What did John Mckay say at halftime of 74 Notre Dame at USC game?

John Robinson Guest Speaker at Little Rock Touchdown Club 08 /27/12 (at the 36:20 mark I ask him about the halftime speech that John McKay gave)

I have read over and over that John McKay gave a big pep talk at halftime of this game while trailing 24-6 to the Fighting Irish and he predicted that Anthony Davis would return the kickoff for a touchdown and then USC would score over and over and over!!!! However, that is not what McKay said at halftime according to John Robinson. First, let me give one of the incorrect reports of McKay’s speech and then I will share where Robinson corrects the record. Here is one of the websites I came across:

1974

USC vs. Notre Dame, Nov. 30, 1974
Notre Dame had a 24-0 lead just a minute before the end of the first
half.  USC scored just before halftime (and missed the conversion) to
make the score 24-6 at the half.  Coach McKay is quoted as having said
during halftime something like “Gentlemen, if you block like you should, Anothony Davis will carry the second-half kickoff back for a score, and we’ll go on from there.  Let’s go!!”  USC’s Anthony Davis took the second half kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, and the comeback was on.  The Trojans scored 55 unanswered points in only 17 minutes!!!  The Trojans
won the game 55-24.  Father Theodore Hesburgh, the Notre Dame president,
congratulated Coach John McKay after the game, then added, “That wasn’t a
very nice thing for a Catholic to do.”  Replied McKay: “Father, that
serves you right for hiring a Presbyterian (Coach Ara Parseghian).”
Neither team was a “cream puff”.  USC went on to win the Rose Bowl and
the UPI and MacArthur Bowl National Championships, and Notre Dame went on to ruin Alabama’s National Championship hopes in the Orange Bowl.
hptaylor@gps.caltech.edu (Hugh Taylor)
woodylives69@earthlink.net (Billy Mccloud)

________________

If you want to know really happened then check out the video clip above and start at 36.21 mark. The quote of the day came from Johnny McKay, coach John McKay’s son, a wideout for the Trojans: “I can’t understand it. I’m gonna sit down tonight and have a beer and think about it. Against Notre Dame? Maybe against Kent State . . . but Notre Dame?”

Here is what really happened according to John Robinson who was the offensive coordinator on that 74 USC team:

It was the most shocking first half results. We score right before halftime and we are down 24-7 to Notre Dame. Now John McKay could go around the bend pretty good, but he comes in there at halftime and gets all the guys to come in together kind of like the cubscouts coming around a fireside. He gets in the middle and he says, “Fellows”. I thought oh no, but he talks to them in a soothing voice.  “I am prouder of this team than any team I have ever coached. We are jittery somehow playing for the national championship has gotten to us.”

During this whole halftime we did not talk any football at all and when it time for us to go out and we run the second half opening kickoff and Anthony Davis runs it back for a touchdown, and we score 55 straight points and beat those dirty rotten Catholics (joking since Robinson was raised Catholic).

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What did John Mckay say at halftime of 74 Notre Dame at USC game?

John Robinson Guest Speaker at Little Rock Touchdown Club 08 /27/12 I have read over and over that John McKay gave a big pep talk at halftime of this game while trailing 24-6 to the Fighting Irish and he predicted that Anthony Davis would return the kickoff for a touchdown and then USC would score […]

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