The USC Trojans are all that is left between Notre Dame and a playoff berth. But that also happens to be the last thing that stands in front of Brian Kelly and the last, true test in the regular season.
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame have not fared well in Southern California during his tenure. He is 2-2 going into Saturday and this is the last test in his way during the regular season.
Coach Kelly struggled with prime time away games and against Stanford. He was able to check both of those off his list this season. He also showed that a change was starting to shape in 2018 with the change to Ian Book after his 13-3 starter, Brandon Wimbush, was pulled after starting the year 3-0.
Now it is time to look towards the Trojans and hit two major milestones in his career. He would have two undefeated regular seasons under his belt and he would give Notre Dame their first berth into the playoff. The only questions left, can he defeat that one last demon?
USC has given BK issues during his time at Notre Dame as the two seem to go back and forth. Last season, Notre Dame ran USC off the field in South Bend but it was only a few years before that USC did the same exact thing. Saturday should be an absolute disaster for the Trojans. Notre Dame is the far superior team and USC is coming off a loss to UCLA. BK has to have this team ready to go and a loss would make this season feel like a total wash.
We have all been thinking playoffs for weeks and to let that slip away against USC would be the worst gut shot imaginable. Brian Kelly has swayed the opinion of a good hand full of Irish fans this season. He has three 10+ win seasons in the last few years and he could have his second undefeated season since he took over. He gets hated on but he has put together quite the resume the last few years. The playoff is a whole different beast, but there is one thing left. Get USC out of the way and show that you have broken your November woes of years past. Brian Kelly has won over almost every Notre Dame fan and is about to prove he belongs in the upper tier of coaches. Just don’t let us down, again.
Let us know what you think below. Does a win Saturday cement Kelly as a Notre Dame great? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.