Notre Dame Stuns USC with 48-20 Victory, Ends Trojans’ Unbeaten Run


The No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish delivered a stunning performance against the No. 10 USC Trojans on Saturday night, handing them their first loss of the season with a 48-20 blowout. The Irish defense was led by Xavier Watts, who intercepted Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams twice and returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.


Watts set the tone for the game with his first pick on USC’s opening drive, setting up a four-yard touchdown pass from Sam Hartman to Gi’Bran Payne. He added another interception in the second quarter, leading to a two-yard touchdown run by Audric Estime. Watts capped off his stellar night with a 15-yard scoop-and-score with 3:27 left in the game, putting the Irish ahead by 28 points.

Watts was not the only Notre Dame defender who made life difficult for Williams, who had only thrown one interception in his previous six games. The Irish sacked Williams four times and forced him to fumble twice, one of which was recovered by Benjamin Morrison and led to another Estime touchdown. Morrison also had an interception of his own in the first half, giving Notre Dame a total of three picks against the USC star.

USC Offense Struggles to Keep Up with Notre Dame’s Balanced Attack

While the Notre Dame defense was shutting down USC’s high-powered offense, the Irish offense was firing on all cylinders. Hartman threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns, completing 18 of his 25 passes. He connected with Chris Tyree for a 46-yard score in the third quarter, extending Notre Dame’s lead to 31-13.

The Irish also ran the ball effectively, gaining 189 yards on 38 carries. Estime led the way with 83 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, while Tyree added 52 yards on nine carries. Notre Dame also got a boost from its special teams, as Jadarian Price returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, just seconds after USC had cut the deficit to 11 points.

USC, on the other hand, struggled to find any rhythm on offense. Williams completed only 16 of his 32 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown, along with three interceptions and two fumbles. He also ran for 47 yards on nine carries, but was unable to break any big plays. The Trojans’ running game was also limited to 92 yards on 25 carries, with MarShawn Lloyd scoring their only rushing touchdown on a 31-yard run in the third quarter.

USC’s receivers also had a quiet night, as no one had more than four catches or 50 yards. Brenden Rice caught Williams’ lone touchdown pass, a seven-yard strike in the fourth quarter. The Trojans also settled for two field goals by Denis Lynch in the first half, missing out on opportunities to keep pace with Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Wins Fifth Straight Game Against USC at Home

The victory marked Notre Dame’s fifth consecutive win over USC at Notre Dame Stadium, dating back to 2013. The Irish improved to 6-2 on the season, bouncing back from their two losses in their previous three games. They also avenged their loss to USC in Los Angeles last year, when Williams led the Trojans to a comeback win in his debut.

USC suffered its first loss of the season, dropping to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12. The Trojans will look to regroup and maintain their lead in the conference standings, as they face No. 16 Utah next week at home. Notre Dame will have a bye week before hosting Navy on Oct. 28.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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