USC vs. Notre Dame Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the USC vs. Notre Dame fearless prediction and game preview.
USC (6-1) vs. Notre Dame (5-1) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
It’s one of the best rivalries in all of sports, and now it matters again.
America, welcome back to Notre Dame.
Underappreciated by the pollsters and ignored in the national discussion, in one way or another, the Irish are a wild-card in the College Football Playoff race.
They still have a slew of big games ahead to deal with – NC State, Miami, Stanford – but at the very least they can yuck someone else’s yum.
USC has been fine, but it’s hardly been the amazing juggernaut many predicted before the season. It’s had to work way too hard in game after game, getting nailed by Washington State a few weeks ago and coming off a dogfight against Utah.
With a suddenly-dangerous date at Arizona State up next, and with a battle against Arizona to follow, there’s still work to do no matter what.
But now it’s time for the Trojans to start looking the part.
The schedule has been challenging, but USC can make a huge statement that it’s back in the hunt for really big things.
Or Notre Dame could make a case that it deserves to be ranked somewhere just behind Georgia, showing that it’s in the race for the CFP, too.
It has the makings of yet another classic.
One Reason Why USC Will Win
Even through injuries and a few bumpy moments early, the USC defensive front has been a rock.
It was powered over a bit by Western Michigan to start – the Broncos ran for 263 yards – but that’s been about it. Stanford and Bryce Love had a little success, but the team only came up with 170 yards in the follow up.
No one else has hit the 170-yard mark.
Fantastic at getting behind the line, USC brings a steady stream of pressure – that’s a must to slow down the Irish running game.
The Notre Dame backfield is gashing teams with ten-mile wide holes to fly through, but the USC back seven should be able to hold its own The key is a front four that should be able to attack and stop a few big plays before they start – at least from time to time.
Georgia was able to come up with a season-high nine tackles for loss against the Irish, and Notre Dame was held to a season-low 55 yards on the ground averaging just 1.5 yards per pop.
USC’s D won’t quite do that, but it’ll win its share of battles.
One Reason Why Notre Dame Will Win
Takeaways. The Irish stayed alive – at least in some ways – against Georgia with two takeaways, and they’ve yet to lose the turnover battle this season.
The offense will give it up from time to time – the O has turned it over twice in three games – but the defense has made a huge improvement from last season with the way it’s able to make big things happen.
Notre Dame for forced 14 turnovers so far, and USC has given it up 16 times – two or more in each game.
Even when Sam Darnold isn’t throwing picks the team is having a hard time not screwing up, losing three fumbles last week against Utah.
The Trojan defense is doing its part to to come up with big plays of its own to make up for most of the errors, but on the road against a team that makes everyone pay for their sins, Darnold and company have to be nearly flawless – and they won’t be.
What’s Going To Happen
This is the moment Notre Dame has been waiting for ever since it walked off the field at the end of the Georgia game.
Losing stinks, but after the thriller of a game, the Irish acted like a team that wasn’t just happy to have played an elite team tough. This is the week it shows that it’s a special team of its own.
Josh Adams and the Notre Dame ground game will do a wee bit more than Ronald Jones and a USC rushing attack that won’t get as much pub coming into the game, but will have some big moments, too.
Darnold was fantastic in last year’s win over the Irish. It was the only time in a stretch of 12 games he didn’t throw an interception, with the run broken last week with an error-free game against the Utes.
In South Bend, two Darnold interceptions will turn into points, the Irish offensive line will take over on a few key drives, and the defense will hang on for dear life in the final moments in a classic.
USC vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Notre Dame 34, USC 27
Notre Dame -4, o/u: 60.5
5: Deshaun Watson
1: Aaron Rodgers … 2
Must See Rating
5: Curb Your Enthusiasm
1: Boo 2! A Madea Halloween … 5