Notre Dame vs. USC score: No. 9 Fighting Irish hold off furious rally from Trojans for win
Notre Dame got out to a big lead at home and managed to hold things together late
USC quarterback Kedon Slovis had a good performance in his first game back since getting knocked out of the lineup with a concussion, throwing for 255 yards on 24-of-35 passing with two touchdowns and four straight scoring drives in the second half that helped keep the Trojans competitive. Unfortunately, the effort could not overcome the advantage that Notre Dame established with its rushing attack, rolling up 309 yards at 6.6 yards per attempt in the victory. They got it done between the tackles and on the edges, gobbling up yards in small chunks and with big explosive plays.
Just when it looked like USC had Notre Dame bottled up in the first half, offensive coordinator Chip Long uncorked a doozie of a play call with this misdirection run that allowed sophomore wide receiver Braden Lenzy to showcase his track speed on a 51-yard touchdown run that put the Irish up 14-3 late in the second quarter.
Tony Jones Jr. led the way for Notre Dame with 176 yards rushing on 25 attempts, marking his third straight 100-yard rushing game, and Ian Book added a valuable element on the ground that helped the Fighting Irish move the sticks and seal the victory.
For USC, the effort and fight shown on the road against a top-10 opponent was commendable, but this can't be the best game the Trojans have in this second half of the season. What's ahead for USC is arguably even more valuable than snagging a win on Saturday night in South Bend with key games that will decide the Pac-12 South championship on the horizon.
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