Old Wounds Could Show if Notre Dame Isn’t Careful

It all comes down to Saturday in the Coliseum for Notre Dame and their playoff hopes. This should be a cake walk against USC (5-6) who is coming off a loss against UCLA. This has been a season from hell for USC as they have struggled in all facets of the game and are likely to lose their head coach after this week. As easy of a win as this should be, Southern California has not been kind to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is 3-7 in their last 10 game at USC with their last win coming 2012. Now this USC team is one of the worst in some time so it shouldn’t even be close. While Notre Dame has enough to worry about going into Saturday, USC also has quite a bit on their plate.

I’m not going to pretend like Notre Dame doesn’t know whats at stake. They have been great all year, but if you’re looking for incentive for a USC upset, it is there. Clay Helton has been on the hot seat and there has been mixed reports about his job at seasons end. With reports still uncertain and USC not having a President, the entire coaching situation is a mess in L.A. A win against the third ranked team could go a long way into saving Helton’s job. USC also becomes bowl eligible with a win and a loss would be their worst season since 2000. Throw in the fact this game is in prime time and it should be enough to have USC at their best.

But their best will still not likely be enough this season. This has all the makings of a trap game for Brian Kelly before the 2018 season. This game feels an awful lot like Virginia Tech earlier in the year. A struggling team with nothing to lose in prime time. While I fully expect a tight game up until halftime, this shouldn’t be an issue by the fourth quarter. Ian Book usually starts slow but heats up as the game goes on. USC has been plagued with poor QB play and will have their hands full with this Notre Dame defense.

Brian Kelly has been on his own revenge tour this season and it should continue today. He has to have them ready for one last regular season tilt and improve on his 2-2 record at USC. USC should just be outmatched all day unless the Brian Kelly of old makes an appearance.

 

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