Trojans Extend Win Streak to Six Games
The Trojans dominated the Irish today in front of a sold out crowd at Notre Dame Stadium and came away with a 38-0 victory. With the convincing win the Trojans have extended their win streak to six games. The Trojans six-game win streak over Notre Dame is the longest streak for the Trojans in the series.
The Trojans have scored at least 34 points in all six games during the current streak.
2002 – USC 44-13
2003 – USC 45-14
2004 – USC 41-10
2005 – USC 34-31
2006 – USC 44-24
2007 – USC 38-0
Charlie Weis vs. Pete Carroll
Pete Carroll improves his mark to an impressive 6-1 against the Fighting Irish. After losing in his first meeting, 27-16 in 2001 at Notre Dame Stadium, Carroll has been a perfect 6-0. In the six-game win streak the Trojans have totally dominated the Fighting Irish.
USC has won by 31 points or more in four of the six wins.
With the blowout loss Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis is now winless in his three games against the rival Trojans.
Sanchez Spreads the Wealth
USC quarterback Mark Sanchez felt right at home in his second game as a starter for the Trojans. "I felt really comfortable this week…I was calm. I got the jitters out last week," Sanchez said. "I just felt like I could go out and play this week. It was great."
Sanchez looked to be at ease all day Saturday, connecting with four different Trojan receivers for touchdowns. Fred Davis, Vidal Hazelton, Allen Bradford and Stanley Havili all had touchdown receptions for the Trojans.
"We've got the talent to give the ball to guys and let them do whatever they want with it," said Sanchez. "So that's exactly what we did."
In his first road game as a starter Mark Sanchez improved in all statistical categories from last week, completing 18 of 31 passes for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Joe Mc Knight Gets First Career Touchdown
Last week against Arizona, Joe McKnight burst onto the national scene with 128 all-purpose yards. McKnight's 45-yard punt return against the Wildcats changed the momentum of the game and led to the Trojans go ahead touchdown.
Today McKnight followed up last week's performance with the first touchdown of his promising young career.
Early in the fourth quarter Mc Knight took the ball and glided 51 yards past the Notre Dame defense for a touchdown giving the Trojans a 38-0 lead. "I knew when I got through the hole I was going to take it," said McKnight.
The freshman tailback rushed for a team-high 68 yards on 7 carries.
Seniors Continue Dominance of Notre Dame
In the locker room following the Trojans 38-0 blowout win the USC seniors in particular were beaming with pride.
"The guys wanted to give them this kind of a going away present. That was a big deal, those guys were really proud," said Pete Carroll. "Some of those guys are fifth year seniors and have never lost to Notre Dame."
"It was really important to them to see if they could make it through their time when they played here and have an opportunity to beat Notre Dame in all their years," Pete Carroll said. "It's a big tribute to Sedrick (Ellis) and Lawrence Jackson and Keith Rivers and Matt Spanos and all those guys, (Drew) Radovich. It really was a big deal to them, and I'm very proud of that."
USC's Defense Gets the Shutout
The Trojans defense dominated Notre Dame in ever way possible on Saturday. USC held the Irish to 165 total yards on their way to their first shutout of Notre Dame since 1998.
When asked about the shutout Pete Carroll replied "You never talk about that stuff; it's kind of like throwing a no-hitter. But it takes a couple of plays here and there to make that happen," Carroll said. "It was a day when we were able to do it, and I loved that we pulled it off."
Notre Dame's Sharpley Feels the Pressure
Notre Dame quarterback Evan Sharpley made the first start of his career Saturday and spent most of the day running for his life.
The Notre Dame offensive line has been awful all year and Saturday was more of the same. The Trojans sacked Sharpley 5 times and pressured him on nearly every pass attempt.
"They're very physical," said Sharpley. "The guys up front on their defense are very talented, like I've been saying. It's tough to make plays when they have a lot of talented guys."
Hazelton Supplies the Excitement
USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton supplied the play of the game in the third quarter when he took a pass from Mark Sanchez and converted it into a spectacular 48-yard touchdown.
Hazelton caught the pass from Mark Sanchez and weaved his way over and around the entire Notre Dame secondary on his way to the endzone. On the reception Hazelton broke three tackles and left several Notre Dame defenders grasping at thin air.
"It was a phenomenal play. He has run very well with the ball. He's had glimpses of other chances. He's been very creative on the practice field, but that was just a sick play," said Pete Carroll. "I mean, he did every move you've ever heard of, spin, run over guys, cut back, cut back again, cut back again. I can't wait to see it on the highlights film."
The Trojans escaped today's game without suffering any major injuries. The Trojans appear to be getting healthy just in time for the tough part of the Pac-10 schedule.
Quick Facts and Stats
Notre Dame now leads the series 42-32-5
After going two straight weeks without committing an offensive penalty, the Trojans had two penalties within the first minute of the game.
Clay Mathews came up with a blocked field goal early in the second quarter.
The 38-point win is USC's largest victory margin over Notre Dame.
Linebacker Rey Maualuga had 2 sacks against Notre Dame.
Luthur Brown and Kyle Moore tied for the team lead with 6 tackles.
Kevin Ellison had the Trojans only pass interception.