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Football: Jarrett torches ND secondary

Kate Gales | Tuesday, November 28, 2006

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Dwayne Jarrett had just seven catches Saturday night.

But three went for touchdowns as the junior accumulated 132 yards against Notre Dame in a 44-24 USC win.

“They’ve never been conservative and I didn’t expect them to do so,” Irish coach Charlie Weis said. “They called an aggressive game and give credit to them and aggressive game plans really come to a positive light when they make plays. Jarrett has those three scores, that makes that aggressive game plan look that much better, when he’s running for those touchdowns.”

Jarrett scored a nine-yard touchdown on the Trojans’ opening drive and added another five-yard score within minutes.

Although Jarrett didn’t score USC’s third touchdown himself, he did have a 25-yard grab to keep the drive going.

“He’s a great player,” Irish quarterback Brady Quinn said. “Every time [USC’s receivers] get a ball in their hands they’re going to do good things. That’s why Jarrett’s broken all the records and done what he’s done there.”

So far in 2006, Jarrett has 55 catches for 742 yards and 10 touchdowns.

As a sophomore in 2005, he had 91 catches for 1,274 yards and 16 scores. Perhaps his most famous was a fourth-and-nine catch that went for 61 yards in the final drive of the Notre Dame-USC game on Oct. 15, 2005. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver, and received All-America honors.

The Irish said they were prepared for the speed and talent of Jarrett and fellow Trojans receiver Steve Smith, but still gave up 265 yards through the air.

“They’re a very talented group of receivers coming in and they really showed that today,” Irish cornerback Mike Richardson said.

Defensive lineman Chris Frome agreed. He also stressed the impact that first-year Trojans starting quarterback John David Booty had on USC’s aerial attack.

“Their receivers were making catches, their quarterback was putting the ball where the receivers could make the plays,” he said. “It’s just disappointing for us now to go back home – it’s a long flight.”

Booty was 17-of-28 with two interceptions and three touchdowns, all to Jarrett. Smith had three catches for 35 yards and Fred Davis had three for 33 yards.

“We knew coming into this game that they were probably going to be some of the best receivers that we’ve seen so far and they proved to be very fast,” Frome said. “We knew what to expect, we couldn’t really perform, execute our plays and our game plan and they could.”

The Irish concluded their regular season Saturday. Next week, Jarrett and the Trojans face crosstown rival UCLA, whom the Irish defeated 20-17 on Oct. 21.