The storied rivalry between the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame resumes in 2021 when the Trojans travel to South Bend, Indiana, for a Saturday night game on NBC.
This Week 8 rivalry will feature two teams with quarterback woes. So, what are the college football odds saying about Southern Cal at Notre Dame?
Read on to learn more about this Week 8 rivalry.
Southern Cal at Notre Dame (-7)
The Irish come into this game 13th in NCAA rankings and are 5-1 overall. The Trojans are unranked and are currently 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12.
When considering their history with each other, it would appear that the Irish come into this game with the advantage.
Notre Dame is 7-3 against USC during their matchups with Brian Kelly at the helm. They have also won four of the last five matchups. The rivals didn’t play in 2020 because of a shortened COVID schedule.
Home field for the Irish also looks to be an advantage since they’ve won four straight against USC on their home field. Overall, the Irish are 49-36-5 against the Trojans.
Notre Dame Should Be Ready to Play Hard
Coming into Saturday night, the Irish should be well rested after their bye week. Week 6 found them holding on with seconds left to beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 32-29.
Their quarterback woes continued in Week 6, with longtime QB Jack Coan getting benched after a rough beginning in the first quarter. His replacement, freshman Tyler Buchner, came in but didn’t last long.
Coan was brought back into play after Buchner threw two interceptions. Coan helped orchestrate two late drives for the Irish to hold on for the win.
Will the QB issues continue this week? Kelly says Coan’s the starter, yet what he says and what’s happened on the field haven’t been consistent. It may come down to who performs best when the USC defense hits the field. Look for this to continue to impact the Irish as they try to find some consistency at QB.
Whichever quarterback is on the field, the Irish could end up relying on running back Kyren Williams. He had 19 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown in Week 6. He’s also scored in each of his last two games.
USC Continues to Look for Consistency
It’s evident from this season’s alternating win-loss routine that the Trojans are struggling. Unfortunately, firing Head Coach Clay Helton two games into the season doesn’t seem to have helped USC. Likely, he was just the fall guy for a bundle of issues.
One big question for the Trojans on Saturday revolves around true freshman QB Jaxson Dart, who’s been out with a meniscus injury. Will he be cleared to play? Is he ready? Is he prepared to play in a South Bend rivalry game as a freshman?
The Trojans also had a bye week for Week 7, and while they lost in Week 6, they did have some decent offensive numbers against the Utah Utes.
QB Kedon Slovis threw for 400 yards in their 42-26 loss, while wide receiver Drake London had 16 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown.
They will need consistency to compete with the Irish in South Bend.
Will Southern Cal at Notre Dame Turn Into a Blowout?
Anytime there’s a matchup between two rival schools, anything can happen on the field. Southern Cal at Notre Dame could be a better game than expected, but the Trojans will need better play than they have so far this year.
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