USC

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly knew his offense would have to cover for a young defense this season.

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Big 12 had two teams deserving of a spot in the College Football Playoff but was shut out of the inaugural four-team field.

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LOS ANGELES — Notre Dame's already-depleted defense managed to become even thinner in Saturday's disastrous defeat at USC.

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LOS ANGELES — Notre Dame ended its season with an unmitigated disaster, though one with a bit of intrigue.

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1. Red zone success. USC has the profile of a bend-don't-break defense, allowing plenty pass plays of 10 or more yards but stymying opponents in the red zone.

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