The Notre Dame Fighting Irish came into their rivalry game against the USC Trojans as double digit favorites, and pretty much everyone in America had the home team winning this one in the end. It turned out to be a 30-27 slugfest.
It didn’t look like that would be the case early in the game as the Irish struggled offensively, and looked out of sorts. The Irish defense, however, played strong, and allowed the offense to come into their own in the second quarter where the Irish rattled off 17 points. Cole Kmet caught a TD pass from Ian Book and Braden Lenzy scored on a 51 yard TD run of pure speed — but it was the running of Tony Jones Jr. that set everything up.
Right before the teams went into the locker room at halftime, they got into a fairly large fight (in number anyways). That seemed to give SC a spark for the half to come.
On the opening kickoff of the 3rd quarter, Michael Young had nothing but daylight, but fumbled the ball near mid-field. He fell on it, but going up 24-3 would have been a dagger. Instead, the Irish went down and kicked a FG.
The Trojans fought back, and Marquese Stepp helped ignite the USC offense on the ground, and then Kedon Slovis started finding Pittman and St. Brown to climb back into this game. It was 23-20 going late into the 4th quarter.
The Irish took a long drive down — and Ian Book ran it in with under 4 minutes to go to put Notre Dame up 30-20.
USC returned the favor and aided by a phantom whistle, they punched it in to make it 30-27 with 1:04 left in the game.
The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Brock Wright.
More shortly on OFD.