Notre Dame vs. USC: Second-Quarter Analysis

·2 min read

Much like the first quarter, the second quarter was good for Notre Dame but also could have gone a lot better. There should be some greater distance between it and USC, but that’s not how it turned out. Still, the Irish gladly will take a 17-3 lead into halftime.

On the first play of the quarter, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa tipped a Kedon Slovis pass that ended up in the hands of Bo Bauer, who returned it 79 yards to the Trojans’ 4-yard line. A touchdown appeared to be in the books, but Jack Coan was unable to follow two short runs by the Irish with a complete pass, even as he had all the time in the world to throw and run the ball himself. Although Jonathan Doerer salvaged the drive with a 21-yard field goal, the crowd at Notre Dame Stadium voiced that it was not pleased with what it had just witnessed.

With Kyle Hamilton questionable to return after suffering a knee injury late in the first quarter, the Trojans looked to take advantage of his absence. Slovis continually called Drake London’s number, and the Trojans were able to get into the red zone with relative ease, though they were aided by a questionable roughing the passer call against JD Bertrand. With a touchdown in sight, Slovis instead threw a couple of incomplete passes. Parker Lewis kicked a 33-yard field goal to get the Trojans on the board.

Coan began the Irish’s next drive with a 29-yard pass to Lorenzo Styles, putting the offense in Trojans territory right off the bat. Another completion to Styles, a 12-yard run by Kyren Williams, and 16-yard pass to Michael Mayer gave the Irish a first-and-goal in only three minutes of possession. Williams scored on a 5-yard run two plays later, though it took a lengthy replay review to confirm it.

The Trojans moved the ball nicely again on their final drive of the first half. They even converted on fourth down not far across midfield. However, they didn’t have any timeouts by then, and the clock ran out before they were able to spike the ball in field-goal range. Hey, the Irish will take whatever gifts they can get.

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