Final
  for this game

Weis looks for redemption as Notre Dame visits USC

Nov 29, 2008 - 12:10 PM Notre Dame (6-5) at (5) USC, 8:00 pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- A once-promising season certainly has unraveled quickly for Charlie Weis.

If the embattled Notre Dame coach cannot conjure up a miracle against the school's most hated rival, he might be entering his final days in South Bend.

Weis and the struggling Fighting Irish bid for an unlikely upset Saturday night when they visit fifth-ranked Southern California, which appears primed for another blowout in this annual series.

Coming off a nightmarish 3-9 season in which he coached the Fighting Irish to the worst record in school history, Weis guided Notre Dame (6-5) to wins in five of its first seven games this year.

But Weis once again has come under fire in South Bend following three embarrassing losses in the last four games.

One week after squandering a 14-point halftime lead in a quadruple-overtime home loss to Pittsburgh, Notre Dame dropped a 17-0 decision to rival Boston College on November 8.

The Fighting Irish barely survived a late rally to post a 27-21 triumph at Navy the following week before hitting their low point of the season last Saturday with a 24-23 home loss to lowly Syracuse (3-8).

It marked the first time in school history that Notre Dame, which wasted a 13-point fourth-quarter lead, were defeated by an eight-loss team.

The contest also was marred by an ugly incident in which several Notre Dame players were pelted by snowballs thrown by their own fans.

"I feel sick to my stomach," Weis said after the loss. "Everyone at Notre Dame takes these losses personally, just like they feel good when they win. But right now I feel absolutely miserable for the seniors."

Over the last two years, the Fighting Irish have been miserable under Weis, who has deflected questions concerning his job security despite swirling speculation that Notre Dame could possibly buy out the remaining seven years of his lucrative 10-year contract.

The 14 losses since the beginning of the 2007 campaign are the most in any two-year span for the Fighting Irish, once considered the golden standard of college football.

That loss total figures to increase this week against the high-powered Trojans (9-1), who have won the last six meetings in this once-storied rivalry.

Southern Cal, which is coming off a bye week, still has an outside shot at landing a berth in the BCS championship game.

The Trojans are ranked fifth in the current BCS standings and enter this contest on a seven-game winning streak in which they have yielded a total of just 46 points.

USC also has completely dominated the Irish in their last six meetings, winning by an average margin of 25.8 points. Four of those wins were by at least 31 points.

Judging from Notre Dame's recent performance, Saturday's game could be just as ugly.

"If you don't go with the mind-set (to beat USC), then you're just asking for a massacre," said Weis, whose team has been installed as a four-touchdown underdog.

Southern Cal has not played since November 15, when it overcame a sluggish first half to post a 45-23 victory over Stanford.

Stafon Johnson rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans, who still have a decent chance to win at least a share of their seventh consecutive Pac-10 Conference title.

Oregon State owns the tiebreaker over USC by virtue of its victory against the Trojans on September 25. If the Beavers lose to Oregon this weekend, USC can book a trip to a BCS bowl with a win next Saturday against UCLA.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 0 0 0 3 3
    USC (5) 7 17 7 7 38 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED
    BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK), 10:54.
    USC 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - TD, JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 5:55. USC 14-0
    USC

    Nov 29 11:02 PM



  • TD USC PATRICK TURNER 17 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 38  4th - 7:57Nov 29 10:43 PM



  • TD USC PATRICK TURNER 17 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 38  4th - 7:57Nov 29 10:43 PM



  • TD USC PATRICK TURNER 17 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 38  4th - 7:57Nov 29 10:43 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    PATRICK TURNER 17 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 3
    USC (5) 38 7:57 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 38  4th - 7:57Nov 29 10:43 PM



  • FG NOTRE DAME BRANDON WALKER 41 YD





    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 31  4th - 11:45Nov 29 10:30 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NOTRE DAME
    BRANDON WALKER 41 YD
    NOTRE DAME 3
    USC (5) 31 11:45 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Notre Dame 3, USC(5) 31  4th - 11:45Nov 29 10:30 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 0 0 0 0
    USC (5) 7 17 7 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED
    BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK), 10:54.
    USC 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - TD, JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 5:55. USC

    Nov 29 10:20 PM
  • 25
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 31  3rd - 2:50Nov 29 10:16 PM



  • TD USC C.J. GABLE 1 YD RUN (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 31  3rd - 5:03Nov 29 10:10 PM



  • TD USC C.J. GABLE 1 YD RUN (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 31  3rd - 5:03Nov 29 10:10 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    C.J. GABLE 1 YD RUN
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 0
    USC (5) 31 5:03 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 31  3rd - 5:03Nov 29 10:10 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 0 0 0
    USC (5) 7 17 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED
    BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK), 10:54.
    USC 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: USC - TD, JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN (DAVID
    BUEHLER KICK), 5:55. USC 14-0
    USC

    Nov 29 9:22 PM



  • FG USC DAVID BUEHLER 35 YD





    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 24  2nd - 0:24Nov 29 9:19 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG USC
    DAVID BUEHLER 35 YD
    NOTRE DAME 0
    USC (5) 24 0:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 24  2nd - 0:24Nov 29 9:19 PM



  • TD USC DAMIAN WILLIAMS 12 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 21  2nd - 4:38Nov 29 9:03 PM



  • TD USC DAMIAN WILLIAMS 12 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 21  2nd - 4:38Nov 29 9:03 PM



  • TD USC DAMIAN WILLIAMS 12 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)







    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 21  2nd - 4:38Nov 29 9:03 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    DAMIAN WILLIAMS 12 YD PASS FROM MARK SANCHEZ
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 0
    USC (5) 21 4:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 21  2nd - 4:38Nov 29 9:03 PM



  • TD USC JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 14  2nd - 9:05Nov 29 8:51 PM



  • TD USC JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 14  2nd - 9:05Nov 29 8:51 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    JOE MCKNIGHT 55 YD RUN
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 0
    USC (5) 14 9:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 14  2nd - 9:05Nov 29 8:51 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME 0 0
    USC (5) 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: USC - TD, STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED
    BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK), 10:54.
    USC 7-0

    Nov 29 8:35 PM



  • TD USC STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 7  1st - 4:06Nov 29 8:22 PM



  • TD USC STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)






    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 7  1st - 4:06Nov 29 8:22 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD USC
    STAFON JOHNSON RECOVERED BLOCKED PUNT IN END ZONE
    (DAVID BUEHLER KICK)
    NOTRE DAME 0
    USC (5) 7 4:06 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame 0, USC(5) 7  1st - 4:06Nov 29 8:22 PM
  • 10
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Notre Dame vs. USC(5)Nov 29 9:35 AM
  • 5
    roots
    TyroneSizzle Added 5 roots

    Notre Dame vs. USC(5)Nov 29 8:12 AM