Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Theo Riddick ran for 146 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown while Kyle Brindza buried five field goals as No. 1 Notre Dame booked a seat in the BCS championship game with a 22-13 victory over USC Saturday at Los Angeles Coliseum.
Notre Dame will face the winner between Alabama and Georgia in Miami on Jan. 7. The Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs will play for the SEC title in Atlanta Dec. 1.
For only the second time in school history, Notre Dame has opened a season with 12 straight victories. The last time that happened was 1988, when the Irish won all 12 of their games en route to the national title.
Everett Golson completed 15 of 26 passes for 146 yards for his 10th straight win as a starter, the second-most in school history, behind Bob Williams, who holds the university record with victories in his first 11 career starts.
Tight end Tyler Eifert tallied 69 yards on four catches while linebacker Manti Te’o had five tackles and an interception to help the Fighting Irish deal USC its fifth loss in 12 games.
Te’o joined Bob Crable as the only Notre Dame players to collect 100 or more tackles in three separate seasons. Te’o also tallied seven interceptions this season, which leads the team, ranks second in the FBS and leads all linebackers across the nation.
“Well, that’s who we are,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said after the win. “It’s been our defense all year. Our offense is able to manage enough points.”
Max Wittek completed 14 of 23 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown but had two interceptions in his first career start for the Trojans in place of injured Matt Barkley.