USC vs. Notre Dame: Pride on the Line

When the 2013 primetime football schedule was decided last year, buy cialis those in charge likely expected the USC-Notre Dame game to be a highlight of the football season.  The annual Condoms vs. Catholics matchup was scheduled as one of the rare night games at Notre Dame stadium featuring a team that had made it to the national championship the previous year and a team that was making a move to return to the spotlight after NCAA sanctions and coaching changes.  Both storied programs were ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll – sounds like a midseason game to mark on the calendar.  So what went wrong?

Notre Dame’s problems began this offseason when starting quarterback, remedy Everett Golson, buy viagra was expelled for academic reasons.  Add to that a mediocre start to the season by both teams capped off by a midseason firing of USC’s head coach Lane Kiffin, and the once storied rivalry and prime time game takes a backseat for anyone besides the most loyal fans or alumni.

DaVaris Daniels

Nonetheless, this is still a big game in the college football world due to the historic programs, the rivalry, and the hype that surrounds them. Therefore, knowing a thing or two about the Saturday night matchup certainly doesn’t hurt.

Players to watch for on USC:  The offense is potent as usual for the Trojans.  Led by a pair of dynamic wide receivers – Nelson Agholor and Marqise Lee (who at last report is said to be ready to play Saturday night after sitting out last week with a knee injury), as well as a solid group of running backs, quarterback Cody Kessler has many ways to keep a defense on its toes.

Players to watch for on Notre Dame:  Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees has matured into a more reliable quarterback and seems to have calmed the nerves that led to turnovers in the past.  TJ Jones and DaVaris Danielsare the heart of the receiving core for the Irish and actually have better numbers than their counterparts at USC, but tend to gain their yards in a less spectacular fashion.  As usual, the rush defense for the Irish remains stalwart and as USC tends to rely on their rushing game due to having a young quarterback, that may be the key to an Irish victory.

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Bottom line Despite the relatively disappointing start for these teams, the game will likely still be a close one as many of the games between these two schools have been throughout their history. USC is under the new leadership of Ed Orgeron and looked energized and renewed, showing glimpses of its former self in last weekend’s win over Arizona.  I still think Notre Dame has the slight edge and with a little luck of the Irish and a solid showing on both sides of the ball, will pull out a win at home under the lights.

Kick-off is on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. CT on NBC.

Category: NCAA

About the author: Joan Williams is a midwestern native who grew up playing every sport imaginable. Being raised on Notre Dame football seemed to have an effect as four members of her family attended Notre Dame and 3 attended USC, making the ND-USC game a big weekend within the family. Despite spending time at both ND and USC, Joan bleeds blue and gold when it comes to football. Currently living in Chicago and completing her residency, Joan loves and supports all Chicago sports.

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