USC Vs. Notre Dame: Trojans Win 31-17 Thanks To Crucial Irish Turnover

USC has beaten Notre Dame in each of their last four trips to South Bend.

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USC Capitalizes On Notre Dame Turnovers, Rolls 31-17 Behind Matt Barkley, Curtis McNeal, Robert Woods

The USC Trojans totally dominated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the line of scrimmage en route to an impressive road victory in South Bend. But without Notre Dame turnovers, they might not have had a decisive victory on Saturday night. Notre Dame turned over the ball three times on their final four offensive possessions (including the pivotal Dayne Crist turnover that was returned by Jawanza Starling 80 yards for a score), and USC turned it into the two touchdowns they needed to march to victory.

Matt Barkley led the way for USC, completing 24 of 35 passes for 224 yards and three touchdown passes. He was efficient and made few mistakes in the pocket, and made the crucial touchdown throw in the 4th quarter to clinch things for USC. Robert Woods was the beneficiary of that TD throw, hauling in two scores among 12 catches for 119 yards. Marc Tyler was leading the run attack early and finished with 67 yards on the ground, and Curtis McNeal finished up with 118 yards.

USC now moves onto the next one, and it's a big one: A home date with the Pac-12 titans, the Stanford Cardinal.

To discuss the game with fans of either team, head to Conquest Chronicles (USC) or One Foot Down (Notre Dame).

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USC Vs. Notre Dame Score: Dayne Crist Fumble Returned For Trojans TD, But Irish Respond, Trail 24-17

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish should probably be up 24-17, but a critical 10 to 14 point swing came near the end of the third quarter. Notre Dame had a 20 play, 91 yard, six minute drive set them up right at the USC one yard line, but Irish tailback Dayne Crist could not handle the football, the ball bounced back 20 yards from quarterback Tommy Rees, and Jawanza Starling picked it up and went scooting 80 yards the other way for the score and the 24-10 Trojan lead.

Back came Notre Dame though. Rees and the Irish needed only five plays to go 62 yards, as Rees hooked up with Malcolm Floyd for 13 yards, TJ Jones for seven yards, Tyler Eifert for six yards, then scrambled for six more yards. Jonas Gray then took the football down the sideline and scampered down the left sideline for 25 yards to cut the Trojans lead to seven.

If only Crist could hold onto the football, it could be Notre Dame dictating things, but right now USC is holding on in the 4th quarter.

To discuss the game with Trojans fans, hit up Conquest Chronicles. For more from Irish fans, go to One Foot Down.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame Score: Fighting Irish Cut Trojans Lead To 17-10 At Halftime

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are getting back into it despite being thoroughly dominated for much of the first half against the USC Trojans. Notre Dame was at one point being outgained five to one, but after an Andre Heidari 25 yard field goal put USC up 17-0, the Irish started getting points on the board.

George Atkinson took the ensuing kickoff from USC 96 yards to the house to cut the lead to ten. Then after Notre Dame's defense finally forced USC's offense off the field, Tommy Rees marched the Irish 68 yards down the field to the USC 7 in under two minutes. However, Notre Dame couldn't punch the ball into the end zone, and had to settle for a David Ruffer field goal. Despite total Trojan domination at the line of scrimmage, special teams have kept the Irish in it going into halftime.

To discuss the USC-Notre Dame game, head to Conquest Chronicles to talk to Trojan fans, and head to One Foot Down to talk to Irish fans.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame Score: Matt Barkley, Marc Tyler Strike First, Trojans Up 14-0

The USC Trojans have revenge on their mind against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and they are taking it right to their archrivals in South Bend. USC took their first drive from their own 25 yard line and drove it 75 yards in 13 plays, 7:50. Marc Tyler rushed for 38 yards on 6 carries, and Matt Barkley completed the drive with a two yard touchdown throw to Randall Telfer.

On USC's second drive, Lane Kiffin turned to the aerial attack. Barkley hit Marquise Lee for 18 yards, Robert Woods for 19 yards, Xavier Grimble for six yards, and finished the drive with another strike to Woods for three yards. USC's defense has also held Notre Dame on their first two offensive drives as well.

USC is on top 14-0 after one quarter, and this has to be the dream start for Kiffin and the Trojans envisioned coming in.

To talk about the game with Trojan fans, head to Conquest Chronicles. To talk about the game with Fighting Irish fans, hit up One Foot Down.

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USC vs. Notre Dame: Lane Kiffin, Trojans Take Aim At Possible Top 25 Ranking As They Face Fighting Irish

The USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will write another chapter in one of college football's most storied and intense rivalries on Saturday when they face off in South Bend. Notre Dame pulled out a 20-16 victory over the Trojans last year as they ended an eight-game winning streak by USC, and the Trojans will look to avenge that loss and possibly rejoin the AP Top 25 with a win.

The Trojans have a 5-1 record so far this season and face a Notre Dame squad (4-2) that is starting to find its stride after an 0-2 start. Both teams can make big statements in this game by beating a quality opponent.

USC head coach Lane Kiffin may have some extra motivation in this game after last year's loss. The head coach watched his team fall for the first time in nine seasons as the Trojans first-year head coach, and he will certainly want to secure a win here before the Irish start piecing together a win streak of their own.

According to a report by the Washington Post, Kiffin had this to say about the game: "It was heartbreaking at the time to lose that game and to lose the streak of wins over them when you know how hard the players and catches in the past had worked to get to that point."

A win would give USC a 6-1 record and two respectable road wins in back-to-back weeks (the Trojans beat Cal 30-9 last week). That may be enough to get them back into the AP Top 25 for the first time since Week Four.

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USC vs. Notre Dame: Kickoff Time, TV Coverage, Radio And More

What would a college football season be without a showdown between the USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish? The annual game between the two football powerhouses will continue on Saturday with both schools looking to improve their resumés as the second half of the college football season begins. 

Here is all of the game day coverage fans will need to get ready for this weekend's matchup:

Kickoff Time: 7:30 EDT / 4:30 PDT

Weather Report: It will be a cool night for football on Saturday. Expect clear skies, a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid-50's at kickoff. No rain is in the forecast. 

TV Coverage: NBC will broadcast the game. Tom Hammond will handle play-by-play duties, Mike Mayock is the analyst and Alex Flanagan will be reporting from the sidelines.

Radio: ESPN Radio; 710 KSPN-AM in the Los Angeles area.

Opening Line: The Irish are 8.5-point favorites over the Trojans.

For more on USC, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs Notre Dame: RB Dillon Baxter Does Not Make The Trip To South Bend

USC sophomore running back Dillon Baxter was conspicuously absent from team functions on Friday as the Trojans prep for their game on Saturday against host Notre Dame. Baxter, a high-profile recruit in 2010 that has clashed with Head Coach Lane Kiffin, wouldn't comment on the fact that he hadn't made the trip out to South Bend this weekend, and Kiffin also refused to comment, according to the Los Angeles Times. Per ESPN, it's USC's policy to not officially address personnel matters such as who made the trip and who didn't in the time leading up to road games. They typically discuss such issues only on game day at the stadium.

Baxter rushed for 252 yards on 59 carries last season for the Trojans and has only 9 carries this year and has missed the previous two games. 

His status with the team could be in question - he met with Lane Kiffin earlier in the season to discuss his role on the team, no doubt relating to his lack of playing time. Baxter was suspended twice last season as well. 

For more on USC Football, head over to Conquest Chronicles. 

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USC vs Notre Dame: Irish Set To Don Gold-Flaked Helmets, Possibly Alternate Jerseys

It looks like Notre Dame is going to be pulling out all the stops for the nationally televised matchup Saturday with USC. The Irish will apparently be rolling out special gold-flaked helmets and distributing 80,000 'rally' towels and perhaps even going with an alternate jersey, with rumors going around that the golden-domers may be donning their green jerseys for this big game. 

As Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times points out, Notre Dame comes off an open week with some extra time to prepare, but Coach Brian Kelly insists despite the schedule considerations and uniform embellishments, the Irish are treating it like any other game, saying "We hadn't sat down and said, 'Let's get all this for the USC game.' It's just been more of a coincidence." 

I have to agree with Klein and say, 'yeah right.' I'm sure none of all the pomp and preparation has to do with the fact Notre Dame will be on primetime NBC in a big rivalry game. Though, as an objective observer, I can hardly blame the Fighting Irish for wanting to up the anticipation and flair; I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make me want to check out the game a little bit more.

When you match up two schools that are completely invested in their teams and their success, as USC and Notre Dame obviously are, it just makes the game that much more dramatic. 

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USC vs. Notre Dame: Lane Kiffin Wants to Avoid Repeating History

As the USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish get ready to battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh, Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin is trying to make sure his team doesn't make the same mistakes they've made in the past when heading to South Bend, like they did back in 2001. 

Scott Wolf, resident insider at Inside USC, tweeted this on Friday about how the USC coaching staff (Kiffin included) treated their trip to Notre Dame in 2001, when the Trojans were stunned by an 0-3 Irish squad by the score of 27-16:

Lane Kiffin said USC treated its 2001 trip to ND like a bowl game by touring the sights and he does want to repeat that mistake today
Oct 21 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

 

This was the last win the Irish recorded against USC until 2010's 20-16 come from behind victory, and until 2009, the Irish were the only team to have beaten a Pete-Carroll-coached USC team by more than seven points.  

Obviously Kiffin didn't like how Carroll handled the situation back in 2001, enough so that he felt like mentioning it to the media. Kiffin will be bringing his serious face to South Bend, allowing his players no sight seeing tours or brevity of any kind until the final whistle blows on Saturday. Hopefully that will give USC some sort of advantage when they take on Brian Kelly's formidable Irish squad. 

For more on USC Football, head over to Conquest Chronicles. 

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USC vs. Notre Dame: Which Fighting Irish Team Will Show Up?

Through the first few weeks of the NCAA football season, Notre Dame was looking like it could be one of the better schools in the country, aside from a massive amount of turnovers and penalties that kept them from winning key ball games. Since then they’ve broken off four wins in a row, including a beatdown of Michigan State, but just what Fighting Irish team will show up against the USC Trojans?

SB Nation’s Bill Connelly wrote a great piece previewing this game, highlighting what the Irish’s should do against the struggling Trojan’s D, and just what hope USC might have to win this game:

1) Their best defensive game was their last one. They sacked Zach Maynard three times and picked him off twice, allowing an admittedly schizophrenic offense almost nothing easy. They slowed Cal down, and they turned the Golden Bears over like teams were able to turn Notre Dame over earlier in the season.

If the Trojans can somehow make the Irish more one-demential on offense, they can turn to their own offense to try and turn up the heat.

2) The Trojans can move the ball, too. They are in or on the cusp of the Top 25 in quite a few offensive categories — 26th in Off. F/, 25th in Standard Downs S&P, 32nd in Passing S&P+, and while the Notre Dame defense ranks 13th in overall Def. F/+, their glitches have been damaging. The USC defense probably won’t need to hold the Irish under 20 points to win the game. They will, however, need to hold them under 40.

If the turnover-committing, lackluster-playing Notre Dame team of the first few weeks of the season returns, the Trojans may pull the upset out in South Bend, but if the domineering Irish team of late shows up, it might be a long day for Lane Kiffen and his boys.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame: Marc Tyler Cleared Medically, Headed To South Bend

The USC Trojans might have gotten a boost to their average running game. Running back Marc Tyler has recovered from a separated shoulder he sustained against Cal in record time and is heading with the team on their long-fabled trip to South Bend, Indiana. Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles with the story.

Tyler had been USC's starter the last five games after his return from a one-game suspension, but it's unlikely he'll start Saturday against Notre Dame. Junior Curtis McNeal is expected to make his first career start in Tyler's absence.

"It feels good," Tyler said. "I'm going to be ready to play, and if they put me in or need me I'll be ready."

Considering the struggles Matt Barkley has had this season in trying to get an average offense moving down the field, USC will have to welcome Tyler back into the lineup. While Curtis McNeal proved he could be a more than capable runner, having another option like Tyler gives the Trojans more offensive versatility. This should allow Lane Kiffin to open his playbook and make more plays down the field.

Will he be as consistent? It's not clear. Separated shoulders are difficult to recover from (as USC learned last year with Stanley Havili), but the Trojans do have players like McNeal who are ready to step in on a moment's notice.

To discuss the USC-Notre Dame game with Trojan fans, Conquest Chronicles is where to go. To discuss the game with fans of the Fighting Irish, hit up One Foot Down.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame, RB Marc Tyler: 'I Want To Play In This Game So Bad, It Doesn't Matter'

Five days before kickoff in South Bend, the USC Trojans' tailback situation is still up in the air against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Senior Marc Tyler dislocated his shoulder in last Thursday's win against the California Golden Bears, but insists he will be ready to play Saturday night.

"It might hurt when I take a hit, but I want to play in this game so bad, it doesn't matter," Tyler said after practice on Tuesday. Tyler leads the Trojans this season with 368 rushing yards and 83 carries through six games this season, and that includes the fact that Tyler was suspended from the season opener against Minnesota.

Junior Curtis McNeal is next in line if Tyler can't go on Saturday, and figures to be heavily involved whether Tyler plays or not. McNeal is second on the team with 289 yards on 41 carries, an average of 7.0 yards per rush. McNeal led the team with 86 yards and 17 carries against Cal, and has led the team in rushing yards in three of the last four contests. McNeal has the Trojans' two longest runs of the year: a 44-yarder against Arizona, and a 43-yard scamper against Syracuse.

Saturday's 4:30 p.m. game will be televised nationally by NBC, with Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, and Alex Flanagan on the call. For more USC football news and information, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame Football: Irish Favored By Nine Points

The USC Trojans look for their third straight victory on Saturday evening, renewing their longtime rivalry with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend. However, the Trojans have an uphill battle on the road, as USC is a nine-point underdog, per our friends at Bodog.

At first glance the line seems high. Both teams are just outside of the top 25; Notre Dame is No. 27 in the latest Associated Press poll while USC is No. 28. They are even close in the Sagarin computer rankings, as USC is No. 30 and Notre Dame is No. 31. The winner of the game on Saturday has the inside track to rejoin the AP top 25. That USC is outside the top 25 now is a rarity: this is the first time a 5-1 Trojans team has not been ranked, and the AP poll has been around since 1936.

For those so inclined, there could be money to be made here with a bet on the Trojans and the points. At SBGlobal.com and 5Dimes.com the line is already eight and a half points. Best to swoop in now while the line is still high, before it undoubtedly comes down to entice more action.

Saturday's 4:30 p.m. game will be televised nationally by NBC, with Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, and Alex Flanagan on the call. For more USC football news and information, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame: Lane Kiffin Calls Last Year’s Game 'Worst Loss' And Looks For Revenge

USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin led his program to an 8-5 record last season, with losses coming to Washington, Oregon State, Notre Dame, then-No. 16 Stanford and then No. 2 Oregon. Three of those losses came by four points or less (to Washington, Notre Dame and Stanford) while the other two came in the form of huge blowouts (a 53-32 loss to Oregon and a 36-7 loss to Oregon State).

By most people's standards, one of those two blowout losses would probably qualify as the team's worst loss of the 2010 season. Not for Kiffin, though: according to a report by the Daily News, Kiffin thinks that last year's 20-16 loss to the Irish was the team's worst of the season.

The rationale? That defeat snapped an eight-game series win streak for the Trojans, a fact that can't be overlooked in such a long-standing intense rivalry.

The Trojans will get a chance for redemption on Saturday when they travel to South Bend. The Irish have rebounded from an 0-2 start with four straight victories while the Trojans have posted back-to-back wins after a disappointing road loss to Arizona State. Both sides will be fired up and ready to play out the next chapter of this intriguing football rivalry.

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USC Vs. Notre Dame: Trojans Have Their Work Cut Out Against Irish

USC has beaten Notre Dame in each of their last four trips to South Bend.

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