The Notre Dame Fighting Irish showed up to play football in Los Angles against the USC Trojans, but showing a little fight wasn’t enough for Notre Dame as they lose to the Trojans 45-27 and hand back the Jeweled Shillelagh.
Many wondered if the team would just pack it in against Southern Cal with the outcome virtually having no meaning at all. Brian Kelly’s seat at Notre Dame is on fire and rumors of a boat coming to South Bend to put out the fire as well as no hopes for a bowl game- it all pointed towards a blowout.
While Josh Adams had a huge game for Notre Dame with 17 carries for 180 yards, the Trojans had an Ace up their sleeve in Adoree Jackson. Jackson was incredible and used like a coach uses his best player in pee-wee football. Jackson had a 52 yard touchdown reception, a 55 yard punt return for touchdown, and a 97 yard kickoff return for touchdown. None of the three plays looked pedestrian. They were incredible.
Add a 33 yard interception return for a touchdown by USC’s Ajene Harris, and Notre Dame looked like the imploding ship we all thought they would be before the game started.
It was a rough game. Like REALLY rough. Both SC and ND were chippy as a bunch of pro wrestlers throughout the game, but when you see a referee (Ron Cherry) get knocked out of the game, you know you’re in for a real battle.
Except... Notre Dame is once again the victim of a horrible call/no call on targeting for Nicco Fertitta’s hit. While in no world that I live in is that ever a targeting call, we are talking about ACC refs here.
I still don't understand what targeting is. Nicco Fertitta destroyed this guy. pic.twitter.com/C8UQCEfDl7— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) November 26, 2016
What was disgusting was Jerry Tillery kicking the guy in the head while laying on the ground right after that Fertitta hit. Tillery wasn’t done as he got caught the next time for stepping on a guy.
The game was just ugly. It was uglier than the season for Notre Dame- and that’s saying quite a bit.
DeShone Kizer had a rough day as well. He was pressured the entire game and even with the added help of a decent rushing attack, he looked like he was in Neverland inside the LA Coliseum. Kizer was 17-32 for 220 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. That’s not incredibly awful, but it was far worse than Notre Dame wanted and needed to stay on the field with the Trojans.
This ends the football season for Notre Dame, and starts the rebuilding process for 2017- whether that be with Kelly or some other head coach. Expect a lot of changes being made, and a lot of other things as well (decommitments, guys leaving early for the NFL, and transfers).
Whatever happens next, will define what this team will be in the coming years. Right now, they are a 4-8 football team, and nothing about that is all right. Not even a little bit.