USC vs. Notre Dame 2017: Studs and duds from the blowout

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images /
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Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

The Trojans went on the road to take on the Irish on Saturday night and were crushed 49-14. Let’s look at the studs and the duds from USC vs. Notre Dame.

USC continued its season-long habit of shooting itself in the foot on Saturday as the men of Troy were completely embarrassed by the Fighting Irish.

However, this time they did so against a team capable of capitalizing on those mistakes and were blown out.

Let’s take a look at the studs and the duds from the Trojan’s second loss of the season:


The Notre Dame offensive game plan

Notre Dame had the perfect game plan to come out and attack USC. If you have been paying attention to USC, you might have noticed some of their flaws. Even though the Trojans had won in back-to-back weeks, a major issue for the defense had been keeping contain. Notre Dame came out after the USC turnover, attacked the edge, and did so all night.

Then once USC tried to adjust by using Jordan Iosefa as an outside defender, the Irish adjusted again. They switched from the edge-attacking plays and focused on dive and read option plays.

This kept USC off balance all night. When they tried to stop Adams on the dive, Wimbush kept it and gashed the Trojans on the outside.

It was a great game plan, as it should have been considering that Notre Dame had an extra week to get ready.

Josh Adams

The Notre Dame running back came into tonight’s game averaging 9.1 yards a carry. Against USC on Saturday night, he averaged 10.1. Adams finished the game with 19 carries for 191 yards and three touchdowns.

The Irish offensive line deserves some credit for blowing the USC defensive line off the ball too, but Adams ran hard and with purpose all night, especially on his 84-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Adams’ ability to find the creases in the USC defense and then explode into the open field was tremendous.

USC has typically done a decent job against the run, holding the majority of their opponents to less than their seasonal average. However, they struggled tonight dealing with Adams and the added threat of Wimbush running as well.

Deontay Burnett

The lone bright spot for the Trojans was wide receiver, Deontay Burnett. The junior wide receiver finished the game with eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown against Notre Dame.

Burnett did a good job finding holes in the Irish defense and settling down where Darnold could find him. Even with the emergence of Tyler Vaughns, Burnett continues to be one of Darnold’s most trusted targets.

Burnett also showed tremendous leadership on the sidelines for USC as well. When everything was falling apart for the Trojans, Burnett was being vocal. The wide out was doing his best to keep the young Trojans on offense, and even the veterans on defense engaged. On a night when the normal veteran leadership seemed lacking Burnett stepping up is a nice takeaway.