USF up 23-13 on Notre Dame in 4th quarter
UPDATE UPDATE: Yes, really, a second storm delay at 8:41, with USF up 23-13 and 4:21 remaining.
UPDATE: After a two-hour lightning delay at halftime, USF-Notre Dame resumed. B.J. Daniels' 2-yard touchdown pass to Evan Landi put USF up 23-7 in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame cut the lead to 23-13 but missed a 2-point conversion with 7:35 left ..
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- USF stormed out to a 16-0 halftime lead at Notre Dame, and the Fighting Irish are now in the first weather delay in their 123-year history, with more than an hour elapsed since the first half ended, due to severe lightning in the area.
Notre Dame Stadium -- with close to 80,000 fans in attendance -- was completely evacuated by school officials, with both teams sequestered to their locker rooms until officials deem it safe to resume play. Notre Dame announced that a "much more serious" storm was approaching the area, so the delay could continue until night in South Bend, or potentially even Sunday.
USF, a 10-point underdog, has a 16-0 lead because of three Notre Dame miscues -- twice, the Fighting Irish had third-and-goal plays that resulted in turnovers, the first being a fumble stripped by USF safety Jerrell Young that was scooped up and returned 96 yards by cornerback Kayvon Webster, the longest defensive play in Bulls history.
USF got a 49-yard field goal by kicker Maikon Bonani on its next possession, then settled for three again after Terrence Mitchell returned a Notre Dame punt 34 yards. When Notre Dame looked to score again, quarterback Dayne Crist had a pass intercepted by linebacker DeDe Lattimore in the end zone to thwart another drive. After one quarter, USF led 13-0 despite having been outgained 152-62 by Notre Dame.
The Bulls got another break in the second quarter when Theo Riddick fumbled a punt return and USF receiver Victor Marc recovered the fumble on the Notre Dame 19-yard line. For a third time, USF settled for a Bonani field goal and a 16-0 lead. USF's defense stopped Notre Dame again, with sophomore defensive end Julius Forte getting an 11-yard sack to set up a three-and-out on Notre Dame's last possession.
And while the weather delay is a historic one for Notre Dame, so too would be an upset for USF and coach Skip Holtz, who played at Notre Dame in 1986 and spent four years on his father Lou's coaching staff in South Bend from 1990-93. The last time a Notre Dame graduate took a team into South Bend and won was 1940, when Iowa coach Eddie Anderson -- who played with George Gipp in South Bend -- pulled it off.