ prized recruit had crossed the goal line twice in the same game. As had been the case in UCLA’s earlier win over the Oregon Ducks at the end of October, the electrifying Robinson racked up one touchdown rushing and another touchdown receiving in the triumph over Washington State.

Stanford University halfback FRANKIE ALBERT, the undersized sophomore (5’9″ 166 lbs) who would become the 10th overall player chosen at the 1942 NFL Draft when picked in the first round by the Chicago Bears, rocketed into seventh place on the P.C.C. scoring chart by accounting for all of the victors’ points by running for two touchdowns and adding both conversions during the Indians’ surprising 14-3 conquest of Ivy League foe Dartmouth College at the Polo Grounds in New York City.

Continuing to pace the Pacific coast circuit in total points scored was USC Trojans star quarterback GRENVILLE LANSDELL, the reliable senior who originally transferred in after spending his freshman year at Pasadena Junior College and was soon to be the 10th overall player selected at the 1940 NFL Draft when taken in the first round by the New York Giants; a lethal part of the Trojans’ three-headed monster at the quarterback position in USC head coach Howard Jones’ version of the Single Wing offense, Lansdell was kept out of the end zone by the Washington defense but still managed to sink the Huskies by throwing his second touchdown pass of the season in the closing stages.

Pacific Coast Conference passing leaders – Dec 3, 1939
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7 touchdown passes … 9 ga …… Kenny Washington, UCLA
4 touchdown passes … 8 ga …… Bob Smith, Oregon
4 touchdown passes … 9 ga …… Frankie Albert, Stanford
3 touchdown passes … 8 ga …… Ambrose Schindler, USC
3 touchdown passes … 8 ga …… Doyle Nave, USC

8 touchdown passes ….. 8 games …… Oregon Ducks
8 touchdown passes ….. 8 games …… USC Trojans
8 touchdown passes ….. 9 games …… UCLA Bruins
5 touchdown passes ….. 9 games …… Washington Huskies
4 touchdown passes ….. 9 games …… Stanford Indians
3 touchdown passes ….. 9 games …… Washington State Cougars
3 touchdown passes … 10 games …… California Golden Bears
2 touchdown passes ….. 9 games …… Oregon State Beavers

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