Final Facts From the Field…
*– USC’s victory trims Notre Dame’s lead in the series (which began in 1926) to 39-24-5. Since 1967, the Ireish are up 14-13-3. Troy’s win is its first over the Irish since 1982 (17-13 at the Coliseum). Notre Dame won 12 of the previous 13 meetings (the two teams tied 17-17 in 1994).
*– USC head coach John Robinson has never lost to Notre Dame at the Coliseum (5-0-1) and is 7-3-1 overall versus the Irish.
*– The Trojans are 4-3 in games when a Notre Dame coach is coaching the final game in his Irish career, with Trojan wins coming in the past three occasions (1980 with Dan Devine, 1974 with Ara Parseghian and 1962 with Joe Kuharich). The USC losses were in 1958(Terry brennan), 1940 (Elmer Layden) and 1930 (Knute Rockne).
*– Tonight’s game marked the 70th anniversary of the first USC-Notre Dame game in 1926.
*– USC junior punter Jim Wren set a new Trojan single-season punting record with a 45.5 average (66 punts for 3,006 yards), breaking the old mark of 44.6 yards set in 1953 by Des Koch. Twenty-two of Wren’s 66 punts have traveled 50-plus yards (with three 60-yarders and a 70-yarder).Four true freshmen started for USC against Notre Dame — two on offense (left tackle Faaesea Mailo and right guard Travis Claridge) and two on defense (safety Darnell Lacy and linebacker Chris Claiborner).
*– USC senior linebacker Sammy Knight, who returned a Notre Dame fumble 37 yards to set up a Trojan field goal and recoverdd another Irish fumble in the fourth quarter to end another Irish fumble in the fourth quarter to end a Notre Dame scoring threat at the goal line, has come up with a turnover in five consecutive games. In the previous four USC games, Knight had four interceptions. He leads the team in takeaways this season with eight (five interceptions, three fumble recoveries). Knight also was elected a team captain (along with senior tight end John Allred) last week.
*– Notre Dame’s 7-6 halftime lead marked the lowest combined score in the first half of a Trojan-Irish game since a 3-3 at the intermission in 1990 at the Coliseum.
*– In the third quarter, USC gained zero yards and no first on seven plays from scrimmage (Notre Dame won the third quarter time-of-possession, 11:32-3:28).
*– Notre Dame tailback Autry Denson recorded his fifth consecutive 100-yard game (seventh of the season, 10th of his career). Denson currently has 1,179 yards rushing this season, placing him at No. 5 on the Irish single season rushing chart.
*– Thirty four of the 44 players on this week’s USC two-deep will return in 1997, including 17 starters (nine on offense, eight on defense), plus the punter and placekicker.
*– USC’s next game is against Florida State on Sept. 6, 1997 at the Coliseum.