Added win does not yield bowl destination
Laura Myers | Tuesday, November 30, 2010
LOS ANGELES — Notre Dame will learn of its bowl destination and opponent Sunday. This week, players will work out but will not practice.
After the game Saturday, Irish coach Brian Kelly did not speculate on where or who the Irish would play in a bowl.
“Suffice to say I think our kids are excited about playing and looking for an eighth win,” he said.
Sophomore linebacker Manti Te’o acknowledged that Notre Dame’s 7-5 record would probably take the Hawaii Bowl out of the picture, but said he wasn’t disappointed about going somewhere other than his home state.
“It doesn’t matter as long as we have another football game,” Te’o said.
Junior receiver Michael Floyd and senior safety Harrison Smith were named captains for the game against USC, the third straight game in which they were the two captains. Floyd has been captain for five games this season, and Smith four.
All four games under Smith’s captaincy have been wins, while the only loss while Floyd was captain was against Tulsa.
Catching the records
With his touchdown catch in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, Floyd moved into a second-place tie on Notre Dame’s career touchdown receptions list. He is now even with former Irish receiver Golden Tate at 26 touchdowns, and needs one more to tie former receiver Jeff Samardizija, who had 27 touchdown receptions in his career.
Starting without the football
Notre Dame won the coin toss before the USC game but elected to defer and begin the second half with the ball. It was the first time this season the Irish did not start the game with the football. It meant little; the Trojans went three-and-out in their first possession, and Notre Dame ended its first drive of the second half with an interception after just two plays.
The 7-3 lead Notre Dame achieved early in the second quarter was the first time Notre Dame had led against USC since it led 31-27 late in the game in 2005. The last time the Irish had given up just three points in a half to the Trojans was in the second half of the teams’ 1999 contest, which Notre Dame won 25-24.