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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Instant Analysis: Irish 22, USC 13

By Matt Fortuna


LOS ANGELES -- Notre Dame is going to the national title game. The Irish took care of business Saturday night at USC, 22-13, and they can book their tickets to South Florida, where they will likely play the winner of next week's SEC title game. USC, meanwhile, ended its disappointing regular season with loss No. 5.

Here's how the action inside the Coliseum went down.

It was over when: USC ran eight plays inside the 10-yard line, including penalties, and Notre Dame stopped the Trojans -- getting the ball back with 2:33 left and a nine-point lead. Typical Irish defense.

Game ball goes to: Theo Riddick carried the Irish every step of the way, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Stat of the game: Notre Dame averaged 5.3 yards per carry, marching up and down the field successfully before several red zone gaffes.