USC Running Backs vs. ND Front Seven
If Notre Dame has a weakness on their defense, this is it. Teams have been able to move the ball against the Irish defensive front more and more as the season has gone on, and USC has a trio of talented backs lead by Aca’Cedric Ware. On the season, Ware leads the Trojans on the ground with 757 yards on 112 attempts (good for 6.8 yards per carry). He also has 6 scores. Since week 5, he leads all Pac-12 rushers in yards per carry at 7.5. He did leave the UCLA game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for the game on Saturday; certainly something to monitor.
Red-shirt sophomore running back Vavae Malepeai has also been effective when called upon, leading USC with 7 total touchdowns from its skill position players. He has also proven to be their best receiving back, notching 14 catches on the season. When he is in the game, he is equally as dangerous and a player to keep an eye on.
The presumed starter heading into the year after an impressive freshman season, Stephen Carr, is probably the most talented of the bunch, but has been limited with an ankle injury suffered in the Oregon State game. On 81 carries this season, he has 384 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he is likely out vs. Notre Dame. If he suits up, that will give USC a very talented trio of backs to focus on.