LOS ANGELES – Notre Dame started Saturday night’s game almost exactly how it wanted to as the Irish lead USC 10-0 after the first quarter.Notre Dame opened the game hitting all the right spots on offense, until it got deep in Trojan territory.
The Irish sprinted down to the Trojans’ 8 on six plays, but Notre Dame’s opening push ran out of steam there as Kyle Brindza completed the game’s first series with a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 11:25 left in the opening quarter.
Notre Dame went ahead 10-0 on its next possession. The Irish marched 87 yards on 12 plays with Theo Riddick capping the scoring drive with a 9-yard TD run right up the middle with 1:48 left in the first quarter.
The drive was kept alive by tight end Tyler Eifert making a spectacular juggling catch on third-and-9 from USC’s 24 to get Notre Dame to the 11.
Irish quarterback Everett Golson completed 7 of 8 passes for 100 yards in the first quarter.
USC quarterback Max Wittek, starting in place in the injured Matt Barkley, missed his first three passes but hit 4 of his next 4 passes and has the Trojans on the Irish’s 11 to start the second quarter.