College football action on Saturday evening and we will see the 8-3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish invade United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to rumble with the 10-1 USC Trojans. Notre Dame comes in off a 44-0 pounding of the Boston College Eagles and has won their last five in a row now. The Trojans have won their last four in a row after taking down UCLA in a 48-45 thriller. Notre Dame has won the last four in this series.
Notre Dame Pounds Boston CollegeThe Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been on a roll since a shocking loss to Stanford at home as they have now won their last five games in a row after crushing Boston College by a score of 44-0. The Irish are now 8-3 on the year and in line for what should be a nice Bowl game. They can get an even better bowl bid with a win over a strong USC team in this one. The Notre Dame offense has been unstoppable of late as they have averaged 39.8 ppg over their last five games, scoring at least 35 points in each of those games. They will need their offense to keep it rolling here as the Trojans will put up their fair share of points. The Irish struggled to run the ball against Navy a couple of weeks ago but they got back on track last week with 281 yards on the ground against the Eagles. They are now 36th in the nation in rushing and USC is average against the run.
It is imperative that the Irish get their ground game as it will open up throwing lanes for Drew Pyne, who will be facing one of the worst pass defenses in the nation. Pyne has been decent this year, throwing for 1703 yards with 19 TDs to just five INTs. They will need a big game from him here. The Notre Dame defense has been tough this year and they allowed just 173 yards of total offense against BC last week. They are now 17th in total yards allowed, 16th against the pass, 36th against the run, and 29th in points allowed, giving up just 20.3 ppg. The defense will be tested against this powerful USC Offense.
Trojans Win A Thriller Against UCLAThe USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins played an instant classic on Saturday night with the Trojans coming out on top in a 48-45 thriller. It was a huge win for the Trojans, who still have aspirations of reaching the CFB playoffs. They are now at 10-1 on the year and have won their last four games in a row, since losing by one point to Utah. USC is led by their powerful offense that is 2nd in the nation in yards per game, 4th in passing, and 3rd in scoring at 42.9 ppg. Caleb Williams is in the mix for the Heisman this year as he has thrown for 3480 yards with 33 TDs and just three INTs on the year. He had a monster game against the Bruins, throwing for 470 yards with two TDs and one INT. WR Jordan Addison had a huge game as well with 178 yards receiving and one TD. He has just eight TDs on the year, after posting 17 last year for Pitt. Still, the USC Passing game is one of the best in the nation, but they will be facing one of the better pass defenses in the land.
USC Will get their fair share of points in this one, and they will need to do that as the defense has been shaky at best this year. USC gave up 513 yards of total offense to UCLA, including 20-4 yards on the ground and that is not good news as the Irish have had one of the best ground games in the nation over the last seven or eight weeks. USC is 66th against the run and if they can't stop the run, then they are in big trouble as their pass defense is 103rd in the land. USC will give up big plays in the passing game, but they will be facing an Irish offense that doesn't hit many big plays through the air. USC has to hope they won't here as well.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Irish have been playing extremely well of late as they have won five in a row and 8 of their last nine. The offense is not as powerful as that of the Trojans, but they have averaged 39.8 ppg over their last five games and that is just 3 ppg less than USC has averaged for the year. I will call the offenses even because of that. On defense is where the Irish have a massive edge, especially against the pass, as they are 26th in that department, compared to USC being 103rd against the pass. The Notre Dame ground game has been excellent of late and the Trojans did give up 204 yards on the ground last week. Notre Dame will get their ground game going and then hit some big plays down the field against a bad USC pass defense. I also feel that the Trojans will come in a bit flat after their thrilling win against UCLA last week, plus Notre Dame has won the last 4 in this series outright. Lastly, the Irish are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record while the Trojans are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Full-Game Total Pick
With a strong Notre Dame run game, you might think they would like to shorten the game here, so to give USC limited chances at scoring. Well, they may try and do that, but they will also score plenty. The Irish have averaged 39.8 ppg over their last five games and have scored at least 35 points in each of those games. They should have no problems scoring at least that much against this suspect USC defense. The USC offense has been one of the best in the nation this year and they will surely get their fair share of points in this one, especially at home where they have averaged 46.5 ppg on the year. They will be facing a tough Notre Dame defense, but USC will still be good for at least 31 points in this one. Lastly, the Over is 5-0 in Notre Dame's last 5 games overall and 10-2 in USC's last 12 home games.