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Saturday, October 17, 2009
USC survives

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


Wow... a classic. Again. Almost as dramatic as the "Bush Push."

This one will be called "It Ain't Over Until It's Over."

And then it was.

USC prevailed 34-27, but Notre Dame made things more than interesting at the end. Very interesting.

The Trojans celebrated their victory twice with the Fighting Irish just 4 yards away from tieing the game.

The first time, an official review put one more second on the clock. Both times, though, Jimmy Clausen was unable to complete another magical pass.

But Clausen and the Irish surely earned USC's respect, rallying from a 34-14 deficit early in the fourth quarter. This certainly was much different than the last two games, won 38-3 and 38-0 by USC.

Matt Barkley mostly outplayed Clausen, but he threw a critical interception that ignited the Irish comeback.

Barkley completed 19 of 29 for 380 yards with two touchdowns and the pick. Clausen, out of sync most of the game, found his rhythm during the comeback and ended up completing 24 of 43 for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

It would appear the rivalry is close to being hotly contested again.

Nonetheless, USC won its eighth in a row in the series. The Trojans return home next weekend to face a foe they might take seriously: Oregon State, the team that handed USC its only loss in 2008, comes to town.