SOUTH BEND, IND. — USC tight end Anthony McCoy enjoyed a career game on Saturday in the sixth-ranked Trojans' 34-27 victory over No. 25 Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium.
McCoy, a senior, caught five passes for 153 yards and set up two touchdowns and a field goal. His yardage was the most by a tight end in USC history, school officials said.
"Statistically, it was my best game, but you always have stuff to sharpen up," he said. "I could have done better in the blocking game, which is real key."
McCoy turned a mid-range, third-quarter pass from quarterback Matt Barkley into a 60-yard gain by dragging defenders 15 yards to the five-yard line.
Big day for Barkley
Barkley passed for a season-best 380 yards, benefiting from several long catch-and-run plays by receivers.
He completed 19 of 29 passes, including touchdown-pass plays of 20 and 41 yards to Damian Williams. He had one pass intercepted.
"He's doing everything any of the quarterbacks that have played for us have done," Coach Pete Carroll said. "I'm not saying he's better than Carson [Palmer] or Matt [Leinart].
"He's capable of doing anything their offense was doing when they were playing in the middle of their careers. That's remarkable. We haven't seen anything like that."
This, Bud, is for you
Carroll was thrilled former Minnesota Vikings' coach Bud Grant attended the game -- especially given how it ended.
Carroll was defensive backs' coach on Grant's Vikings' staff in 1985.
"He used to say, 'All you want to do is give your team a chance to win on the last play of the game,' " Carroll recalled. "I couldn't wait to run over and tell him after the game was over: 'You got it; here it is.' "
Notre Dame has played five straight games that have been decided by a touchdown or less. Junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen was trying to lead the Irish to their fourth consecutive come-from-behind victory.
OK, so what if Notre Dame had scored in the final seconds to cut the USC lead to one point?
Would the Irish have kicked the extra point to send the game to overtime or tried to win with a two-point conversion?
"I was going to use my last timeout to make that decision," Coach Charlie Weis said. "I was torn."
Next for the Irish
Notre Dame doesn't have time to wallow in Saturday's loss. Next week, the Irish host Boston College, which has won its last six against the Irish.
Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and safety Taylor Mays each had 10 tackles for the Trojans. End Everson Griffen was credited with two sacks, but was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after one of them. . . . Fullback Stanley Havili suffered a dislocated shoulder but returned to the game. Carroll said guard Alex Parsons suffered a concussion.