The Notre Dame football team became Bowl eligible for the fifth straight season tonight, beating USC 31-16.
Notre Dame football kept their College Football Playoff chances alive tonight, defeating USC by a score of 31-16 on a chilly Saturday night in South Bend. This was the first meeting between the storied programs since 2019 after last year was cancelled due to Covid. Notre Dame retained the Jeweled Shillelagh for the fourth consecutive year and eight of the last 11 meetings.
The Irish overcame the loss of All American Candidate Kyle Hamilton, who left the game late in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. He was marked as “questionable” but never returned. The defense played a very physical game, especially targeting USC quarterback Kedon Slovis, who was hit early and often.
USC wide receiver and Biletnikoff Award nominee Drake London was a thorn in the side of the Irish defense all night, torching Marcus Freeman’s group with 15 catches for 171 yards. The Irish defense did manage to keep him out of the end zone.
Quarterback Jack Coan played most of the game, finishing 20/28 for 189 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Tyler Buchner also saw some playing time, adding a whole new dynamic to the game, including rushing for a fourth quarter touchdown himself.
Kyren Williams had another fantastic night, with 138 yards and two touchdowns.
The Irish survived a fourth quarter surge from the Trojans, who ran for two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the quarter. Buchner and Notre Dame responded with a rushing touchdown of their own which proved to be the dagger. The Trojans went for it on fourth down and 22 with three minutes to go, but Isaiah Foskey was able to come up with a strip sack that sealed it for the Irish.
Next up for the Irish is another prime time showdown against a disappointing North Carolina team.