Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 55 of 111

IN THE TRENCHES ANDREW OWENS W ith 9:40 remaining in the third quarter, the game looked like it might be a tale of "same old Notre Dame" that fans have become all too accustomed to in recent sea- sons. An opportunity lost and a season with promise replaced by an endless supply of what-ifs. After Notre Dame stood four yards away from a 28-10 lead and proverbial knockout punch of USC, the tables had turned by the third quarter, when the Trojans snatched a 31-24 lead over the Irish. Then, the following performance ensued from Notre Dame's defense: Punt. Punt. Interception. Interception. That four-drive sequence powered a come-from-behind win that helped the Irish improve to 6-1 and stay in the discussion for the four-team Col- lege Football Playoff. The 10-point win didn't come with- out some sloppiness and another shaky defensive performance, but on a weekend that came and went with several teams falling from playoff con- tention, the Irish survived. Notre Dame is a very good, albeit flawed team. The good news for the Irish faithful is that there are no su- perpowers in college football this year and 11-1 might be good enough to sneak into the field. Mental Toughness Keys Victory Junior defensive end Isaac Rochell and the Irish shook off some sloppy play and a second-half deficit to top USC 41-31 and stay alive in the College Football Playoff discussion. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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