No. 21 Notre Dame Shines On Defense, Defeats No. 10 USC 48-20


It was difficult to fathom the Irish entering Notre Dame Stadium and pulling away from anyone in the first half, much less No. 10 USC and reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams, coming off a 1-2 span where they had scored only 16 points per game.

It was only natural that the Notre Dame defense struck first, grabbing three interceptions in the first half alone, the first two of which were recovered by safety Xavier Watts and returned for significant gains inside the 15-yard line. The median Irish scoring drive in the first half was only 27 yards. Audric Estime exploited these short fields and the opportunistic Irish defense, scoring two quick touchdowns to contribute to the eventual unassailable 24-6 halftime lead.

After USC scored twice in the second half, the Irish responded with a 46-yard bomb to Chris Tyree and a thunderous kick return touchdown from Jadarian Price, before hitting a chip-shot field goal to extend their lead to 41-20.

Late in the fourth quarter, Watts added one last twist to the plot by recovering a fumble and eventually diving into the end zone for a defensive touchdown that brought the score to 48-20.