America, Meet Notre Dame: What Does It All Mean? Notre Dame 49, USC 14
Notre Dame already did some big things this year, but it took a blasting of USC to get everyone’s attention.
It’s not like Notre Dame is some Little Engine That Could. It’s not like it doesn’t have a sweet network deal, an international following, and all the perks of being the biggest brand name in college football.
But there was absolutely no love from the polls and rankings that refused to put the Irish in the top ten.
All Notre Dame did was this to everyone but Georgia, who might be the No. 2 team in the country, and the very least, is in the top three.
The Irish destroyed Boston College, ran through Michigan State, and ripped up everyone else with one of the most exciting running games in college football, but it inspired nothing more than a yawn.
47 carries, 377 yards, five touchdowns, averaging eight yards per carry. Notre Dame did whatever it wanted to do against a USC defense that didn’t have a prayer, and didn’t step up when San Darold was being Sam Darnold turning the ball over.
But again, Notre Dame has been doing this against almost everybody. 28 first half points? This isn’t new.
Is Josh Adams in the Heisman race? 19 carries for 191 yards and three touchdowns will get you noticed. Brandon Wimbush completed 9-of-19 passes, but he threw two scoring passes and ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
This was supposed to be when the NFL types fell further in love with Sam Darnold. 20-of-28, 229 yards, two scores, one pick, one fumble, and one really, really big loss.
USC turned it over three times, Notre Dame didn’t give it away, and Darnold wasn’t able to lead the way to big drives to stop the momentum. And why?
Notre Dame cranked up five sacks and bothered Darnold all game long.
Now what for Notre Dame? This got the Irish on the radar of the pollsters, but now there’s far more work to do. This was big, now beat NC State. And then beat Wake Forest. And then win at Miami. And then hold on against Navy. And then win at Stanford. If it does that, it’s in the College Football Playoff.
Now what for USC? College Football Playoff … gone. However, this obviously wasn’t a Pac-12 game. The Trojans have to get past this fast, and then deal with a. dangerous Arizona State team on the road, and then face Arizona. Winning the Pac-12 championship and getting a New Year’s Six bowl bid is the goal now. Yippee.