Marcus Freeman and the Fighting Irish head to USC on Saturday evening for another edition of this historic rivalry. This game hasn’t had much importance in recent years, but with playoff aspirations on the line, this is both teams’ biggest game of the year. Lincoln Riley and USC seemed like a match made in heaven. Bringing Caleb Williams along from Oklahoma seems to have USC back to its glory days. After a disappointing 0-2 start Notre Dame set out to show the country who they were as a football team. Their talent was on display during the Clemson game, and they will be looking for a repeat performance Saturday night.
Brad Powers and Joey Knish recap Week 12 of College Football and preview Week 13. The guys discuss the Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell, Thanksgiving Weekend, and CFB rivalry weekend. Breaking down the Ohio State vs Michigan game, and the USC vs Notre Dame game.
USC's Path To Victory
Simply put, USC can outscore anybody on any given Saturday. Averaging over 500 yards of total offense and roughly 40 PPG, this is one of the best offenses in the country. Everyone knows the struggles of Pac-12 defenses, but USC does play their best defense at home and has a huge advantage in one category. USC has the best turnover margin in the country sitting at +21 on the year. If USC’s defense can force Notre Dame into a mistake, it could be the difference in this game.
Notre Dame's Path To Victory
The Key for the Irish in this game is to control the clock. Keep Caleb Williams and their offense on the sidelines as much as possible. Ranking 17th in total defense, this will be the best defensive team USC has faced. Controlling the clock means running the ball effectively against a USC defense that gives up 4.6 yards per carry and around 150 yards per game. USC ranks second in the country in third down conversions at 54%. If Notre Dame can limit these conversions and get that USC offense off the field, they can win this game.
USC is a 5.5 point favorite against Notre Dame. With USC having much more to play for, and being at home, I believe they win and cover thespread in this rivalry game. Not to take anything away from Notre Dame, I just think USC will win the turnover battle and score heavily at home to stay in the playoff hunt.