Notre Dame's turnover difficulties continued in today's opening half against USC. The Irish turned it over twice (two interceptions).
The Irish turned it over a third time late in the fourth quarter, but added a third forced turnover.
The Irish now have a minus-17 turnover margin in their six games away from Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame has forced five turnovers (Michigan State, Navy and three against USC), while the Irish have committed 22 turnovers along the way, including a pair of five turnover games (Boston College and North Carolina).
Notre Dame did force three USC turnovers tonight. The Irish had forced just two turnovers on the road all season prior to tonight.
The Irish were minus-five in turnover margin against Boston College, which was the identical spread Notre Dame found itself against North Carolina earlier this season. Notre Dame has registered a minus-five effort in the turnover department just three times since the start of the 2002 season and two have come in the last four games.
IRISH DEFENSE GETTING OFF TO A FAST START
USC's first quarter touchdown was the first allowed by the Notre Dame defense in the opening quarter since Sept. 27 against Purdue.
In fact, Notre Dame has allowed just 16 points in the first quarter over its last seven games.
The Trojans' two second-quarter touchdowns were the fourth and fifth offensive scores allowed by the Notre Dame defense in the opening half over its last eight games. The Irish defense has surrendered just 44 total first half points over the past six games.
Notre Dame started eight different players on offense that will have at least two years of eligibility remaining after this season.
The Irish started five different players on defense that will have at least two years of eligibility remaining after this season.
That does not include both freshman WR Michael Floyd and sophomore LB Brian Smith (regular starters) who each missed the game with injury.
Notre Dame was led in tackles by a freshman (DB Robert Blanton). The Irish had another freshman (DE Ethan Johnson) was third with five stops. Sophomore DB Gary Gray (did not play last year as a rookie) also had five tackles and his second career interception.
The Irish scored 32 touchdowns this season and 26 have come from either freshmen or sophomores. The only touchdowns scored this season by upper classmen were junior RB James Aldridge (3), senior WR David Grimes (2) and junior Toryan Smith (1).
The 26 of 32 touchdowns by underclassmen does not include sophomore QB Jimmy Clausen, who has tossed 20 touchdown passes this season.
NOTRE DAME'S RECORD WHEN...
On The Road
Coming off a loss
Opponent is ranked higher
Opponent Scores First
Trailing At Halftime
Trailing After 3 Qtrs.
Scoring 0-19 Points
Allowing 30+ Points
Passing For Fewer Yds
Losing Time of Poss.
Fewer Penalty Yards
Winning Turnover Battle
Opponent 200-yard passer
Makes Notre Dame 6-6 on the season.
Denies the Irish their first victory over a top 10 opponent since No. 3 Michigan (17-10) on Sept. 10, 2005
Denies Notre Dame its first victory over a top 10 opponent away from Notre Dame Stadium since No. 3 Michigan (17-10) on Sept. 10, 2005.
Gives the Irish a six-game losing streak against top 10 foes.
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record to 39-54-5 (.423) all-time against teams ranked in the top five.
Drops the Irish to 11-23-1 (.329) all-time on the road against teams ranked in the top five.
Extends USC's winning streak to seven games in the all-time series.
Extends the Trojans winning streak to four games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Drops Notre Dame to 42-33-5 (.556) in the all-time series with the Trojans.
Drops the Irish to 17-21-4 (.452) in the all-time series with USC in Los Angeles.
Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 28-21 (.571) overall, 0-4 against USC and 8-4 against Pac-10 foes.
Drops Weis' record to 4-10 (.286) against teams ranked in the top 25.
Drops Weis' Notre Dame road record to 11-8 (.579).
Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 11-7 (.611) in November games.
Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 8-11 (.421) following a defeat.
Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 11-10-1 (.523) all-time against USC.
Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 5-7-1 (.423) all-time against the Trojans in Los Angeles.
Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 5-8-1 (.393) all-time against a ranked USC team.
Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 3-6-1 (.350) all-time against a ranked Trojans team in Los Angeles.
Drops Weis' record to 6-5 (.545) in night games.
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record to 830-282-42 (.737).
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record on the road to 290-141-22 (.687).
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record against the Pac-10 to 80-42-6 (.648).
Drops Notre Dame's all-time road record against the Pac-10 to 32-25-1 (.560).
Drops Notre Dame's all-time record in the regular season finale to 64-44-12 (.583)