Blue and Gold Illustrated

October 28, 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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20 OCT. 28, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY JACK SOBLE AND TYLER HORKA X avier Watts knew it before everyone else. He knew he stripped the ball from USC freshman running back Quinten Joyner on what would be USC's last possession. The Notre Dame Stadium crowd roared to life when it saw Watts fist-pump like he'd never fist-pumped before in celebration, realizing what the senior safety just did. That was the kind of night Watts had. When he walked into the media room during graduate student quarterback Sam Hartman's postgame press confer- ence, Hartman stopped mid-sentence and made a valid point. "Hey guys," Hartman said. "That guy is pretty good at football." Watts finished his night with 7 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 pass broken up, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery, which he returned 15 yards for a touchdown. He and the rest of Notre Dame's ferocious defense fueled a 48-20 win over USC. "I mean, I don't know," Watts said when asked, plain and simple, what got into him against the Trojans. "Obviously came off the loss from Louisville, so just kind of angry from that. I mean, big ri- valry game. Just wanted to come out and MEGA-WATTS Led by Xavier Watts' career game, Notre Dame hammers USC 48-20

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