Theo Riddick rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Brindza kicked five field goals, and No. 1 Notre Dame secured a spot in the BCS championship game with a 22-13 victory over Southern California on Saturday night.
Everett Golson passed for 217 yards as the Fighting Irish (12-0) completed their first perfect regular season since 1988, earning a trip to Miami on Jan. 7 to play for the storied program's first national title in 24 years.
Although they did little with flash on an electric night at the Coliseum, the Irish woke up more echoes of past Notre Dame greats with a grinding effort in this dynamic intersectional rivalry with USC (7-5), which has lost three of four.
Notre Dame's hard-nosed defense appropriately made the decisive stand in the final minutes, keeping USC out of the end zone on four plays from the Irish 1 with 2:33 to play.