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Notre Dame Continues Dominance Over USC

Notre Dame continued its dominance over USC, beating the Trojans 31-16

Notre Dame continued its dominance over USC, surviving a bit of a late score to pull away and beat the Trojans 31-16.

Notre Dame started fast offensively, marching 74 yards on 13 plays before the drive stalled on a dropped third-down pass by Kevin Austin. The Irish had to settle on a field goal that was missed by Jonathan Doerer.

The Irish defense responded with a quick three-and-out that was fueled by a first-down sack by defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola. Jack Coan and the offense went right back on the attack, with the veteran passes completing two throws before freshman Tyler Buchner came in and completed two straight passes to get the Irish deep into USC territory.

Coan came back in and ended the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to senior captain Avery Davis.

USC responded with a long drive of its own, but another first-down sack - this time by Isaiah Foskey, stalled the drive. USC was forced into a 3rd-and-8 but a pressure by Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa forced a Kedon Slovis pass to float into the arms of linebacker Bo Bauer, who returned it 79 yards to set up another field goal attempt by Doerer, but that attempt was true.

USC finally got on the board with a field goal on its next drive, but Notre Dame answered right back.

Coan hit freshman Lorenzo Styles on a quick screen to start the drive, and the talented first-year wideout took the ball 29 yards for a career-long gain. Coan again hit Styles two plays later, this time for 10 yards, and running back Kyren Williams followed up with a 12-yard gain.

It appeared USC might finally stop the Irish, but Coan found tight end Michael Mayer for a 16-yard gain to convert a 3rd-and-9, which set up a five-star scoring run by Williams just two plays later.

USC had a chance to cut into the lead late in the first half, but poor clock management allowed the clock to wind down with the Trojans on the Notre Dame 25-yard line.

The third quarter was less eventful as the two teams traded punts before USC missed a field goal that could have cut into the Irish lead.

Notre Dame went on a methodical, 13-play drive that went 80 yards and took over five minutes off the clock. It ended with Williams scoring from 1-yard out to put the Irish up 24-3.

USC responded quickly, going 77 yards on nine plays in less than three minutes with running back Keaontay Ingram scoring from four-yards out. Ingram racked up 32 yards on the series.

The Irish tried to respond but a Coan throw to Austin was poorly played by the senior receiver and resulted in an interception. USC responded quickly, going deep to London for a 44-yard gain to start the season, beating Clarence Lewis on the play. The Trojans punched it in for a touchdown to cap off an 86-yard drive that again took less than three minutes.

Notre Dame rode its All-American running back on the next series, with Williams rushing for 34 yards and drawing a personal foul from USC safety Xavion Alford. Williams had a brilliant bounce run for 10 yards that set up a Tyler Buchner 3-yard touchdown that iced the game.

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Williams was the star for Notre Dame, racking up 138 yards on the ground and finding the end zone twice. It was the first time all season he topped 100 yards. Williams also hauled in a team-leading six passes for 42 yards.

Foskey finished the game with five tackles and forcing a fumble on both of his sacks in the game.

Notre Dame improved to 6-1 on the season while the Trojans fell to 3-4. Irish head coach Brian Kelly is now 8-3 against the Trojans and has won five of six inside Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame has now won five straight on their home turf against USC.

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