Nearly a year after USC officials futilely attempted to hire Knute Rockne (left) away from Notre Dame, the series begins with a nail-biter in L.A. Little-used Irish quarterback Art Parisien flipped the game-winning TD pass to halfback Johnny Niemiec with 2:00 left.
2 of 12AP
Joy in Troy
Trojans trail 14-0 at the start of the 4th quarter, but Johnny Baker's 33-yard field goal with one minute left gives USC a 16-14 win. Notre Dame's first loss ever in Notre Dame Stadium was also its first loss in 27 games. Nearly 300,000 fans were on hand to welcome the Trojans home.
3 of 12Bill Ray//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
After five consecutive .500 or below seasons under Joe Kuharich, first-year Irish coach Ara Parseghian takes the Irish from unranked at the start of the season to 9-0 and No. 1 entering the Coliseum. The Irish lead 17-13 and USC faces fourth down on the Irish 15 with 1:33 remaining. Then Trojan quarterback Craig Fertig finds Rod Sherman in the end zone for the game-winner, spoiling Parseghian's bid for a national title.
4 of 12James Flores/Getty Images
Two years later Parseghian (left) and the Irish again stride into the Coliseum 9-0 and ranked No. 1 (a controversial top ranking, this being one week after the infamous 10-10 tie in East Lansing). The Golden Domers render any "Who's No. 1?" talk moot by giving the Trojans the worst spanking in school history. Afterward, USC coach John McKay vowed never to lose to Notre Dame again (he would go 8-1 thereafter).
5 of 12George Long/SI
Anthony Davis Dominates
Though Davis is not one of Troy's four Heisman-winning tailbacks, he clearly is the most loathed in South Bend. In the '72 win A.D. scored all six Trojan touchdowns and broke five school records in one day. Two years later, with USC down 24-6, he returned the opening kickoff for six, part of USC's 55 unanswered points.
6 of 12Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
The Irish snap defending national champion USC's 23-game unbeaten streak behind the rushing of Eric Penick. Unbeaten Notre Dame went on to win the national title.
7 of 12Rick Stewart/Getty Images; AP
The Dawn of Lou
Although the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup two years later would be more significant, this game, in Lou Holtz's inaugural year with the Irish, re-established ND's gridiron credibility. Irish rebound from a 37-20 fourth quarter deficit and are saved by a 56-yard punt return by Tim Brown to the Trojan 16 in the final minute. CBS misses John Carney's game-winning field goal as time expired because the network was showing a commercial.
8 of 12Chris Pizzello/AP
Troy is Back
After 13 seasons of futility (12 losses, one tie), USC appears headed for another loss as the Irish take a 20-12 fourth-quarter lead. An extra point is missed, however, and USC scores a TD and a 2-point conversion with 1:50 left. The overtime win spoils Holtz's final game as Irish coach and keeps ND from accepting a bowl bid.
9 of 12John W. McDonough/SI, Peter Read Miller/SI
Trojan quarterbacks Carson Palmer (in '02) and Matt Leinart (left, in '04) cement their Heisman Trophy bids with spectacular games in blowout wins on national tv. Palmer tossed for 425 yards (at the time the most ever allowed by ND) and four TDs. Two years later Leinart threw for 400 yards and five TDs in his marquee performance.
10 of 12Bill Frakes/SI
The Bush Push
USC's 27-game winning streak was in jeopardy when Matt Leinart's last-second, goal line fumble appeared to give the Fighting Irish a victory. Notre Dame fans stormed the field but the ref granted USC one final play from the two-yard line. Leinart took the snap and tried to sneak into the endzone but was met by a large group of Irish defenders. Seeing Leinart stood up at the goal line and needing forward momentum, Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the endzone to give the Trojans the victory.
11 of 12Chris Williams/Icon SMI
Brian Kelly's Debut
Tommy Rees completed just 20-of-32 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but Notre Dame still managed to beat USC for the first time since 2001 with a 20-16 victory in Los Angeles. The Trojans took the lead on a 37-yard Joe Houston field goal with 6:25 remaining, but the Irish responded with a Robert Hughes touchdown run with 2:23 to go. Perhaps most pivotal, USC wideout Ronald Johnson dropped a wide-open pass on the Trojans' final drive of the game -- one that almost surely would have resulted in a score. With the win, Brian Kelly became the first Notre Dame coach to beat USC in his first try since Lou Holtz in 1986.
12 of 12Robin Alam/Icon SMI
Night To Remember
In the first night game played in South Bend in 21 years, USC -- led by star quarterback Matt Barkley -- took down the Irish, 31-17. Notre Dame debuted a shiny gold helmet, but it wasn't enough to stop Barkley, who threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The victory was also memorable for another reason: The Trojans defeated the Irish for an unprecedented fifth consecutive time at Notre Dame Stadium.
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