USC vs. Notre Dame fearless prediction and game preview.
USC vs. Notre Dame Broadcast
Date: Saturday, October 12
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
USC (3-2) vs. Notre Dame (4-1) Game Preview
Why USC Will Win
The USC receivers have to take over the game.
Kedon Slovis will get the start coming off time missed from a concussion, and it’s his job to let his targets to all the work. Michael Pittman, Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown are all dangerous and are all able to push the Notre Dame secondary just enough to keep things moving.
This isn’t the most physical of Trojan teams, and the running game isn’t anything great, but it’s good enough. It was able to handle the toughness of Utah, but in South Bend, it’s going to be Slovis and the midrange passing game that has to click.
The Notre Dame secondary has been solid, but it gave up 334 yards to Virginia’s Bryce Perkins, and got cut up on a surgical day from Jake Fromm in the loss to Georgia. The Irish won’t get torched, and they’ll win their share of battles, but USC has to keep the chains moving and hope the defense can hold up. However …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
The Irish have their guy back in the backfield.
Jafar Armstrong ran just twice for ten yards against Louisville before getting hurt, and now he’s back from the abdominal injury that kept him out for the last four games.
The Irish running game was okay – it’s hard to argue with five yards per carry – but it hasn’t been consistent and it hasn’t been the explosive fun show that last year’s was. Armstrong won’t be a workhorse, but if he can provide a good burst on a few big plays, he’ll be doing his job.
The USC offensive line has been able to keep its quarterbacks – for the most part – from taking too many big shots. Notre Dame’s pass rush might have risen up against Virginia, but it’s going to have a bigger problem this week. All it has to do, through, is bother Slovis and make him rush a little bit.
The Trojans will throw picks, especially on the road. They’ve given up nine on the year, and six game in the road losses to BYU and Washington. The opportunities will be there, and again, the Notre Dame secondary has to win its share of battles. It really does help that …
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What’s Going To Happen
The game being in South Bend will be a big deal. USC is 3-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. For whatever reason, the team seems to have the spark it needs in LA, but now it’s going against a rested Notre Dame team coming off a win over Bowling Green when everything went right.
USC won’t be a pushover. The defense will generate pressure on Ian Book, and the run D will be fine, but the Irish lines will take over in the second half. Notre Dame will be a +2 in the turnover battle, surviving a 300-yard day from Slovis with three picks.
USC vs. Notre Dame Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 4.5
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