USC vs Notre Dame prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 23
USC vs Notre Dame How To Watch
Date: Saturday, October 23
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
How To Watch: NBC
Record: USC (3-3), Notre Dame (5-1)
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USC vs Notre Dame Game Preview
Why USC Will Win
It’s been a rough, rough run for USC.
Clay Helton was fired early on, the team hasn’t been able to settle into any sort of a groove, the Pac-12 title hopes are all but crushed, and everyone just wants to get to 2021 and the new era – whatever that is.
But the team has enjoyed two weeks off, and it’s had a strange way of rising up and adjusting its way to a win to follow every clunker of a loss – and it’s coming off a loss to Utah.
The crazy part is that the team isn’t playing all that poorly. The defensive pressure is starting to ramp up, the passing game continues to produce, and the offense is the best in the Pac-12 in total yards.
Talent-wise, it’s all there to matchup just fine with an Irish team that’s struggling with its consistency – at least with the ground game.
The Notre Dame offensive line isn’t good enough, the quarterback situation is in constant flux, and …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
The passing game should work.
Don’t get too comfortable no matter who’s in at quarterback – Jack Coan is probably going to get the early nod – but the production will be okay against a secondary that got hammered by Utah for over 300 yards a few weeks ago.
USC hasn’t cranked up the pass rush for the entire year – the sacks haven’t been flowing until the last two games.
Yeah, USC has alternated win-loss-win-loss from the start, but the wins have come against the mediocre – San Jose State, Washington State, Colorado – and the losses have come against the mediocre-to-better.
Utah is getting stronger, but the Trojans have yet to play anyone who’s all that great. Outside of the Utes, they haven’t dealt with anyone who’s a rock solid lock to go bowling.
Notre Dame’s win over Purdue looks a whole lot stronger now. It dealt with Wisconsin’s defense, Virginia Tech’s style, and it played okay in the loss to Cincinnati.
What’s Going To Happen
Can the Notre Dame offensive line produce?
No, USC’s defensive front hasn’t been good enough this year overall, but it came up with seven sacks in the last two games and 12 of the 24 tackles for loss on the year.
The Irish allow way too many plays behind the line, but against the Trojans, the defense will make up for the problems.
Don’t expect anything from the USC running game, but Kedon Slovis and the passing attack will keep on producing late.
Notre Dame will get the late takeaway it needs to survive.
USC vs Notre Dame Prediction, Line
Notre Dame 34, USC 27
Line: Notre Dame -6.5, o/u: 58
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
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Must See Rating: 4
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