Oct. 21, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 13 Fighting Irish football squad put on a show in front of a sell-out crowd under the lights of Notre Dame Stadium Saturday night, toppling the No. 11 USC Trojans by the score of 49-14. It was only fitting with the 1977 national championship squad in attendance that Notre Dame’s 49 points against USC were the most since the 49-19 victory 40 years ago.
Stats of the Night
The Notre Dame ground attack proved unstoppable tonight, totaling 377 rushing yards, which are believed to be the most for the Irish in a game versus USC since 1950. Josh Adams continued to build his Heisman resume as the junior finished with 191 yards on 19 carries (10.1 avg), including three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Brandon Wimbush followed suit with 106 yards on 14 carries (7.6) with two rushing touchdowns, marking the fourth time this season Notre Dame had a pair of 100-yard rushers. In addition, Wimbush tacked on 190 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Furthermore, Notre Dame utilized a dominant first half to build a 28-0 lead, marking the second largest halftime lead in series history with USC. The Irish outgained the Trojans 262-103 in total yards for the half, and stymied the USC running game to negative-four yards.
How It Went Down
The House that Rockne Built was rocking from the get-go when Te’von Coney recorded a sack and fumble recovery just two minutes into the game. The Irish then capitalized on the momentum with a quick three-play strike that ended with a 26-yard pass from Wimbush to Equanimeous St. Brown.
The Irish kept it rolling on their very next drive, traversing 79 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 23-yard strike from Wimbush to Kevin Stepherson.
Later, at 8:19 in the second quarter, the Irish took advantage of a muffed punt from the Trojans, recovering the fumble at the USC nine-yard line. Three plays later, Adams went three yards into the striped end-zone for the score.
Next, Notre Dame’s defense continued to disrupt USC quarterback Sam Darnold, as Nick Watkins garnered an interception at the 7:02 mark, which then set-up a seven-play, 59-yard drive by the Irish that ended with a four-yard touchdown carry from Wimbush.
All-in-all, Notre Dame’s defense kept Southern Cal off the scoreboard until the 10-minute mark in the third quarter. Even so, the Irish immediately retaliated on the ensuing drive, as Wimbush equaled the Notre Dame quarterback rushing touchdown mark for a single season with his 10th on the year with a seven-yard carry, extending the lead to 35-7.
Lastly, at the 3:26 mark in the third, Adams busted out an impressive 84-yard touchdown run, but wasn’t done there, tacking on a 14-yard touchdown carry at the start of the fourth, completing Notre Dame’s 49-point tally for the evening.