SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Freshman running back Reggie Bush said he was not out to show Notre Dame what it missed Saturday.
However, Fighting Irish fans at sold-out Notre Dame Stadium were shaking their heads after Bush -- who went to La Mesa Helix High and chose USC over Notre Dame -- broke off an electrifying 58-yard touchdown run on his first carry in USC's 45-14 victory.
With the score tied, 7-7, in the first quarter, and USC at its 42-yard line, quarterback Matt Leinart flipped the ball to Bush on a misdirection play. Bush took off around left end and ran along the sideline to the Notre Dame 42 before cutting back across the field to the end zone for a 14-7 lead.
"All I had to really beat was the defensive end, and it was off to the races from there," said Bush, who finished with a game-high 89 yards rushing in six carries.
Bush did not touch the ball again on offense until the second quarter when he lined up as a wide receiver on first down at the Notre Dame 43. Leinart lofted a pass to him along the right sideline for a 38-yard gain. It would have been a touchdown if Bush had not stepped out of bounds at the five before leaping into the end zone. USC scored anyway two plays later, on a three-yard pass to Hershel Dennis for a 28-14 lead.
"We were practicing that play all week," Bush said. "We just went out and executed it."
Coach Pete Carroll was thrilled that offensive coordinator Norm Chow utilized Bush in several roles.
"I love that opponents can see him run in the open field ... and they better be careful because he can score from anywhere," Carroll said. "That will help us."
Even after two consecutive routs by USC, Notre Dame still leads the series between the teams, 42-28-5.
USC is 10-23-1 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Senior flanker Keary Colbert caught eight passes to increase his career total to 175 and move past Keyshawn Johnson into third place on USC's all-time receptions list.
Kareem Kelly is first with 204 catches. Johnnie Morton is second with 201.
Sophomore Mike Williams had nine receptions and has 129 in his career, seventh on the USC list.
Offensive tackle Jacob Rogers suffered a sprained right knee, defensive end Omar Nazel suffered a dislocated right thumb, running back Andre Woodert injured his right shoulder and linebacker Matt Grootegoed aggravated a high ankle sprain.... USC did not intercept a pass for the first time in 17 games.... USC's 45 points were the most the Trojans have scored against Notre Dame since their 55-24 victory at the Coliseum in 1974.