Prior to kickoff of last night’s Notre Dame – USC game, a 48-20 drubbing of the Trojans by the Fighting Irish – USC alum Keyshawn Johnson tweeted out a picture from inside the stadium calling it a “dump”. He then got to see his alma mater’s playoff hopes dashed in front of him as Notre Dame blew out USC for the second time in their last four tries inside Notre Dame and their sixth straight time inside the House that Rockne Built.
You’d think that Johnson might have learned from his own experience at USC inside Notre Dame Stadium, but apparently not. In October 1995, Johnson’s USC squad came into South Bend with national championship aspirations and a 6-0 record. They left with the tails between their legs after a two-loss Notre Dame team that lost to Ohio State and Northwestern already blew their doors off 38-10. Hmmmmm, a 28-point victory ya don’t say?
Much like Saturday night, the Irish shut down a high-flying USC offense while feasting off turnovers. In 1995, they only forced four compared to last night’s five. The ’95 edition, however, gave us one of the most iconic hits in Notre Dame football history.
Notre Dame fans with no love loss for Keyshawn Johnson will most certainly love the irony of Johnson calling Notre Dame Stadium a dump only to watch his Trojans lose by 28 at the hands of the Fighting Irish the same way he did 28 years ago.
Legend has it that Johnson and fellow Trojans made remarks about the Irish that made their way to the Notre Dame locker room prior to the 1995 showdown. Afterwards, the LA media that covered USC claimed those remarks were never said but rather conjured up as motivation for the Irish that afternoon. Whether or not they did, the players certainly used them. “Some people can do it with their mouth, and we proved that we could do it by action,” said Notre Dame wide receiver Derrick Mayes after the win.
Twenty-eight years later, another Trojan team with title hopes came into town with a high-profile offense and a quarterback who infamously wrote disparaging remarks about Notre Dame on his fingernails before last year’s LA contest. This time, the Fighting Irish dumped 48 points on USC in front of Keyshawn Johnson.