LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — No. 1 Notre Dame fended off the challenges of University of Southern California to finish 12-0 on the season and booked its place in the National Championship game in Miami with a 22-13 victory on Saturday night.
The Fighting Irish came up big in the closing minutes of the game with some superb defensive plays, led by Te’o, Manti.
“I’m so proud of my great players and great coaches for the way we fought to get a great win and go undefeated this year,” Brian Kelly, head coach of Notre Dame said after the win.
Notre Dame tallied some 438 total yards with 24 first downs in the win, while running back Theo Riddick was big on the night with 146 yards and a touchdown.
Field goals were the biggest contribution to the scoring for Kelly’s team, with Kyle Brindza even coming up big with a career long 52-yard kick, which had given his team a 16-10 lead late in the second quarter.
The Irish will now face the winner of the Alabama vs Georgia SEC Championship game.
Notre Dame vs. USC Scoring Summary
1st Quarter ND – USC
11:34 ND FG
Kyle Brindza kicked a 27-yard field goal
3 – 0
2:22 ND TD
Theo Riddick rushed up the middle for 9 yard gain (Kyle Brindza made PAT)
10 – 0
2nd Quarter ND – USC
15:00 USC TD
Max Wittek passed to Robert Woods down the middle for 11 yard gain (Andre Heidari made PAT)
10 – 7
9:29 ND FG
Kyle Brindza kicked a 29-yard field goal
13 – 7
4:33 USC FG
Andre Heidari kicked a 39-yard field goal
13 – 10
0:01 ND FG
Kyle Brindza kicked a 52-yard field goal
16 – 10
3rd Quarter ND – USC
1:18 ND FG
Kyle Brindza kicked a 33-yard field goal
19 – 10
4th Quarter ND – USC
9:29 USC FG
Andre Heidari kicked a 21-yard field goal
19 – 13
6:02 ND FG
Kyle Brindza kicked a 19-yard field goal
22 – 13