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.
Ohio State’s injury-hit defense bent but didn’t break (too much) in a closer-than-expected win over Minnesota this past weekend. With a matchup against a more potent offense in the offing this weekend, the Buckeyes appear set to be a helluva lot healthier on that side of the ball this coming Saturday than they were the last.
Both defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison missed the 30-14 win over the Gophers because each was in concussion protocol. With Purdue looming in Week 8, Cooper and Harrison have been cleared and are expected to play against the Boilermakers.
Through six games and before last Saturday, Harrison’s 25 tackles were second on the team. Cooper replaced All-American Nick Bosa, who underwent surgery after suffering a core muscle injury in Week 3 and could be sidelined for another month at least, in the starting lineup.
Another two defensive starters could be getting healthier as well. From the Associated Press:
In addition, starting defensive tackle Robert Landers, who has been limited by an unspecified injury, is probable for the game, while starting cornerback Damon Arnette, who was hurt in the Penn State game, is questionable, Meyer said.
Purdue is currently 42nd in scoring offense (33.5 points per game) and 10th in total offense (510.2 yards per game).
Thanks to Georgia’s loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 nationally in both major polls.
As he announced on Twitter, Bennett Williams left Illinois earlier this month because of a dismissal. Because of a decidedly different reason (?), the Fighting Illini has felt yet another personnel loss.
On the same social media website utilized by his former teammate, Louis Dorsey announced that he has “decided it is in my best interest to transfer and continue my career elsewhere.” Dorsey gave no specific reason for his midseason move.
Dorsey was suspended during the spring of this year for violating unspecified violations of team rules. He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2018 regular season for the same reason.
As a true freshman in 2017, Dorsey led the Illini with three receiving touchdowns; was second in receiving yards with 395; and fourth in receptions with 22. His 18 yards per reception were tops on the team. BTN.com named the 6-6, 225-pound Dorsey to its All-Freshman Team for that performance.
Because of his off-field issues, Dorsey has played in just one game and not caught a pass this season.
Heading into this weekend’s rivalry game against Alabama in Knoxville, Tennessee’s linebacking corps has taken a hit that will be felt for the rest of 2018.
Late in the third quarter of Tennessee’s huge Week 7 upset of Auburn this past weekend, Jonathan Kongbo went down with an injury to his right knee and didn’t return to the game. Over the weekend, Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Kongbo was diagnosed with a torn ACL.
Obviously, Kongbo, who is expected to undergo surgery at some point this week to repair the damage, will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. As this was his final year of eligibility, it also means that this effectively ends the linebacker’s collegiate playing career.
The fifth-year senior had started five of the six games this season for the Vols. In that half of the regular season, he had accounted for 11 tackles, four quarterback hurries and an interception. The pick came in the second quarter of the upset of the Tigers.
Last season, Kongbo started 10 games.
An on-field incident in Week 7 will cost Raekwon Davis on the field in the future. Just when and how much remains to be seen.
During Alabama’s romp over Missouri this past weekend, the defensive lineman was caught by the all-seeing television broadcast eye punching (x3) Mizzou offensive lineman Kevin Pendleton. Not only did the cameras catch him, but so did the officiating crew, who flagged Davis for unsportsmanlike conduct.
While Davis very publicly apologized to Pendelton, and the human punching bag very graciously accepted…
… there will be, after Nick Saban spoke with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey about the incident, playing-time repercussions for the lineman.
“We will have him do some things and I think it should affect his playing time in the future,” the head coach said.
Again, just what effect specifically the incident will have on Davis on the field is unclear.
Davis is currently sixth on the Crimson Tide with 27 tackles while his three tackles for loss are tied for sixth. Alabama will face rival Tennessee, coming off a huge upset of then-No. 21 Auburn this past weekend, in Knoxville this coming Saturday.