Aug. 5, 2009
There is no argument that the Notre Dame – USC matchup in 2005 was one of the greatest college football contests of the last decade. The Trojans came into the game ranked number one in the country with a 6-0 record, while the Irish were considered upstarts with a 4-1 record and number nine ranking.
The crazy moments from this game will be discussed for many more years to come. Tom Zbikowski’s punt return, the missed placement of a fumble at the end of the game, the help Matt Leinart received to score the winning touchdown and the infamous fourth-down conversion play.
What Notre Dame fans really want to remember from the game is that the Irish went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams of the decade for 60 minutes and set a performance standard that the team has been striving to match over the past four years.
To set the stage for Brady Quinn’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Irish had either held the lead or been tied with USC since Zbikowski’s punt return in the second quarter. A touchdown run by Reggie Bush suddenly put the Irish behind for the first time since the first quarter, but USC’s lead would quickly evaporate…
When und.com launched its redesigned site on July 8, 2009, we asked for Irish fans to vote for the top plays of the Charlie Weis era. After close to 13,000 votes, Notre Dame fans have determined the top 10 plays since 2005 – and we will be unveiling them one at a time over the next 10 business days until fall football practice begins on Aug. 8.
The clutch drive led by Brady Quinn is #3 on the list – check back on Wednesday, Aug. 5, as we continue the countdown to #1 and to Coach Weis’ first press conference of the 2009 season on Friday, Aug. 7.