November 24, 2012 - Conquest in the Coliseum

Heading out west for the season finale and first game ranked #1 since 1993, Notre Dame was facing a Matt Barkley-less Southern Cal squad. Notre Dame would dominate the stat sheet but long drives that netted just three points would keep the game close.

On the first drive, Everett Golson would lead the team to the SC 9-yard line but have to settle for a field goal. SC would be forced to punt (thanks a bit to the dropped ball) and Notre Dame would go on a 7 minute 87 yard drive capped off by a Theo Riddick rushing touchdown. On Southern Cal's next drive, they would move the ball 53 yards plus the 22 yards from Notre Dame penalties which resulted in a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The next two possessions the teams would trade field goals and the score stood at 13-10 ND. After KeiVarae Russell intercepted a deep pass, the Irish had the ball at their own 17 with 1:25 left to play. Golson efficiently and quickly moved the line down to the SC 35 where a series of incomplete passes stalled the drive. But on the final play of the half, Kyle Brindza lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt. As time expired, the kick would make it through the uprights (with a little room to spare) and Notre Dame led 16-10 going into the locker room. Brindza's 52-yarder would be the second longest field goal in Notre Dame history (behind Dave Reeve's 53 yarder against Pitt in 1976).

With the second half starting and Southern Cal getting the ball, the defenses would soon take over. On the second play, Manti Te'o would intercept Max Wittek setting up a short field for Notre Dame. However, Brinda would miss the 34-yard attempt (his first miss in four tries this game). The teams would continue to trade punts until a 70-yard drive was capped by a field goal from Brindza. Each team would kick another field goal, making the score 22-13 Notre Dame. Brindza would tie the record for made field goals in a game with five (27yd, 29yd, 52yd, 33yd, 19yd).

With six minutes remaining, Wittek launched a 53-yard pass to the ND 2 and set up a fist and goal. SC would line up for 8 plays and not get in the end zone. Another defensive stand. The defense smartly was flagged for pass interference to prevent a passing touchdown. Limiting the Trojans to running the ball, they were repeatedly stuffed at the line. After a quick first down, Notre Dame kneeled the ball, punted it away, and just as the Oklahoma game ended - sacked Wittek (and forced a fumble). Likewise with the Oklahoma game, Notre Dame did not commit a turnover.

Notre Dame had done it. For the first time since 1990, they had won a game ranked #1. For the first time since 1988, they had finished the regular season undefeated. Now, they just had to wait and see who they would be playing in the National Championship game; Alabama or Georgia.

       1  2  3  4   F
#1 ND 10  6  3  3  22
   SC  0 10  0  3  13

For the first time since 1988 and 2nd time overall, Notre Dame started the season 12-0.

Keywords: football, southern cal, everett golson, matt barkley, theo riddick, kyle brindza, dave reeve, manti teo, max wittek, record, bcs national championship game

Posted On: 2013-02-03 00:15:03 by IrishTrpt07


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