Notre Dame v. USC ’14 – Shamrock Stickers

Greg Bryant - Notre Dame RB v. USC
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Greg Bryant (1) carries the ball against the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Notre Dame 49-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sport

Notre Dame’s regular season came to a brutal end as they were flattened 49-14 by arch-rival USC.  The Irish were never in the game as the Trojans jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and didn’t let their foot off the gas.  The Trojans were able to do whatever they wanted against the injury riddled Irish defense, throwing over the top of the defense with ease and running the ball with success.  Notre Dame’s offense continued its subpar play which led to Malik Zaire getting an opportunity to show what he can do.  The following players stood out in defeat for the Irish:

Greg Bryant:  When Greg Bryant gets carries he delivers.  Bryant has seen his carries limited as he is behind Cam McDaniel on the depth chart despite being a vastly more talented player.  Although Bryant did most of his work when the game was out of reach the Florida native rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries.  Bryant also did a better job of limiting his dancing around and getting the ball up field with authority.

Jaylon Smith:  The Irish defense did not look good against the Trojans but Jaylon Smith had another solid game.  Smith had a team-high 14 tackles to go along with a sack and a pass breakup.  The sophomore did struggle a bit in helping to align the defense which resulted in a lot of easy plays for USC.

Malik Zaire:  Although Malik Zaire didn’t look outstanding in his debut he did enough to make the quarterback controversy more legitimate.  Zaire completed less than 50 percent of his passes but threw for 170 yards and rushed for a touchdown.  He also showed good chemistry with Bryant in the backfield.

Nyles Morgan:  Freshman Nyles Morgan missed the first half of the game because of the carry-over of a targeting foul but still managed to register 11 tackles good for third most on the Irish and was also in on a tackle for loss.  Although Morgan struggled in space covering the athletic Trojan playmakers so did the rest of the Irish defense.

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  1. Storespook 5 years ago

    I’ll give it to the ND fans that were willing to watch the whole game and not throw a TV through the window at the conclusion.

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  2. EJS 5 years ago


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  3. Doug 5 years ago

    A bowl game would allow Zaire and Golson to compete for 15 practices as equals and a preview of spring practice next year. Let the best QB win the job. Let both QBs show off their ability to lead teammates in practice and let their teammates decide with their effort and focus while each QB is leading them.
    This SHOULD be the #1 reason to go to a bowl game. Secondly, give the rest of the underclassmen the chance to audition for starting spots next year and see how they transition that competition in a game day atmosphere.

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  4. 45yearfaithful 5 years ago

    I would like to see one last game this year to possibly end season on a positive note. I have read numerous articles over the years which explain that schools actually lose money participating in some of the bowl games. It looked like to me that Zaire got the ball out much quicker than EG. 1) Maybe due to not reading through all the progressions. 2) Toned down play calling. Which IMHO needs to be done regardless of who QB is. 3) Zaire saw open receiver sooner. He did play with much more energy than EG. I agree with those above about O-line weakness causing EG problems. Adding the over coaching too. I repeat Kelly calls a crappy game. Can build a team though. Need to address injuries. S/C coaching problems? Not enough agility and flexibility work? Maybe just fatigue and we need to platoon more. Seems we always are decimated at the end of every year. I really think we need to platoon more. Especially in the trenches. Like to see Kelly simplify the offense next year. To damn cerebral for kids in school and what is supposed to be a contact sport.

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  5. bj 5 years ago

    tony rice
    Passing Rushing
    1986 Prop. 48
    1987 35 85 41.2 663 1 5 90 340 3.8 7
    1988 77 149 51.7 1,389 10 8 134 775 5.8 9
    1989 73 146 50.0 1,221 2 9 188 934 5.0 7
    Totals 185 380 48.7 3,273 13 22 412 2,049 5.0 23

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    1. Ron Burgundy 5 years ago

      Your cut and paste skills are amazing.

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