Carlee North: Southern Cal at Notre Dame, 2017
Being from Florida, it’s hard to get up to South Bend as often as I’d actually like to. But last year, I had the opportunity to go to Notre Dame for this game. Prior to this, I hadn’t been to South Bend since 2012, so I had tears of joy when my family got tickets. Adding to that, this was the first year of the new renovations and I couldn’t even explain the excitement.
Getting on campus that Saturday morning was exactly as I remembered in 2012 — stunning and breathtaking — and something everyone should experience in their lifetime. But it just had a “new era” feeling. What they did with the renovations was incredible and I was thrilled I was able to see it the first year it was officially finished.
Once I was on campus, however, my stomach was also flipped upside down because of the magnitude of the game. It was the classic rivalry — USC and Notre Dame. The nerves were with me throughout the entire day leading up to the kickoff, going back and forth on what I thought would take place on the field, win or lose, never in my mind thinking a blowout would happen in favor of the Irish.
Once the stadium filled up (over an hour before the game even started, which only happens at Notre Dame Stadium) and the lights went on with the brand new Jumbotron electrifying the crowd, there was no looking back. As soon as Linebacker Te’von Coney recovered the fumble at midfield to the final whistle, the Irish completely demolished Southern Cal in a 49-14 victory.
There was no letting the foot of the pedal. It was a non-stop thumping and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome against one of our biggest rivalries. This game will always be the most memorable for me and I don’t know if that’ll ever be topped. Also, having someone with me who was a Florida Grad and was not a Notre Dame fan by any means acknowledging that the University is truly a really special and beautiful place — that was just the icing on the cake.