USC (3-2) travels to No. 10 Notre Dame (5-0) for a primetime rivalry matchup at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.
The Trojans are coming off a bye week and are attempting to show the warmth down on coach Clay Helton. Injuries at quarterback have led to an up-and-down season, and one of the simplest ways to silence the critics can be to win in South Bend for the primary time since 2011.
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Notre Dame has one loss, and as a way to keep within the College Football Playoff dialog, the Irish are going to must put up large numbers in high-visibility video games. This is a kind of alternatives for Ian Book, who has performed lights-out at house this season.
Notre Dame-USC is perhaps a Page 2 sport this weekend, however it’s nonetheless a rivalry and something can occur. With that in thoughts, this is all the things you want for Saturday’s matchup between the Irish and Trojans:
Notre Dame opened as an 11-point favourite at Sportsbook Review, and 54 p.c of the wagering has are available in favor of the Irish.
Notre Dame leads the all-time collection 48-37-5. The Irish are 12-6-2 on this sport when they’re the one workforce that’s ranked.
Three trends to know
— The Irish have gained the final two conferences by a mean of 21 factors per sport. Brian Kelly is 6-Three towards USC. That features a 3-1 report at house towards the Trojans.
— Notre Dame is 4-1 towards the unfold this season, however that features a excellent 3-Zero against-the-spread mark at house.
— Since Helton took over as full-time coach in 2016, USC is 3-9 towards the unfold as an underdog and 1-7 towards the unfold as a street underdog.
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Three issues to look at
We talked about Book’s superlative play at house, and he averages 262 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in three house video games. Granted, that is towards New Mexico, Virginia and Bowling Green, however USC has allowed 236.Four passing yards per sport via the air and has simply two interceptions. Book will money in towards that.
It’s unsure whether or not Kedon Slovis or Matt Fink will begin after the previous was cleared from a concussion, however they’ll have a problem towards a Notre Dame go protection that permits 183.6 yards per sport and has surrendered simply three touchdowns. USC should get 6-Four receiver Michael Pittman — the hero of the Utah upset who has scored within the Trojans’ final three video games — concerned early towards a troublesome Notre Dame secondary.
Can USC run the ball?
Over their final two conferences, USC has 55 speeding makes an attempt for 170 yards — a mean of three.1 yards per carry — towards the Irish. If that occurs once more, then this sport shall be over rapidly. The Trojans have to determine a floor sport to manage the clock, and it is on Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr — a troublesome inside runner who averages 6.1 yards per carry – to make that occur. Carr is perhaps concerned greater than normal early.
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Stat that issues
Notre Dame is second nationally in turnover margin at plus-10. The Irish have created 14 turnovers with their protection whereas solely dropping 4. USC, in the meantime, is tied at No. 122 in the identical class at minus-7. That will not fly on the street.
Notre Dame will expose that turnover downside. USC might play spirited within the first half, very like Tennessee towards Georgia final week, however actuality will set in throughout the second half. Tony Jones Jr. breaks the sport open with just a few early touchdowns, and the Irish pour it on within the second half. What does that imply for Helton? It may come all the way down to how a lot Notre Dame tacks on.
Notre Dame 42, USC 20