Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 28, 2013 Issue

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

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Page 45 of 125

on paper revisited USC Passing Game Vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee was held to two catches for 18 yards — and misplayed what looked like could have been a firstquarter touchdown — before missing the entire second half with an injury. Notre Dame played its modus operandi "keep everything in front" defense. The primary objective was not to get beat over the top off play-action throws. The coverage tightened in the second half and was aided by a stronger pass rush. Some intermediate routes were open to compensate for limiting the "explosives." By lou somogyi Only one of USC's 20 completions netted more than 17 yards (32 by sophomore wideout Nelson Agholar), and the Trojans averaged only 6.0 yards per attempt. When a defense can avoid getting into the 7.0 range, that's a strong performance. Freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith's second-half interception was textbook coverage, senior cornerback Bennett Jackson executed with confidence and sophomore corner KeiVarae Russell's fierce hit that knocked the ball loose from Agholor on fourth-and-eight to end USC's final drive typified the overall quality timing and sound technique in the secondary. Advantage: Notre Dame Junior running back Cam McDaniel recorded a career-high 92 yards on 18 carries, but lost a fumble in the fourth quarter. photo by bill panzica

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