Despite failing to score a single point in the second half, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish held on for a 14-10 victory over the USC Trojans in South Bend. USC had a chance for a game-winning touchdown drive, but Nelson Agholor couldn't quite hang on to Cody Kessler's pass on fourth down, and the Fighting Irish were able to run out the 41 seconds that remained on the clock.
The Trojans moved the ball well on their first three possessions, scoring a touchdown, a field goal and getting in position for another field goal (which was missed). But from there, the Trojans were completely shut down by the Notre Dame defense. It didn't help matters that star wideout Marqise Lee left the game with yet another knee injury.
Down 10-7 in the second quarter, Tommy Rees' 11-yard touchdown strike to T.J. Jones gave Notre Dame a 14-10 lead and all of the points that it would need to keep USC at bay.
Box Score Hero: In a game that had just over 600 yards of total offense, nobody was exactly lighting up the stat sheet, but Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel had himself a nice game, gaining 92 yards on 18 carries.
Rankings Ramifications: Notre Dame wasn't ranked coming into this week, but they did earn a fair amount of votes in both polls. They should move into the 20s in next weeks polls.
But Did They Cover? Notre Dame was favored by four points, so it was a push.
For More On This Game: For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame community One Foot Down. For more on Trojans football, visit USC community Conquest Chronicles, plus Pac-12 community Pacific Takes.