LOS ANGELES — Notre Dame entered the Coliseum to a clash of boos and cheers from two fan bases fighting for the loudest voice.
No. 1 Notre Dame leads USC at the half, 16-10.
Kyle Brindza kicked a career long 52-yard field goal as the first half ended.
The Irish struck early and quickly, going up 10-0 on USC before the Trojans could react.
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson opened with a 9-play, 66-yard drive that ran out of gas in the red zone. Brindza made a 27-yard field goal to give the Irish an early lead.
The Irish forced three straight incompletions by USC quarterback Max Wittek, a redshirt freshman making his first collegiate start.
Notre Dame punched back with a 12-play, 87-yard drive that featured four straight double-digit yard gains by Golson. Theo Riddick topped the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run.
After starting 0 for 3, Wittek went 5 for 5 for 48 yards and found Robert Woods in the end zone to start the second quarter.
Notre Dame came back with another long drive this one 13 plays for 67 yards but had to settle with another Brindza field goal, which USC matched on its following series.
Golson is 14 for 23 for 182 yards at the half compared to Wittek’s 7 for 11 for 64 yards and one touchdown.