SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Tommy Rees threw two touchdowns before leaving the game with an injury and Notre Dame snapped a five-game home losing streak to USC with a 14-10 victory on Saturday night.
Rees was 14-of-21 passing for 166 yards with TD throws to Troy Niklas and TJ Jones in the first half. Rees left the game when he was sacked by USC linebacker Lamar Dawson in the third quarter and didn’t return.
USC managed just 121 total yards of offense in the second half. After converting both third-down conversions on their opening scoring drive, the Trojans went 0 of 11 the rest of the game.
The Irish (5-2) beat the Trojans (4-3) for the third time in the past four games.
Marqise Lee, who sat out USC’s game against Arizona with a sprained knee, had two catches for 18 yards in the first half but didn’t play in the second half.
Silas Redd, the Penn State transfer who missed the first five games with a knee injury, got the bulk of the carries in the first half with leading rusher Tre Madden out with an injured hamstring. Redd had just two carries for five yards in the third quarter. He finished with 19 carries for 112 yards.
With Rees out, the Irish attempted just four more passes but none of them came close as the Irish could muster just 47 yards of offense in the second half.
Cam McDaniel led the Irish rushing game with 92 yards on 18 carries.
USC’s Cody Kessler was 20-of-34 passing with an interception. Nelson Agholor caught six of those passes for 39 yards.
USC was hampered by 11 penalties for 95 yards, along with Andre Heidari’s missed field goals of 40 and 46 yards, leaving him 2 of 7 on field goals of 30 yards or more this season.
Notre Dame running back Amir Carlisle, who played as a the Trojans’ kick returner against Notre Dame two years ago, is believed to be the second person to play on both sides of the rivalry. The other was Speedy Hart, who played for Notre Dame in the “Green Jersey Game” in 1977 and for USC in 1980. Carlile finished with 12 yards on three carries.