Well, it happened. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat the USC Trojans by a score of 24-17 to finish the 2018 football season undefeated. What an amazing year. Such a fun team to watch. They play hard all the time and showed Saturday, they never give up either. The Irish got down 10-0 but battled back for a solid victory. We all knew USC was going to go all out for this one. It was up to Notre Dame to match that energy and fight back.
The Slippery Fox himself. Chris Finke came up big when Notre Dame needed it the most. He consistently got open and is a problem in open space. The touchdown Finke caught totally flipped the momentum. USC started strong and was in control until Chris Finke made a toe-tapping, finger-tip snagging catch. You could not have imagined a better year for Finke. He took a huge step forward and saved his best game for last. Just a casual 7 catch, 86 yard performance.
Troy Pride Jr.
The man that caused the fumble before halftime gets the next nod. Troy Pride Jr. has quietly been a very good cornerback for Notre Dame. It is easy to fly under the radar playing along side Julian Love. But we should all appreciate how well Pride has played. USC was going in to score either a touchdown or field goal before halftime. That was until Troy Pride Jr. never gave up on the play and forced a fumble by the USC wide receiver. This single play took a minimum 3 points off the scoreboard.
I never really paid attention to the blocks other teams were throwing at Jerry Tillery until this game. For some reason I noticed Tillery shedding two defenders off of him multiple times. He was an absolute beast on the defensive line. Tillery topped it off with a sack late in the 4th quarter that killed all USC momentum. We have come a long way since the 2016 USC game where Tillery had his infamous penalty. A total 180 for both Notre Dame and Jerry Tillery in 2018.
Notre Dame is undefeated, 12-0. They will now await to see who and where they play next. The selection show in next Sunday. Notre Dame will either head to Dallas or Miami for the first round on the college football playoff.
That felt amazing to type.