Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans
Nov. 25, 2006
Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
FINAL SCORE: USC 44, Notre Dame 24
Today's game between Notre Dame and USC was not sold out, making it just the sixth in the last 68 road games for the Irish that were not sellouts. The 2001, 2003 and 2005 games at Stanford, the 2004 game vs. Navy at The Meadowlands and last year's game at Washington were also not sellouts.
USC won the toss and elected to defer to the second-half. The Irish defended the west end zone in the first half.
Notre Dame was ranked sixth in the Associated Press poll at kickoff. USC came into the game ranked third in the AP poll.
THE LOSS TODAY...
... make Notre Dame 10-2 for the first time since 2002.
... deny the Irish 11 victories in a season for the first time since 1993 and sixth time in school history.
... snap Notre Dame's eight-game winning victory (longest since opening the 2002 season with eight straight victories).
... be Notre Dame's fifth straight loss to USC overall and third straight defeat in the Coliseum.
... drop Notre Dame to 42-31-5 in the all-time series with the Trojans.
... drop the Irish to 17-20-4 in the all-time series with USC in the Coliseum.
... drop a ranked Irish squad to 25-19-4 all-time against the Trojans.
... drop Notre Dame to 21-19-3 all-time against a ranked USC squad.
... drop the Irish to 16-13-2 all-time against USC when both teams are ranked.
... drop Notre Dame to 20-18-3 all-time against USC when ranked in the top 10.
... drop Notre Dame to 10-15-2 all-time against USC when the Trojans are ranked in the top 10.
... drop Notre Dame to 7-9-1 all-time against USC when both are ranked in the top 10.
... drop Weis' record to 19-5 overall, 0-2 against USC and 4-2 against the Pac-10.
... drop Weis' road record to 8-1.
... snap the Irish's eight-game road winning streak (longest since 1991-94 and longest unbeaten streak to open a Notre Dame coaching career since Frank Leahy, 10).
... drop Weis' record to 7-1 in November games.
... drop Weis' record to 5-1 in night games.
... drop Notre Dame's all-time record to 821-268-42.
... drop Notre Dame's all-time record against the Pac-10 to 76-40-6.
NOTRE DAME'S RECORD WHEN...
2006 Under Weis 2006 Under Weis
Scoring First 7-0 13-1 Opponent Scores First 2-2 5-4
Leading At Halftime 6-0 14-1 Tied At Halftime 0-0 1-0
Trailing At Halftime 3-2 3-4 Leading After 3 Qtrs. 6-0 14-0
Tied After 3 Qtrs. 0-0 0-1 Trailing After 3 Qtrs. 2-2 4-4
Scoring 40+ Points 3-0 8-1 Scoring 30+ Points 7-0 15-2
Scoring 20-29 Points 2-2 10-5 Allowing 0-19 Points 6-0 9-0
Outrushing Opponent 5-0 8-0 Getting Outrushed 4-2 10-5
Passing For More Yds 8-2 15-3 Passing For Fewer Yds 1-0 3-2
Outgaining Opponent 5-0 13-1 Getting Outgained 4-1 5-3
Winning Time of Poss. 7-1 14-3 Losing Time of Poss. 2-1 4-2
Scoring a Def./ST TD 5-0 7-1 Allowing a Def./ST TD 1-2 2-3
Fewer Penalty Yards 6-1 8-3 More Penalty Yards 3-1 10-2
Winning Turnover Battle 6-1 12-3 Losing Turnover Battle 1-1 2-1
Walker 100 rushing yds 4-0 10-1 Walker 150 rushing yds 2-0 3-0
Walker 200 rushing yds 0-0 0-0 Quinn 250 passing yds 7-1 14-4
Quinn 300 passing yds 4-0 8-1 Quinn 350 passing yds 0-0 3-1
Quinn 400+ passing yds 0-0 3-1 Samardzija caught a TD 6-2 14-4
McKnight caught a TD 7-2 8-2
NOTRE DAME TEAM NOTES
The following Notre Dame players extended streaks for consecutive starts: senior QB Brady Quinn (45), senior OT Ryan Harris (44), senior DT Derek Landri (36), senior DE Victor Abiamiri (25), senior WR Jeff Samardzija (25), senior OL Dan Santucci (24), senior CB Mike Richardson (24), junior LB Maurice Crum, Jr. (24), senior FS Chinedum Ndukwe (24) and senior DE Trevor Laws (24).
Notre Dame blocked the punt of Greg Woidneck midway through the second quarter and scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive when senior QB Brady Quinn found Marcus Freeman along in the end-zone for a touchdown. The blocked punt was the first for the Irish of 2006 and first since Chase Anastasio blocked a punt against Syracuse on Nov. 19, 2005.
The Irish forced a pair of turnovers in the second quarter. After failing to force a turnover over the North Carolina and Air Force games, Notre Dame has forced five the last two games (three last week against Army).
USC totaled 108 yards on just 12 plays in the game's opening quarter. Notre Dame not only forced the two turnovers in the second quarter, but also limited the Trojans to just 50 yards on 17 plays in the second quarter. In fact, the Irish held Trojan QB John David Booty to 1-for-7 for 25 yards and two picks in the second quarter.
USC junior WR Dwayne Jarrett had three touchdown receptions - tying for the most ever by a Notre Dame opponent. Pat Fitzgerald (Texas, 1995) and Andy Hamilton (LSU, 1971) also had three TD catches.
Notre Dame scored at least 20 points for the 11th consecutive game and 22nd in the 24 games under second year head coach Charlie Weis.
Tonight's loss was the first on the road for the Irish under second-year head coach Charlie Weis. Notre Dame had captured its previous eight games on the road. The eight-game road winning streak was the longest since a nine-game streak that spanned four seasons (1991-94). The school record for consecutive wins on the road is 11, set twice by Frank Leahy coached teams. Notre Dame won 11 straight dating from Sept. 28, 1946 to Nov. 6, 1948. Ironically enough, that streak ended with a 14-14 tie against USC. The Irish went on to win five consecutive after the tie before finally losing a road contest at Indiana. In all, Notre Dame was unbeaten in 17 straight road games. The Irish put together another 11-game victory stretch from Nov. 22, 1952 to Oct. 7, 1955. The eight-game road winning streak also happened to be the first eight road games for Weis. It was the longest road unbeaten streak to open a Notre Dame coaching career since Leahy went 9-0-1 over his first 10 road games.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER NOTES
Senior QB Brady Quinn
... now has 93 career passing touchdowns to rank ninth all-time in NCAA Division I-A history. Quinn passed David Klingler (Houston, 1988-91). Next up on the list is Philip Rivers (NC State, 2000-03) and Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech, 1999-02) with 96 career TD passes.
... now has 11,614 career passing yards to rank 10th all-time in NCAA Division I-A history. Quinn passed Carson Palmer (1998-02, USC), Todd Santos (San Diego State, 1984-87), Gino Guidugli (Cincinnati, 2001-04) and David Greene (Georgia, 2001-04). Next up on the list is Byron Leftwich (Marshall, 1998-02) with 11,903 career passing yards.
... now has 914 career pass completions to rank 11th all-time in NCAA Division I-A history. Quinn passed Carson Palmer (USC, 1998-02), Todd Santos (San Diego State, 1984-87), Charlie Frye (Akron, 2001-04) and Brett Basanez (Northwestern, 2002-05). Next up on the list is Byron Leftwich (Marshall, 1998-02) with 939 career pass completions.
... now has 1,567 career pass attempts to rank seventh all-time in NCAA Division I-A history. Quinn passed Drew Brees (Purdue, 1997-00), Ty Detmer (BYU, 1988-91), Tim Rattay (Louisiana Tech, 1997-99) and Gino Guidugli (Cincinnati, 2001-04). Next up on the list is Brett Basanez (Northwestern, 2002-05) with 1,584 career pass attempts.
Notre Dame Career History
... with his ninth pass completion Saturday, Quinn eclipsed 900 for his career (already a school record).
... with his first completion on Saturday, Quinn has now recorded a completion in 48 straight games (already a school record).
... registered his 45th consecutive start for the Irish (tied with Chris Leak for the second most among active I-A quarterbacks).
... his 60-yard rush in the second quarter was not only his career-best, but was the longest run of the season for Notre Dame (previous long was a 43-yard rush by Travis Thomas against Penn State on Sept. 23 earlier this season).
... the rush, which was the longest allowed by USC in 2006, was the longest for the Irish since Carlyle Holiday went 67 yards against Pittsburgh on Oct. 6, 2001.
... his 74 rushing yards in the game was a career-high for Quinn (besting his previous single-game high of 49 yards rushing against Pittsburgh on Sept. 3, 2005.
... Quinn had a total of minus-nine yards on 68 carries entering tonight's game (factors in Notre Dame's opponents 27 sacks).
... recorded his 11th consecutive game with at least two touchdown passes.
... tied his own school record (has done it three times) with 45 passes without an interception in a single-game.
Junior RB Darius Walker
... now has 233 carries in 2006 to rank tied for ninth in single-season school history. Walker passed Julius Jones (2003) and Jerome Heavens [needs 11] (1977.
... now has 1,139 rushing yards in 2006 to rank ninth in single-season school history. Walker passed Allen Pinkett (1984) and himself (2005).
... extended streak of consecutive games with a receptions to 27
Senior WR Jeff Samardzija
... now has 70 receptions in 2006 to rank third in single-season school history. Samardzija passed Maurice Stovall (2005).
... now has 958 receiving yards in 2006 to rank fifth in single-season school history. Samardzija passed Derrick Mayes (1995) and Tim Brown (1986).
... now has 2,534 career receiving yards to rank first all-time in school history. Samardzija passed Tim Brown (1984-87) and Derrick Mayes (1992-95).
... now has 11 receiving touchdowns in 2006 to rank tied for third in single-season school history.
Senior WR Rhema McKnight
... now has 64 receptions in 2006 to rank tied for fourth in single-season school history. McKnight passed Arnaz Battle (2002) and Jack Snow (1964).
... now has 167 career receptions to rank second all-time in school history.
... now has 885 receiving yards in 2006 to rank sixth in single-season school history. McKnight passed Tim Brown (1987), Derrick Mayes (1994), Jim Seymour (1966) and Derrick Mayes (1995).
... now has 2,252 career receiving yards to rank fifth all-time in school history. McKnight passed Maurice Stovall (2002-05).
... now has 15 receiving touchdowns in 2006 to rank tied for first in single-season school history.
... now has 22 career receiving touchdowns to rank tied for second all-time in school history.
... the 42-yard third quarter reception was the second longest of 2006 for McKnight (season-high was a 44-yard grab at Georgia Tech on Sept. 2).
... eclipsed 100 yards receiving in a game for the third time in 2006 and fifth time in his career.
Senior SS Tom Zbikowski
... normally a punt returner, Zbikowski returned five kicks for 107 yards. Zbikowski had just one career kick return for minus-10 yards before tonight.
Senior CB Mike Richardson
... registered his third interception of the season and seventh of his career.
Senior DT Trevor Laws
... picked up his first career interception.
Sophomore LB Steve Quinn
... recorded his first career blocked punt.
Senior TE Marcus Freeman
... registered his second career touchdown reception.
... replacing the injured All-American candidate tight end John Carlson, Freeman had a career-high five receptions for 38 yards (entered the game with just nine career grabs).
Senior LB Joe Brockington
... recorded his first career sack.