Los Angeles, CA – Dexter Williams went 52 yards on a go-ahead touchdown run to help No. 3 Notre Dame finish the regular season unbeaten with a 24-17 win over USC Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Notre Dame erased a 10-point deficit and scored 24-unanswered points to put away the Trojans. USC was held scoreless in the second half before Tyler Vaughns’ 20-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in the game
“You can feel good about moving the ball all day long, but at the end of the day it’s about scoring points and we didn’t do that tonight,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “The best is yet to be.”
USC closes the season 5-7 and will not make a bowl game for the first time since 2000.
The Trojans got off to hot start, leading 10-7 at halftime but were plagued by turnovers, penalties and poor play in the second half.
“I would blame Jake Olson’s dog before I blame the coach for a loss,” USC quarterback JT Daniels said. “I think we’re 18-23 year-old men. It’s on us if we want to win football games to go out and win football games.”
Daniels passed for 349 yards and Tyler Vaughns caught 12 passes for 120 yards.
“I watched the men that are out there, both old and young, and see guys that are truly talented individuals that will develop into a quality football team that can win championships,” Helton said. “I know that and I believe that in them.”
Tony Jones Jr. took a short pass 51 yards for a touchdown with 3:09 remaining to finish off Notre Dame’s first perfect season since 2012.
The Trojans worst season in 18 years is over and Helton might be on his way out.