USC collects back-to-back wins over Notre Dame for the first time since it pieced together a three-game winning streak from 1996-98. The Trojans also maintain possession of the Shillelagh Trophy for the second straight year.
The Trojans register their second win over the Irish in the last 11 series games at Notre Dame Stadium and their first since a 20-17 victory on Oct. 18, 1997. The USC win also snaps Notre Dame's seven-game home winning streak vs. Pac-10 schools.
Notre Dame loses consecutive home games for the first time since Sept. 9, 2000, when the Irish fell in overtime to #1 Nebraska, 27-24, following a 31-29 loss to #25 Boston College in the 1999 home finale.
Notre Dame suffers just its second loss in its last 23 games in the month of October and sees its 15-game home winning streak in October come to an end.
The 45 points scored by USC today are the most the Trojans have ever scored at Notre Dame Stadium and the most in the series since a 55-24 win over the Irish in Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 1974.
The 45 points scored by USC today are the second-most ever by a visiting team at Notre Dame Stadium and the most since Purdue posted a 51-19 win on Oct. 1, 1960.
Notre Dame scored 14 points in the first quarter today, its highest output in the opening period since Nov. 18, 2000, when the Irish tallied 14 points in a 45-17 win at Rutgers.
USC's 21 points in the first quarter were the most allowed by Notre Dame in the opening period since Sept. 12, 1998, when Michigan State led 21-3 at the end of one quarter en route to a 45-23 win in East Lansing.
The 35 combined points scored by Notre Dame and USC in the first quarter are the most total points in any quarter of an Irish game since Nov. 16, 1996, when Notre Dame outscored Pittsburgh, 40-0 in the second quarter of a 60-6 win at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Trojans scored 28 points in the first half, the most points allowed by Notre Dame in the first half of a game since Sept. 12, 1998, when Michigan State led 42-3 at the half in East Lansing on the way to a 45-23 victory.
The 42 combined points scored by Notre Dame and USC in the first half are the most in an Irish game since Oct. 21, 2000, when Notre Dame led West Virginia by the same 28-14 score in Morgantown. The Irish went on to win that game, 42-28.
USC had two players with more than 100 yards receiving - Mike Williams finished with 112 yards on nine receptions, while Keary Colbert had 120 yards on eight catches. The last time an Irish opponent had two 100-yard receivers in the same game was Oct. 16, 1999, when USC's Windrell Hayes (107) and R. Jay Soward (101) both cracked the century mark.
With his 51-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, Irish senior Julius Jones broke two school records. He became Notre Dame's career leader in kickoff return yardage with 1,660 yards, topping the previous Irish record of 1,613 yards set by Tim Brown from 1984-87. Jones also now has 71 career kickoff returns, breaking Brown's Notre Dame record of 69 career kickoff runbacks. In addition, Jones now has 2,086 yards in total kick returns (punts and kickoffs combined), putting him three yards away from Brown's school record of 2,089.
Irish sophomore TE Anthony Fasano caught his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter with a diving two-yard reception that knotted the game at 14-14. It was the first TD catch by a Notre Dame tight end since Oct. 27, 2001, when John Owens (now with the NFL's Detroit Lions) caught a five-yard pass from Carlyle Holiday.
Notre Dame junior FS Quentin Burrell came up his first career fumble recovery in the first half and his second takeaway of the season (he had an interception vs. Michigan State).
USC QB Matt Leinart tied a Notre Dame opponent record with his four touchdown passes, matching a mark set by eight other players. The last opposing quarterback to throw four TDs in a game was USC's Carson Palmer last season in Los Angeles.
Leinart also set a career best with his four TD passes in his seventh career start for the Trojans. He previously threw three touchdown passes against BYU and Stanford earlier this season. Leinart also set career highs for completions (26) and passing yardage (351) this afternoon.
In his last three games, Leinart now has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception.
USC WR Keary Colbert (8-120) and Mike Williams (9-112) both moved up the Trojans' career pass catching list today. Colbert now is second with 175 career receptions, while Williams now is seventh with 129 career catches.
In his 20-game collegiate career, USC WR Mike Williams now has 22 touchdown catches - he had a seven-yard scoring grab late in the first quarter today.
For the second consecutive season, and just the third time in the 115-year history of Notre Dame football, the Irish are selecting captains on a game-by-game basis. Today's Irish captains were: DT Darrell Campbell, RB Julius Jones, LT Jim Molinaro and LB Courtney Watson. Molinaro served as a game captain for the fourth time this season, while Watson was a captain for the third time in 2003. Campbell is a two-time game captain this year, while Jones was named captain for the first time this season. Watson has been chosen as a captain six times in his career, while Campbell and Molinaro have served as a game captain four times in his Irish tenure. Jones was making his first career appearance as a team captain this afternoon.
Notre Dame won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half. USC elected to receive, while the Irish chose to defend the South goal.
Today's game marks the 170th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 at the old 59,075 capacity). The USC game also represents the 218th home sellout in the last 219 games (dating back to 1964), the 156th sellout in the last 179 games and the 20th consecutive sellout involving Notre Dame. That stretch includes the first 10 games of 1998, the first 11 in '99, the first five in '00, the first nine in '01, all 13 in '02 and the first six in '03.
Counting postseason play, Notre Dame has now had its last 130 games televised on one of four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN), a stretch going back more than 10 full seasons. The last time the Irish didn't appear on one of those four networks was Oct. 31, 1992, when they defeated Navy, 38-7, at Giants Stadium. That game was only shown locally in South Bend on WNDU-TV.