The USC Trojans lead the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 49-14, after three quarters at the Coliseum on Senior Day.
Cody Kessler produced an outstanding performance through three quarters with six touchdowns and 372 yards passing.
Everett Golson had a day to forget with an interception and a fumble lost and just 75 yards passing before being replaced by Malik Zaire. The back up threw for 119 yards and rushed for a touchdown in relief.
The Trojans started the half with the ball and a commanding lead to build upon. Driving down the field with the same ease they displayed early in the game, USC converted a fourth and nine from the 30 to set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Randall Telfer.
Two key drops by Notre Dame receivers returned the ball to the Trojan offense, which promptly drove down the field for another score. Justin Davis cut past a defender at the line of scrimmage then burst through open field for the 16-yard touchdown.
Notre Dame responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Greg Bryant before the third quarter ended.
In the first half, the Trojans jumped out to a big lead as Kessler torched the Irish secondary for five touchdowns.
The first of his scoring throws was overturned when the officials determined JuJu Smith lost the ball after a diving catch. Instead, Kessler’s first score was a 48-yard bomb to George Farmer, who recorded a second touchdown grab a few minutes later on a 31-yard pass.
Adoree’ Jackson also got in on the action, catching a 16-yarder over the middle for the score.
With a 21-point lead after the first quarter, the Trojans held a commanding lead and expanded on it when Corey Robinson let a pass from Golson slip through his hands and into Gerald Bowman’s lap.
Darreus Rogers caught a six-yard touchdown from Kessler to make it 28-0 before two more seniors teamed up to tighten the screw even more.
J.R. Tavai sacked Golson, popping the ball out of his hands. Hayes Pullard grabbed the loose ball out of the air, setting up a 14-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor.
Before the half ended, Notre Dame switched from Golson to the back up Zaire, who led an Irish drive for a touchdown. After rushing for the 11-yard touchdown, Zaire nearly produced more points for Notre Dame but the 44-yard field goal attempt near the end of the half hit the post.
Stay tuned to Reign of Troy for more USC vs. Notre Dame score updates and post-game content.