USC safety Marvin Pollard, the father of current safety C.J. Pollard, was involved in an infamous onside kick in the 1991 USC-Notre Dame game. The Trojans scored to cut the Irish’s lead to 24-20 with 1:50 remaining.
USC then tried an onside kick. The ball hit a Notre Dame player then the ground and Pollard fell on it. A game official signaled USC recovered. But then another official came over and ruled Notre Dame’s Irv Smith recovered the ball. USC coach Larry Smith came on the field to protest and the Trojans received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
USC was already angry because Notre Dame scored a TD even though Tony Brooks fumbled before crossing the goal line.
“You hear all this talk about the luck of the Irish,” Pollard said. “It makes you wonder.”