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Notre Dame wins defensive battle with USC

USC v Notre Dame Getty Images

USC and Notre Dame was anything but pretty, but somebody had to win. On this night in South Bend, it was Notre Dame finding a way to the end of a 14-10 victory.

Notre Dame took a 14-10 lead in to halftime, with Tommy Rees tossing two touchdowns in the first half for the Irish. USC’s Cody Kessler passed for 201 yards but no touchdowns and was intercepted once. The defenses took control in the second half, with both teams pitched a shutout after the break.

USC cost themselves 95 yards due to 11 penalties in the game. The Trojans have ben prone to penalties this season, entering the night averaging 7.2 penalties per game (99th most in the country). The offense failed to get any jump out of the gate the way they did a week ago when Ed Orgeron made his head-coaching debut with the Trojans as the interim head coach.

The Trojans lost their star receiver, Marqise Lee, in the first half. He did not return to the game after appearing to hurt left knee, which was already sore heading in to the game. On USC’s final play on offense, Nelson Agholor also took a shot that could be a concern, although he walked off under his own power after being tended to by the medical staff on the field. Agholor took a shot to the back or ribs while leaping to make a catch on fourth down.

Notre Dame’s defense continues to play well, and that should continue moving forward this season. The Irish completed an undefeated season last year largely on the strength of their defense. That is once again the strength this year. It may not be as good last year, but it is good enough to give the offense enough of a chance to win some football games.

USC will look to get back in the win column next week with a home game in conference play. USC hosts Utah next week before hitting the road for two games against Oregon State and California.

Notre Dame will hit the road with a road game at Air Force next week. The following week Notre Dame hosts Navy. At 5-2, the Irish still have a path to a potential BCS berth but it appears to be a slim shot at best. Notre Dame must win out to get to 10-2, but the only ranked team remaining on the schedule is Stanford in the finale. It may be too late for Notre Dame to catch up to the BCS party, but if we see more weeks like this weekend and last, there could be a number of upsets to help them out.

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11 Responses to “Notre Dame wins defensive battle with USC”
  1. normtide says: Oct 19, 2013 11:27 PM

    Like the way you started the article with a poem. Trying to class the place up?

  2. techvet says: Oct 19, 2013 11:27 PM

    ND’s offense was atrocious without Rees, but their defense came to play. Jaylon Smith is going to be special.

  3. ladyj51 says: Oct 20, 2013 12:03 AM

    Did you see game? No mention of Rees being knocked out. Terrible reporting.

  4. jgater1981 says: Oct 20, 2013 12:05 AM

    That really was a bad article. A road game on the road? USC didn’t get off to a good start? They scored their only TD on their first possession.

  5. irishdodger says: Oct 20, 2013 12:14 AM

    Wow, obvious who u were pulling for. After getting out your violin to mourn the loss of Lee to injury there’s no mention of the loss of NOTRE DAME’S STARTING QB to injury? SC loves to blame losses to ND on injuries to Barkley but when NDs QB is out with injury & SC still can’t capitalize, it’s deemed a defensive struggle? NDs backup QB was so inept that it forced the Irish to run the ball despite S c stacking ten in the box AND THEY STILL GOT MORE FIRST DOWNS THAN SC….which is truly sad.

  6. Anoesis says: Oct 20, 2013 12:47 AM

    Kessler was unimpressive (again), but if Lee doesn’t drop that pass in the end zone, and if Heidari doesn’t push two field goals wide right, and if the team doesn’t take a ton of penalties, and if….blah, blah, blah.

    Plenty of opportunities to win, but all squandered in typical fashion. The talent’s there, but they just can’t get out of their own way. Some of those penalties were pretty ticky-tack and killed drives, but others were well-earned and just stupid.

    The defense gave up just two TDs, but the offense found ways to blow multiple trips deep into Irish territory. There is no leader on offense. The Trojans need a head coach and a QB.

  7. 2fleas says: Oct 20, 2013 1:03 AM

    Wow! 2 national powerhouses battling it out for the right to play… In another meaningless game next weekend? Wake me up when either team matters.

  8. irishdodger says: Oct 20, 2013 1:49 AM

    Yeah because if the same national powerhouse doesn’t win it all every year, they are worthless. Since that includes every “national powerhouse” in FBS, I guess every team is worthless. Meanwhile, as neither a fan of SC or ND, u took precious time out of your life to post about it. I feel sorry for you.

  9. be4bama says: Oct 20, 2013 10:16 AM

    I can’t help but wonder how much money NBC lost by televising that game!!! Congratulations nd on winning your rivalry game.

  10. spreadthecheese says: Oct 20, 2013 10:42 AM

    “I can’t help but wonder how much money NBC lost by televising that game!!!” says the Alabama fan two weeks removed from playing Georgia State…

    Enjoy that Crystal Trophy from earlier this year. I get the impression shiny things are alluring to you.

  11. be4bama says: Oct 20, 2013 5:37 PM

    Simply pointing out how irrelevant nd is.

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