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Players Of The Game From The Notre Dame Victory Over USC

Breaking down the offensive, defensive and special teams standouts from the Notre Dame win over USC

Notre Dame beat USC by a convincing 31-16 margin, earning its fourth straight victory over its arch rivals and fifth straight home win against the Trojans. There were standouts on both sides of the ball and on special teams, but three players stood above the rest.

OFFENSE - RB Kyren Williams

Stats: 25 carries, 138 yards, 5.5 YPC, 2 TD / 6 catches, 42 yards

I wrote two weeks ago that I felt Kyren Williams played the best game of his career in the win over Virginia Tech, but he was even better against USC. It's not just the numbers that stood out, although his 138 rushing yards, two touchdowns and team-leading six catches were highly impressive. What stood out was how Williams played against USC.

The junior running back did it all for Notre Dame, and he did it with fire. His combination of patience followed by decisiveness was huge in this game. Williams did a great job reading plays out, setting up his blockers and then exploding through holes when he did get a crease.

Just as impressive was his leg drive, ability to break tackles and his stiff arm was on point all game long. Williams also made a lot of plays in the pass game, with this being arguably the best all-around performance of his career.

DEFENSE - DE Isaiah Foskey

Stats: 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Runners Up: CB TaRiq Bracy, DE Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, LB Bo Bauer

Of course the two splash plays for Foskey were the most noticeable, and those would be the two sacks he had of USC quarterback Kedon Slovis. Both sacks also included Foskey stripping the ball from the USC signal caller, and the Irish recovered the second one.

We know Foskey can dominate in the pass game and this contest was no different. What stood out most to me, however, was how effective Foskey was in coverage. On multiple snaps he jumped underneath quick throws or hustled to play a screen or showed good open field pursuit to make a tackle down the field. 

Foskey wasn't alone up front, and the entire unit had flashes of brilliance in the game. Cornerback TaRiq Bracy also had his best game of the season, but Notre Dame's best player against USC was the junior defensive end.

SPECIAL TEAMS - LB Bo Bauer

Bauer had three special teams tackles in the game, all in kickoff coverage. Two of his kick coverage tackles pinned USC inside the 20-yard line. 

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