Tim Brown and Allen Pinkett scored touchdowns in a four-minute span of the second quarter yesterday as Notre Dame sloshed to a 19-7 victory over 14th-ranked Southern Cal in a downpour.
John Carney kicked two 45-yard field goals in the third period for the Irish as they beat error-prone Southern Cal in the Los Angeles Coliseum for the first time since 1966.
Notre Dame (7-4) won its last four games and will play in the Dec. 29 Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, facing 11th-ranked Southern Methodist.
The loss, the Trojans' second in a row, put them at 8-3. However, they already had won the Pacific-10 title to clinch a Rose Bowl date with Ohio State Jan. 1.
After the Trojans took a 7-0 lead on Ryan Knight's three-yard touchdown run seven minutes into the second period, Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein directed a 76-yard drive to tie the score. Brown cut across the field, took a short shovel pass from Beuerlein and went around end for 11 yards and a touchdown.
Moments later, Notre Dame linebacker Rick DiBernardo recovered a fumble by Fred Crutcher at the Southern Cal 44 to set up the next score: Pinkett's three-yard run up the middle.
With tackle Mike Gann and safety Hiawatha Francisco leading the Irish defense, the Trojans were scoreless after Ryan's touchdown.
Both of Carney's third-period field goals, coming on a slick, muddy field, followed Irish recoveries of fumbles by Southern Cal quarterback Tim Green. Green, having trouble with the snap from center, fumbled the ball away two other times, and Crutcher lost two fumbles.