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Notre Dame vs. USC: Trojans have history against No. 1 Irish teams

The USC Trojans have battled the Notre Dame Fighting Irish seven times when the Irish were ranked No. 1, with the last such meeting in 1989.

Jonathan Daniel

At the end of a disappointing regular season, the USC Trojans will try to play spoiler on Saturday night against the No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is the eighth matchup between the two schools with the Irish ranked No. 1, and the first such meeting since 1989.

USC is 2-5 in those games against top-ranked Notre Dame, with their wins coming in 1938 and 1964, both at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of Saturday night's contest. The 1964 USC squad, like this year's version, was unranked, and trailed the top-ranked Irish 17-0 at halftime. But the Trojans rallied, and facing a 4th-and-8 with 1:33 remaining, Craig Fertig completed a 15-yard touchdown to Rod Sherman to complete the upset.

Here is a look at how the Trojans have fared against Associated Press No. 1 Notre Dame:

  • 1938: No. 8 USC 13, No. 1 Notre Dame 0
  • 1947: No. 1 Notre Dame 38, No. 3 USC 7
  • 1949: No. 1 Notre Dame 32, No. 17 USC 0
  • 1964: USC 20, No. 1 Notre Dame 17
  • 1966: No. 1 Notre Dame 51, No. 10 USC 0
  • 1988: No. 1 Notre Dame 27, No. 2 USC 10
  • 1989: No. 1 Notre Dame 28, No. 9 USC 24

Unranked USC teams facing a ranked Notre Dame squad are 6-9-2 all-time, with the last such win for the Trojans a 10-0 home triumph in 1998. USC has faced an undefeated, untied Notre Dame team 14 times and is 4-9-1 against them, with their last win coming in 1971. The last time an undefeated Irish team faced the Trojans was 1993.