NCAA Football Pre-Review: #6 USC Trojans Vs. #25 Notre Dame Fight. Irish

Harry KaneContributor IOctober 17, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: Cheerleaders and the leprechaun mascot of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish run onto the field before a game against the Washington Huskies on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Washington 37-30in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I don’t understand what a pre-review is, exactly.

Please refer to the introduction of my inaugural pre-review for clarification:

USC looks to continue their domination over the Irish.  Charlie Weis and Jimmy Clausen hope to put Notre Dame on track for a BCS bowl game while securing what could be their biggest win in several years.


Saturday 3:30pm (USC -10, o/u 51)

1st Quarter

USC receives the ball and tries to establish the run.

After driving the ball down the field with Joe McKnight’s feet and Damian Williams’ hands, quarterback Matt Barkley finds fullback Stanley Havili for a 13-yard screen pass for a touchdown.

Notre Dame answers USC’s drive with an impressive opening drive of their own.

Clausen finds wide receiver Golden Tate for two short passes and Armando Allen is able to get going with a couple of draws.

The drive finishes with a Clausen to Kyle Rudolph 16-yard touchdown off a play-action pass and 6:21 on the clock.

The defense settles in as the quarter ends.

End of 1st quarter ND 7-USC 7

2nd quarter

Clausen is able to get the Irish a couple of first downs with another balanced drive.

However, the Irish are forced to kick a FG after USC’s defense stops ND on a third-down and eleven from the 29-yard line

After USC grabs chunks of yardage on the next drive, en route to a Williams’ 34-yard touchdown catch, Clausen leads ND on an 89-yard touchdown drive to end the half.

Clausen finds Rudolph in the corner of the end zone with 0:23 to go.

Half ND 17-USC 14

3rd Quarter

Notre Dame picks up where they left off.

Clausen and Rudolph connect three more times on a touchdown drive ending with an Armando Allen sweep from the 5-yard line.

Notre Dame Stadium is rocking.

Barkley begins to show his youth. An ill-advised pass on third down and 13 almost results in a pick.

The Trojans punt the ball and USC makes a statement with a three-and-out.

The following drive consists of a heavy dose of McKnight, mixed in with some short passes to Williams

SC capitalizes on a pass interference call with a Barkley to TE 19-yard touchdown completion.

End of 3rd quarter ND 24-USC 21

4th Quarter

The offenses are playing well.  The defenses are stubborn.

After an exchange of FGs, Notre Dame puts together what will be considered the game-winning drive. Clausen to Tate for a 12-yard touchdown completes an 11 play, 79-yard drive milking 6:17 off the clock.

USC answers with a quick-striking 67-yard touchdown drive ending with a McKnight 21-yard touchdown run.

USC  stops the Irish and receives one more chance to tie the game with a FG.

Notre Dame’s defense makes its biggest stand of the game, stopping USC short of FG range.


Notable stats:

Player of the game: Jimmy Clausen 28-42, 321 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Joe McKnight 19 rushes, 121 yards, 1 TD and 4 catches for 38 yards

Matt Barkley 17-31, 232 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT


Both offenses drove the ball easily. Clausen makes a case for Heisman trophy consideration and Notre Dame’s defense showed up on important situations as Notre Dame puts the country on notice: We are not a pushover any more.


    Game-by-Game Predictions for 2018

    Notre Dame Football logo
    Notre Dame Football

    Game-by-Game Predictions for 2018

    Saturday Blitz
    via Saturday Blitz

    Huskers Land 4-Star LB Nick Henrich

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Huskers Land 4-Star LB Nick Henrich

    Sam McKewon

    Where Stars of 'Last Chance U' Ended Up for 2018

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Where Stars of 'Last Chance U' Ended Up for 2018

    Mack and Mustipher Named to Watch Lists

    Notre Dame Football logo
    Notre Dame Football

    Mack and Mustipher Named to Watch Lists

    Slap the Sign
    via Slap the Sign