Finding a way to win has become the Notre Dame mantra in the last half of their season.

It is not pretty, nor is it impressive, but it will sure warm the cockles of the hearts of Notre Dame fans everywhere.

The eight year nightmare against USC is over and amid the rain and wind in Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles Brian Kelly paid due tribute to his freshman quarterback Tommy Rees, who in spite of everything, made it come right in the end.

"The young man hung in, he was tough when it mattered," he told the media right after.

And indeed he was.

Tommy Rees , the 18-year-old Notre Dame quarterback was having a nightmare second half until the last possession when he led the team down the field and Robert Hughes banged in from the six yard line to give Notre Dame an unlikely 20-16 victory over USC.

Rees seems to have that intangible asset, that abiity to find the end zone when the game is on the line despite making many mistakes along the way.

He is helped of course, by a stellar defense that has come on so much since the early games of the season.Harrison Smith's last second interception was no more than he deserved for a great game.

We saw this new,never say die, Notre Dame against Utah, Army and now against USC.

Despite the three interceptions and the one fumble, Rees ultimately delivered in what was likely the worst game in the series in a very long time between these two historic rivals.

Coach Brian Kelly will be more than pleased with this result. This is how he likes his teams to win, to battle adversity and come through in the end.

He knows Notre Dame were lucky with USC dropping passes all night including what would have been a certain touchdown with just a minute or so left.

In the end all that will matter is that they won and he now has his fifteen practices to get his team ready for a bowl game.

More to the point, he has his quarterback for the future and the beginning of a stiffling defense that will have most of its members returning next year.

Brian Kelly can walk away from his first season at Notre Dame with his head held high.

And so can Tommy Rees who has a very bright future indeed.