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Saturday, October 17, 2009
Trojans, Irish trade big plays


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After a defensive-minded first half, we've finally had a couple of big offensive plays.

USC scored on a 41-yard receiver screen to Damian Williams, who ran in untouched thanks to some great upfield blocking.

But Notre Dame answered as Jimmy Clausen threw a perfect 46-yard strike to Golden Tate, who made a tough catch between a corner and a safety for the touchdown. It wasn't really open, but Clausen and Tate have such good chemistry that they made it work. Notre Dame recovered two of its own fumbles and got a big celebration penalty on Everson Griffen after his first-play sack on that drive.

That was the first big offensive play by Notre Dame, and it got the crowd back into it. This is still a game, which is what the Irish had hoped for at this point.