Despite USC’s 5-6 record, Notre Dame football has its hands full with a talented roster. Here’s who the Irish will have to keep under wraps Saturday.
The only thing standing between Notre Dame and their first College Football Playoff berth is a battle with storied rival, Southern Cal. The Irish travel to The Coliseum to take on the Trojans, a place where they have not won since 2012 — the last time they played for a shot at the National Title.
There is no denying that USC has struggled throughout the duration of the year. But in a rivalry of this magnitude, it is not uncommon for players on a sub-par team to step up in big ways. Here are the Trojans that could provide the Irish with some speed bumps as they truck towards the College Football Playoff.
JT Daniels, Quarterback
Daniels has completed 57.6 percent of his passes on the year and has thrown for 13 touchdowns. He is a true freshman, and while he has shown flashes of brilliance, he has also exhibited his inexperience.
He has thrown 10 interceptions, often forcing throws downfield when there are much easier throws that would keep the chains moving. While his arm strength is a component of his game that coaches are excited about, he has struggled to marry this strength with good decision making.
Daniels is also rather one-dimensional. With -131 yards rushing on the year, he poses no threat whatsoever as a runner. As long as the Notre Dame defensive front can impose its will and pressure Daniels, he should become a non-factor. The only concern will arise if the Irish give Daniels all the time in the world. This is where he could potentially air the ball out and fashion an explosive play or two.