College Football Big Game Reaction: Oregon, Pitt, Notre Dame & More

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Big Game Reaction: Oregon, Pitt, Notre Dame & More

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College Football Big Game Reaction: Oregon, Pitt, Notre Dame & More

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Notre Dame 31, USC 16 Reaction

It’s not being talked about, but Notre Dame needs to still be considered in the mix for this College Football Playoff thing.

It stinks that Cincinnati is a hard ceiling – there’s no chance the Irish get in unless the Bearcats meltdown at least once – but the wins over brand name teams are starting to pile up.

Florida State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, USC – that’s solid no matter what.

The rest of the slate looks stronger on paper than it actually is – North Carolina, Navy, at Virginia, Georgia Tech, at Stanford – but if the team can keep pushing forward with workmanlike efforts like the one just put together against USC, it’ll be 11-1.

Jack Coan was solid – and that’s exactly what was needed against the sloppy Trojans.

The offense wasn’t spectacular, but Kyren Williams had a wonderful night – 138 carries and two scores – the defense made a slew of plays behind the line, and Coan threw for 189 yards and a score with a pick.

The Irish got up 24-3, there was a cushion when things got a little loose late, and then when it seemed like USC might have a shot to pull off something special, the offense stepped up with a terrific late answer of a long drive to put the game away.

It all might have seemed a tad ho-hum considering there’s nothing boring about beating USC by 15, but it was a sneaky-good overall performance considering the inconsistencies this season.

The O line picked a nice time to come up with one of its better days. Coan was pressured, but not enough to matter. The ground game only had a few big runs, but there was a good push.

USC made more mistakes, had more bad plays, and the Irish took advantage of all of it.

One college football Saturday with so many ragged performances, and with big upsets happening all over the place, relatively steady is good.

At this point for the Irish, 6-1 is very good.

Week 8 Big Game Reactions 
Oklahoma 35, Kansas 23
Illinois 20, Penn State 18 9OT
Oregon 34, UCLA 31
Pitt 27, Clemson 17
Alabama 52, Tennessee 24
Notre Dame 31, USC 16

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