USC’s John Robinson speaks at Little Rock Touchdown Club Part 6

1972 USC Football Highlights vs. Notre Dame

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I got to hear Coach Robinson speak in Little Rock on August 27, 2012.

Little Rock Touchdown Club Week 2: Hall Of Fame Coach John Robinson

021_tiny by Zack Veddern on Aug 28, 2012 9:07 AM CDT

When former USC, LA Rams, and UNLV coach John Robinson took the stage before the Little Rock Touchdown Club, he was greeted with a standing ovation and many laughs followed as he joked about college football, John Madden, and recalled adventures of old times with different teams. His reception at Monday’s luncheon was a far cry from that of his last visit to Little Rock. In 2001, he coached the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels against Arkansas in a defensive slugfest that wouldn’t be decided until the very last drive. Arkansas, coached by Houston Nutt, had amassed an abysmal 100 total yards of offense, and faced a 10-7 defecit as they forced a 4th down punting situation.

“I made one of the worst coaching errors I’ve ever made,” Robinson explained, after benching the starting punter, he put in a freshman to punt from the 50. “We just punt the ball down, and we win the game!”. Much to the dismay of Coach Robinson, the snap went through the young punter’s hands and off his facemask on to the ground where the Arkansas defense recovered, and the offense would score to win the game 14-10. “If I’d had a gun, I’d have committed suicide.”

Star-divide

The Hall of Fame coach received many laughs from the misfortunes he recalled, yet the crowd admired the legendary figure that stood before them. Robinson coached at USC from 1976-1982 and again from 1993-1997, where he won 4 Rose Bowls, shared a National Title and finished with a record of 104-35-4. He went on to coach the L.A. Rams, leading them to two NFC Championship appearances, both of which resulted in losses to eventual Super Bowl champions. After failing to recruit the highly touted Eric Dickerson to USC, apparenlty having not paid enough for his services, Robinson drafted him with the Ram’s first pick in 1983

Coach Robinson also coached USC against the Hogs, going 1-1 in Little Rock as the Trojan’s offensive coordinator under coach John McKay. Robinson expressed his admiration for former Arkansas coach and athletic director, Frank Broyles, referring to him as “legendary” and his slant defense “revolutionary”. When discussing the Hogs, he said that he’d hoped to go to Miami and watch USC play Arkansas. “I’m already wearing red, so depending on the outcome, I can pretend to be one of you guys!” Joking aside, Robinson predicted that the SEC would once again be represented in the BCS National Title game, against USC or Oregon, his alma mater.

This week’s guest was an absolute delight to hear, and next week’s should be no different as Howard Schnellenberger, another Hall of Fame coach joins the club. Schnellenberger is responsible for establishing the system that ascended the University of Miami into the college football elite. He coached the Baltimore Colts, served as offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, as well as coaching Miami, Louisville, Oklahoma and FAU during a career that lasted over 50 years. Dont miss the opportunity to hear a legend speak next Tuesday at 11:00 for lunch at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock. Lunch is $15.00 for members and $25.00 for non-members, however a one time fee of $50.00 will earn you an annual membership. For more details, visit http://www.LRTouchdown.com.

There's nothing like the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
 

John Robinson did not have much success at UNLV. Here are the results against Tennessee in 2004:

By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Brent Schaeffer was a little nervous making history in his collegiate debut before more than 108,000 fans.

After a fumble early in the game, Tennessee’s quarterback settled down and ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the 14th-ranked Volunteers’ 42-17 win over UNLV on Sunday night.

Schaeffer was the first true freshman to start an opener in the Southeastern Conference since Georgia’s John Rauch in 1945.

Fellow freshman Erik Ainge, bracketed with Schaeffer at No. 1 on the depth chart, passed for two touchdowns.

“I had a couple of butterflies, but after those first couple of plays, I felt good,” Schaeffer said.

Both showed off their special skills: Schaeffer’s elusive running, and Ainge’s strong arm.

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer was pleased by all of it.

“That’s really about as good as you could hope for,” Fulmer said. “I think the team around them lifted them up. … I don’t think there was pressure for them to win the game.”

Schaeffer fumbled to end his first series, but he ran for a 1-yard touchdown in his second series.

On third-and-1, Schaeffer got past a defender in the backfield, rolled right, dodged more defenders and ran into the end zone to give Tennessee a 7-3 lead.

After the fumble, Schaeffer got some advice from offensive coordinator Randy Sanders.

“He told me to forget it and play like it never happened,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer went 7-of-10 for 123 yards and ran seven times for 29 yards.

Ainge came in for the Volunteers’ third possession and capped an 80-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fayton.

Ainge’s best effort came in the second half, when he completed a 3-yard pass to Tony Brown for a touchdown at the end of a 13-play, 82-yard drive.

Ainge was 7-of-9 for 69 yards in the drive and finished 10-of-17 for 118 yards. He said he didn’t mind splitting time with Schaeffer.

“I’m not worried about how many passes I have as long as we get the win,” he said.

The freshmen fared better in their debuts than Tennessee’s defense, which, at times, had trouble stopping UNLV’s tailbacks. The Rebels, who have lost four of six openers under coach John Robinson, rolled up 164 yards on the ground.

Dominique Dorsey had 18 carries for 121 yards and a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He went over 100 yards for the sixth time in his career.

Dyante Perkins ran 3 yards for another score in the third quarter.

Tennessee lost starting tailback Cedric Houston to a right ankle injury in the third quarter. He rushed for 97 yards. Gerald Riggs filled in and finished with 79 yards on 13 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run. Corey Larkins added a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

UNLV led 3-0 early in the first quarter, but the Vols responded with 28 straight points to put the game out of reach. The Rebels avoided a rout similar to the 62-3 thrashing they took in their only other meeting with Tennessee, in 1996 in Knoxville.

UNLV dropped to 3-13 against ranked opponents after winning their last two games against then No. 14 Wisconsin and then-No. 13 Colorado State last season.

__________

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