What a week it has been. Tomorrow is finally gameday and we can put everything behind us that happened this week. Here is our staff's take on Notre Dame vs. USC.
Trajuan Briggs: ND 35 USC 21
Nick Dempsey: Notre Dame 30 - USC 24. USC rarely loses two games in a row. In recent history Notre Dame regularly loses the week after playing Navy. The last time USC brought in an interim head coach they came out firing on all cylinders but still lost to Notre Dame. Notre Dame is also looking for revenge after USC blew them out last season. Recent history, does not really help us here. USC should come out strong looking to win one for Sark while putting the distractions of the past several days behind them. The Trojans and Notre Dame have both struggled to stop the run at times this season. Expect both teams to run the ball often. I'm just not sure USC can find a way to slow down C.J. Prosise and the Irish, but a fired up and highly motivated Trojan squad will put up a huge fight. Notre Dame wins a tight one at home unless the Trojans have several players step up big time and make game changing plays.If USC comes out flat or uninspired, however, then prepare for a long night.
Andrew Green: This game is going to come down to tempo. If the teams move fast and the QBs have clean pockets, Notre Dame will run with it. Brian Kelly is one of the best offensive coaches in the FBS and when his offense has its timing under control, they are tough to stop. The home crowd will be raucous and probably rain down offensive drinking chants to the Trojans similar to that of the Philadelphia Flyers fans shouting "she said no" at Patrick Kane on Wednesday. USC needs to make this game ugly. The weather is going to be cold but clear. If the Trojan defense can hit DeShone Kaiser in the mouth (legally, of course) and force 2 turnovers, they should have enough. They have played terrible every time the fan base thinks they’re good, and great when we’re down on them. This is a down week, so I am expecting USC to come out swinging. On the 10th anniversary of the Bush Push, USC will win a tight one: 31-26.
Julian Lopez: After a terrible loss at home last Thursday, I think that the Trojans will come out inspired and play not only for themselves, but for Coach Helton. The injuries at wide receiver is a huge cause of concern as we know Smith-Schuster will be double-teamed so who will step up? I hope USC realizes that they have tight ends and that they can use them. In the end, the Irish squeak one out 34-27 as C.J. Prosise has a fantastic day.
Briggs: Notre Dame passes for 325yds and rushes for over 175.
Green: Brian Kelly embraces his inner leprechaun and spends commercial breaks being the team mascot. Also, the USC stable of running backs will go for over 200 yards against a strong ND rushing defense.
Lopez: A tight end scores a touchdown because well... the receiving core is banged up and someone has to step up.