#9 Notre Dame 30-27 Win Over USC Featured FG Heroics, Friction and a Melee

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There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors, the immortal Jim Morrison once said. Notre Dame placekicker Jonathan Doerer, who replaced the school’s all-time leading scorer Justin Yoon this season, is certainly a known known as of now.

Doerer was arguably the best player in tonight’s thrilling 30-27 win by the Irish, as he drained all three of his field goal attempts- from 45, 42 and a career best 52. His heroics were certainly needed as #9 Notre Dame saw themselves facing an uphill climb, field position wise, early and often against the unranked USC Trojans.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian said in his postgame presser that Doerer got a game ball.

All ND three touchdowns scored by the Irish came on long drives of 97, 80 and 75 yards. The three touchdown drives were capped off by tight end Cole Kmet’s ten yard reception from quarterback Ian Book, wide receiver Braden Lenzy’s 51 yard sprint on an end around and Book’s eight yard QB keeper.

If the player of the game wasn’t Doerer, then it was certainly Notre Dame running back Tony Jones, who accounted for nearly a third of his team’s total offense, as he 25 times for 176 yards. The game was also a bit chippy, with all the friction that one would expect from a fierce rivalry grudge match.

A melee, or skirmish, if you will, broke out just after the stroke of halftime.

See below:

The field official announced an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on both Notre Dame and “UCLA,” which led to boisterous laughter in all corners of the stadium.

As the second half wore on, the Fighting Irish faithful at Notre Dame Stadium taunted USC with chants of “UCLA.”

Yes, this is exactly what college football rivalries are all about; especially so when it’s intersectional.

“I see him working his butt off and he’s being rewarded for that,” Book said of Jones. 

“He’s a great tool in our offense, opens up things in the passing game.”

Book also spoke highly of his placekicker and how much he’s developed in 2019.

“He went out there and knew he needed to put up points for us,” said Book of Doerer. “He’s come a long way. really proud of him; seen a lot of growth.” 

Kelly on Notre Dame’s offense taking what the USC defense gave them tonight:

“I could b.s. you all day and say we’re the second coming of the Green Bay Packers rushing attack, but they were in 2 deep and they didn’t want us to throw the ball.”

The Jeweled Shillelagh stays with ND, as the Irish continue to have the upper hand in this series at home.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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