Trojans Let One Slip Through Their Fingers

When it rains it pours for Trojan fans

By John Adams
|  Sunday, Nov 28, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM PDT
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On a rain-soaked Coliseum field, the USC Trojans (7-5, 4-4 Pac-10) dropped one to rival Notre Dame (7-5) whose fourth quarter touchdown drive gave the Irish the 20-16 come from behind victory and snapped the Trojans eight game dominance over the Fighting Irish.

THREE "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" MOMENTS:

  1. The Drive. The Trojan defense played their best game of the year. For three quarters and 12 minutes the defense contained the Irish offense and controlled the game. However, just like previous games, the Trojans defense couldn’t make the final stand and let the Irish waltz down the field for the go ahead touchdown. The score put Irish in front of the Trojans with a pinch over two minutes remaining. For the Trojans defense, it was the ninth time this season their opponent has scored on their final drive of the game.
     
  2. The Drop.  It was 3rd and 7 on the USC 47-yard line and Mitch Mustain was putting together a last-minute drive. Senior wide receiver Ronald Johnson pulled off a double move and left the Notre Dame defender sitting on the turf. All Johnson had to do now was adjust to the pass and then walk into Trojan lore. Instead, the ball slipped through the wide-open receiver’s fingertips and Johnson fell to the turf in infamy.
     
  3. The Drought.  A couple stats jump out: The Trojans’ running backs carried the ball 27 times for 79 yards. Coach Lane Kiffin called 37 pass plays by his backup quarterback. Senior running back, Alan Bradford never sniffed the field even though the wet conditions favored the big back’s running style.

    In a game where everyone thought we would see a heavy dose of the running game, Kiffin relied heavily on the pass. The Fighting Irish were ranked 62nd in the NCAA against the run giving up an average of 153 rushing yards per game. It is a wonder why the talented running backs along with the solid offensive line of the Trojans couldn’t put up better numbers against an average Notre Dame run defense. But then again, they really didn’t have the opportunity either.

BY THE NUMBERS:

GAME STATS
 

USC
TROJANS

NOTRE DAME
FIGHTING IRISH

SCORE  16  20
RUSHING YARDS  80  147
PASSING YARDS  181  149
TOTAL YARDS  261  296
PENALTIES 8-47  1-10
TURNOVERS  1  4
TIME OF POSSESSION  31:35 28:25

PLAY(s) OF THE GAME:

Everyone and their mothers want to point to the Ronald Johnson drop as the play, or misplay, of the game. However, the plays of the game happened eight times as the refs dropped the little yellow hanky against the Trojans. A false start makes it 2nd and 11 or 4th and 7. A holding penalty moves it from 3rd and 2 to 2nd and 12. Every time the Trojans strung together a drive, they took aim at their foot and then unloaded on it. On the other side of the field, Notre Dame was penalized one time for 10 yards.

NEXT GAME:

USC Trojans (7-5, 4-4 Pac-10) @ UCLA Bruins (4-7, 2-6 Pac-10)

MY PREDICTIONS

MY RECORD FOR PREDICTIONS: 9-3

RESULTS GAME DETAILS MY PREDICTIONS

@ HAWAII
USC 49 - Hawaii 36

The Trojans win with an offensive explosion.

Trojans 42 - Warriors 28

vs. Virginia
USC 17 - Virginia 14

Virginia keeps it close at half but second half is all Trojans.

Trojans 34 - Cavaliers 17

@ Minnesota
USC 32 - Minnesota 21

Minnesota scores first and then the Trojans roll.

Trojans 42 - Gophers 13

@ Washington State
USC 50 - Washington St. 16

Trojans put on an offensive and defensive clinic.

Trojans 54 - Cougars 6

vs. Washington
USC 31 - Washington 32

USC will pulled away from the Huskies in the 2nd half.

Trojans 42 - Huskies 24

@ Stanford
USC 35 - Stanford 37

Stanford take advantage of a weak Trojan Defense.

Trojans 24 - Cardinal 48

vs. Cal
USC 48 - Cal 14

Cal takes the guessing out of the end of this game.

Trojans 17 - Bears 27

vs. Oregon
USC 32 - Oregon 53

Oregon's high powered offense spoils homecoming.

Trojans 45 - Ducks 52

vs. Arizona State
USC 34 - Arizona St. 33

A back-and-forth affair but USC survives.
Trojans 32 - Sun Devils 28

@ Arizona
USC 24 - Cal 21

The Trojans will make it 5 straight in Tucson.

Trojans 38 - Wildcats 24

@ Oregon State
USC 7 - Oregon St. 36

The Trojans will break the curse.

Trojans 34 - Beavers 28

vs. Notre Dame
USC 16 - Notre Dame 20

The Irish will stop the Trojans' streak at eight.

Trojans 31 - Irish 33

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