Photo: University of Notre Dame
Lou Holtz was 9-1-1 in 11 meetings with USC, but for most of the 1986 clash in Los Angeles, it looked like Holtz's first game against the Trojans would not go in his favor.
Notre Dame was already guaranteed a losing record at 4-6, but was hoping to build some momentum for 1987 in the finale.
Things tarted out well for the Trojans, as three Rodney Peete touchdown passes helped stake USC to a 37-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame contributed to the Trojans' cause with Steve Beuerlein throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Beuerlein would become the hero for Notre Dame, though, leading the visitors on back-to-back touchdown drives to close within 37-35 (Holtz went for two points after the second touchdown).
The Irish got the ball back late and drove inside the 5-yard line to set up John Carney's game-winning 19-yard field goal. The kick allowed Carney to end his season on a successful note after missing a game-winning field goal attempt in the opener against Michigan.