Predictions: Notre Dame-USC


Nov. 27, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Robert Hughes (33) carries the ball for a touchdown as USC Trojans safety Marshall Jones (27) defends in the fourth quarter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Notre Dame won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

USC Trojans

November 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm


Last Meeting: USC 31-Notre Dame 17

Line: Notre Dame (-5.0)

Lead Editor Andrew Hall: Notre Dame 27-USC 17

Staff Writer Nick Combs: Notre Dame 28-USC 27

Staff Writer Tim Colin: Notre Dame 40-USC 13

Podcast Co-Host Brett Arney: Notre Dame 24-USC 3

With USC having Matt Barkley out for the game against the Irish, their pass offense will take a hit, but how big of one? Max Wittek the redshirt freshman will take the reins and he will still have 2 very good wide receivers out on the edges in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Before this week USC was 26th in the nation in scoring offense averaging 36.1 points per game. The Trojans are 66th in rushing offense, which might be more of a factor since they will be starting a freshman quarterback on Saturday. What takes the biggest hit is the 20th ranked passing offense in the nation averaging 307 yards per game. Total offense USC ranks 27th with 467.5 yards per game, which will be the second best offense Notre Dame has faced this year (Oklahoma 11th ranked offense).

You combine Woods and Lee and they account for 144 points on the season for the USC offense (36%). They will make their plays, but if the Notre Dame’s front seven can put pressure on the redshirt freshman and force him into bad decisions then the Irish will be successful.

The USC Trojans Defense is allowing 24.8 points per game and 20.8 points per game at home. The Trojans are allowing 150.45 yards on the ground to opponents. Also, Southern California allows 241.7 yards through the air. This total adds up to 392.2, which ranks the Trojans 59th in the country. When USC plays an opponent ranked in the AP Top 25, they are allowing 40.3 points per game. Despite the bad publicity that USC gets about its defense or lack there of, they actually have a few playmakers to keep an eye on Saturday.

Notre Dame should be able to move the ball effectively if they stay physical. The Fighting Irish should run the ball in power formations and challenge the Trojans to play their style. It seems like Notre Dame will be very successful in doing that.