By Mike Cherry
LOS ANGELES, California (HawaiiNewsNow) – With a Heisman campaign and a berth to the national championship on the line, Punahou alum Manti Te'o led #1 Notre Dame into the L.A. Coliseum and left with both objectives still intact.
The Fighting Irish punched their ticket to the National Championship game in Miami Saturday with a 22-13 win over USC. Te'o tallied just 5 tackles but once again turned in a pair of impact plays to improve his Heisman chances. In the third quarter, Te'o intercepted red-shirt freshman quarterback Max Wittex who filled in for the injured Matt Barkley.
Then, on 1st and goal from the four yard line, USC running back Silas Redd appeared to have a lane to the endzone but was stopped cold in a collision with Te'o that sent Redd backwards. It was one of two goal line stands in the fourth quarter that Te'o spearheaded.
Fellow Punahou alum, receiver Robby Toma, added two catches for 34 yards and also sprung a big block in Notre Dame's first possession that led to a field goal for the Irish.
Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick carried the ball 20-times for 146 yards and a touchdown, while kicker Kyle Brindza converted 5 of his 6 field goal attempts.
Notre Dame's next game will be for the national title, that's in Miami on January 7th.