Sweeping up after loss to USC
Brian Kelly said quarterback Tommy Rees hyperextended his knee in the third quarter of Saturday night's loss to USC.
The Notre Dame coach said the injury was similar to the injury Rees suffered against Miami in last year's Sun Bowl. In that game, Rees returned to the game, as he also did a against the Trojans. The sophomore, who completed 23 of 37 passes for 190 yards one interception, is expected to play against Navy next week.
The interception came after 135 straight attempts, which is the third longest such streak in school history.
"I don't anticipate it being much of an issue," Rees said.
George Atkinson III's 96-yard kickoff return was the longest Notre Dame return since Julius Jones went 100 yards against Nebraska in 2000. Atkinson III also became the first Notre Dame player to return two kicks for touchdowns in the same season since Allen Rossum in 1997.
A great block by Justin Utupo helped spring him.
"Whenever a big play on special teams occurs, you hope to spark the whole team, everybody, offense and defense to get a rally going," Atkinson III said. "That happened coming out, but we just didn't finish it like we should have."
THIS AND THAT
Freshman Andrew Lynch started at defensive end for senior Ethan Johnson, who did not play for the second straight game because of an ankle injury. ... Players wore stickers on their helmets honoring Xavier Murphy, who was a senior manager for the football team last year and an intern this year. Murphy died of leukemia Oct. 11. ... Safety Zeke Motta suffered a concussion. His status for next week is unknown.
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