Notre Dame returns from its bye week to face their biggest rival in USC on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
The series returns this year after last year’s game at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles was canceled because of the Pac-12’s conference-only scheduling restrictions for COVID-19 safety reasons. It was the first time since 1943-45 (World War II) the two rivals didn’t play.
The Irish (5-1) entered their bye week after a 32-29 win at Virginia Tech. Notre Dame will have tight tend Michael Mayer back from a groin injury. His return along with a more settled offensive line should bode well for the Irish and quarterback Jack Coan.
Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman will be focused on limiting USC All-American wide receiver Drake London, who has 138.7 yards per game on 64 receptions. Freeman will likely counter with his own All-American in safety Kyle Hamilton against London, who primarily lines up on the left side of the field.
USC is 2-2 since interim coach Donte Williams took over for Clay Helton, with two road victories. Those wins came at Washington State, 45-14, and at Colorado, 37-14. The Trojans are coming off a 42-26 loss to Pac-12 leaders Utah. USC quarterback Kedon Slovis threw for a season-high 401 yards, including 162 to London, in the loss. The Trojans have scored at least 26 points in every game under Williams.
Notre Dame is 47-36-5 against USC and has won three straight in the series. The Irish have also won their past three home games against the Trojans since 2015. Notre Dame’s last home loss to USC came in 2011 in a 31-17 defeat. The Irish are 7-3 against USC under Brian Kelly.
Spread: -7 ND
How to Watch
What: USC at No. 13 Notre Dame
When: 6:30 PM CT, Saturday
Where: Notre Dame Stadium; South Bend, Ind.
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