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Notre Dame Puts The Ghosts Of 2016 Behind Them With 49-14 Win Over USC

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Notre Dame can move forward after dropping a hammer/shillelagh on the USC Trojans.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were the laughing stock of college football after going 4-8 in 2016. It’s not that they were the worst team in college football, but they are NOTRE DAME, so the ridicule is strong. Add that with a lot of fans and alumni that were screaming for Brian Kelly’s head, and it was a toxic program on the edge of collapse.

Fast forward a few months and more than a few coaching changes with the assistants, and it’s a whole new ball game. Notre Dame is 6-1 and just thoroughly beat the crap out of their biggest rival, the USC Trojans, by a score of 49-14.

Notre Dame Football’s Brian Kelly after the 49-14 win over the USC Trojans

Posted by One Foot Down - For Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on Saturday, October 21, 2017

We don’t have to overanalyze this win (even though we will have many more stories about this win). Brian Kelly refuses to give much weight to questions about the “big picture,” but clearly the Irish fit right into that picture for the playoff race.

Any doubts about Brian Kelly, or the moves that he made in the offseason with new hires at:

  • Defensive Coordinator
  • Offensive Coordinator
  • Special Teams Coordinator
  • Strength & Condidtioning Coordinator

PUT THEM TO BED SIR.

Notre Dame is running for over 300 yards a game, scoring over 40 points a game, haven’t given up more than 19 points in a game, and only given up 1 rushing touchdown (6 yd via Sony Michel) all season.

This game was the test. Could Notre Dame do what they failed to do to (even if it was so close) the Georgia Bulldogs? They gave more than a simple “yes” with a 49-14 win. No, it was a resounding “HELL YES” and another “HELL YES,” just to make it clear.

2016 is long gone, and this Notre Dame football team is ready for the pressure and the expectations that so many Notre Dame football teams have had in the past. They get another incredible challenge next week, but for now, the Irish bring the Jeweled Shillelagh back home and have finally took the final step away from last season.

Now they have to start a new journey with 5 games left in the season. That journey has a destination, and that destination will be easier to get to with all that weight finally off their back.

The Shillelagh Trophy is home and the Irish #BeatTrojans. #GoIrish

Posted by Notre Dame Fighting Irish Athletics on Saturday, October 21, 2017