Trojan Football Falls To Irish, 27-16

Oct 20, 2001

Associated Press Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Carlyle Holiday has the Notre Dame offense runningagain and the Irish winning again.

Holiday fell 2 yards shy of his third straight 100-yard rushing gameSaturday as Notre Dame (3-3) overcame an 11-point deficit to beat Southern Cal27-16 Saturday for its third straight victory after its first ever 0-3 start.

Holiday, making his fourth start, had a 43-yard run to set up a field goal,a 35-yard TD run, and a 42-yard pass - Notre Dame's longest of the season.

'He's a weapon every time he touches the ball,' Irish coach Bob Daviesaid.

The Irish lost 24-3 to Texas A&M in Holiday's first start, but he onlyplayed the first half because of a neck injury. He's led the Irish in rushingin each of their victories.

'He is very mobile,' Southern Cal safety Troy Polamalu said. 'They shouldprobably put him at tailback. He's a great runner and hard to bring down.'

Notre Dame's two leading career rushing quarterbacks, Tony Rice and JariousJackson, had only two 100-yard rushing games each in their careers.

The Irish, who had just 269 yards rushing in their opening three losses,have rushed for at least 200 yards in each of their victories. They had 208yards against the Trojans (2-5) on Saturday.

'I feel we can run the table as long as we execute and play hard,' Holidaysaid.

Holiday was 9-of-12 passing for 133 yards.

The Irish were in trouble early against the Trojans, falling behind 14-3.Chad Pierson caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer when Irishcornerback Vontez Duff mistimed his jump on an interception attempt. TheTrojans then scored on a 20-yard pass from Palmer to Keary Colbert after theball was snapped while Notre Dame's defense was still in the huddle.

'We tried to make a perfect call instead of a call. It's embarrassing,'Davie said.

The momentum of the game switched, however, on a failed fake punt bySouthern Cal late in the second quarter. Trojan coach Pete Carroll said hedidn't call the fake, but punter Mike MacGillivray has the option if he sees anopening. MacGillivray was tackled for no gain by Shane Walton.

'There was a swing there,' Carroll said.

MacGillivray said he thought he saw an opening on the right.

'I was hoping to get something going,' he said.

Instead, it was the Irish who got going. The Irish scored four plays lateron a 4-yard run by Terrance Howard, who has played sparingly since fumbling onthe opening play against Nebraska in the opener.

The Trojans went ahead 16-10 early in the third quarter following a fumbleby Holiday, who had three. The Irish appeared to have the Trojans stopped atthe 30. But on fourth-and-6, Palmer threw a pass to Keary Colbert, who broke atackle and ran for another 20 yards before being tackled at the 1. The Irishstopped the Trojans on three straight plays, however, and Southern Cal had tosettle for an 18-yard field goal by David Davis to move ahead 16-10.

'That was a big, big momentum swing,' Davie said. 'It may have been thebiggest series of the game.'

The Irish outscored the Trojans 24-3 the rest of the way, starting with aneight-play, 71-yard TD drive capped by Holiday's 35-yard touchdown run.Holiday, who left the game briefly with a bruised knee early in the game, ranan option right and broke two tackles to score.

'We switched up and were able get key blocks on the outside,' Holidaysaid.

The Irish finally put the game away when Julius Jones, who ran for 95 yardson 21 carries, scored on a 5-yard TD run with 1:21 left. The score was set upby Palmer's fumble.

Sunny Byrd, filling in for injured Sultan McCullough, had 62 yards rushing,48 of it in the first half. Southern Cal finished with 60 yards rushing.

The loss was by the largest margin of the season for the Trojans, whose fourprevious losses had been a combined 14 points.

'Every game we play comes down to the wire,' Palmer said. 'We justhaven't been able to pull one out.'

The defeat leaves Southern Cal a loss away from its second straight losingseason. The Trojans haven't had consecutive losing seasons since 1960-61.

'This is a very difficult loss because of how much was on the line and howmuch this game meant to the players and the school,' Carroll said.

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