Notre Dame vs. USC

NduscIt all comes down to tonight’s game with USC. My Irish are looking to avenge the last second heroics of last year’s instant classic. With no Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, or LenDale White, I think the Irish really have a shot to win.

Keys to victory for the Irish
The first thing all the commentators want to talk about is Notre Dame’s defense. It’s no secret that their secondary is weak and porous. They’ve given up big gains to every single team they’ve played. But I suspect that they will have a couple of scheme’s to handle this better. They may even play in a nickel or dime D to play to their strengths. While I expect the Irish to give up 30+ points, I don’t think USC can outscore the Irish. Let’s not forget that USC isn’t that tough of a team either. Just like the Irish, they’ve struggled their way to 10-1.

I think the key to this game comes down to Brady Quinn keeping the ball moving. Quinn_1
Brady has proven how tough he is and I suspect he’ll show that today. USC will try to pressure him early to try to keep him from establishing the marching cadence he does so well. The fact remains that Brady is almost unstoppable in the hurry-up offense. When they struggled against Michigan, Michigan State, and Georgia Tech they were focusing on establishing the run. But when they put Brady in a hurry up and establish screens to his RB’s and slants to his excellent receiving core, things opened up for Darius Walker. Even in the debacle against Michigan, the last drive of the 2nd quarter in the 2-minute offense scored easily and quickly.

Why Notre Dame will win
The focus this week has been "Can Notre Dame’s defense stop the Trojans?" I think the answer will be today, "The USC defense can’t stop the Irish offense." This is, by far, the best offense I’ve ever seen in my 20+ years of watching Notre Dame football. I think this will be a shoot-out and Notre Dame will score more than 50 points. They have all the motivation from last year while USC is as cocky as ever. I actually think USC is stupid enough to think that their offense will win this game. But USC has a weak QB who will make some mistakes. Don’t forget that ND has some very talented defensive players of their own.  Two words USC will be sick of hearing in the PA today "Tom Zbikowski."Expect to see a classic.

Can Notre Dame get to the championship game?
All the cards are falling into place for the Irish. But I don’t think it will be enough. LSU beating Arkansas certainly helped last night. Even if Florida State or Arkansas beats the Gators this week or next week and Notre Dame beats USC today, I simply don’t know if they’d have enough points in the BCS to climb past Michigan.
It seems like a re-match between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines is inevitable unless USC slaughters the Irish today or visa versa.

Odd Bowl News
Interestingly enough, even if Notre Dame loses today they will likely still be in a BCS bowl game. In fact, unless they destroy USC and make it to the championship game amid the cries of Michigan fans, Notre Dame will likely land in the Rose Bowl regardless of a win or a loss today. (Based on these predictions on ESPN) Let’s not forget that the BCS is only trying to determine a national champion. Beyond that, the BCS bowls are about money.

A little flashback to last year… expect to see this again.


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One response to “Notre Dame vs. USC”

  1. Jeff Avatar

    sorry that you had to endure that

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