Notre Dame did not play a bad defensive game on Saturday night. Let’s be clear in beginning our discussion of this game in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Irish’s first in L.A. since 2018.
USC was sitting on 31 points with five minutes left. The Irish did not allow a 40- or 45-point explosion, unlike most of the defenses which have gone up against the Trojans’ offense. USC had to earn its points. This was not — to draw a contrast — Ohio State’s defense imploding against Michigan, or Oregon completely collapsing versus Oregon State. Notre Dame gave USC’s quality offensive line a strong physical challenge. USC’s offensive front had to work harder than in any game since Washington State on Oct. 8. That was the last game in which USC’s O-line found truly tough sledding.
Why did USC win, 38-27? Caleb Williams simply managed the pocket and the field. He sensed pressure, evaded defenders, and wore out the Irish’s defensive front. He made stacks of next-level plays. He made an authoritative Heisman Trophy argument.
USC topped 400 yards, the first offense to do that against Marcus Freeman’s Fighting Irish defense all year.
Lincoln Riley’s play selection put Caleb in position to succeed.
Caleb plus Lincoln plus USC is a winning combination: 11-1, to be exact.
One more win, and USC will be in the College Football Playoff.
Let’s take you through the many soaring sequences of a brilliant night for the USC offense, which carried the day once again for the Trojans:
WE CAN LIVE WITH THIS
HOLLYWOOD OPENING SCRIPT
DOING HIS THING
SPIN TO WIN
ESPECIALLY IN LOS ANGELES
HE JUST KEEPS DOING THIS
THE MAN OF THE HOUR