One of the biggest non-conference rivalries in college football has very high stakes when the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on the University of Southern California Trojans.
This matchup has gone to USC all but once in the last decade. Notre Dame secured a 20-16 win in 2010.
There is a lot riding on this game for the Irish, and they will bring their intensity to Los Angeles.
Following are the particulars for this game.
When: Saturday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via OddsShark)
Over/Under: OFF, Spread: Notre Dame, -6
This game is possibly a bit tighter than some would expect, but then again Notre Dame is known for winning with defense. The USC offense is a big unknown with redshirt freshman Max Wittek getting the start.
Given the receiving talents at USC, Wittek may not be a pronounced takeaway. He's had extremely limited action but has gone 8-of-9 for 95 yards and a touchdown.
This should be a close game. Take the points and hope USC can hang close.
Injury Report (via USA Today as of Monday, Oct. 19)
Tate Nichols, T, Questionable (Knee)
Matt Hegarty, C, Questionable (Undisclosed)
Kona Schwenke, NT, Questionable (Shoulder)
Nick Tausch, K, Questionable (Groin)
DaVaris Daniels, WR, Out (Shoulder)
D.J. Morgan RB, Questionable (Leg)
Aundrey Walker T, Questionable (Neck)
Christian Thomas, TE, Questionable (Hip)
Matt Barkley, QB, Out (Shoulder)
The stakes couldn't be any higher for the Fighting Irish. If they win they are in the BCS National Championship Game. A loss relegates them to a different BCS bowl game.
The Trojans can earn a little respect with a win, but it doesn't change their bowl status. Their record is set and they'll be either No. 6 or No. 7 based on the outcome of Arizona State vs. Arizona.
Notre Dame Player to Watch: Running Backs
It would be too easy to list Notre Dame's Heisman-hopeful linebacker. However, the secondary will be more important in this game.
The Irish will need to move the ball on the ground to put points on the board. USC has struggled against good ground games this season.
Johnathan Franklin picked up 171 yards on 29 carries, while Kenjon Barner hit them for 321 yards.
Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood need to control the tempo of the game and put up a rushing total between those figures.
USC Player to Watch: Marqise Lee, WR
As tempting as it is to list Wittek or Silas Redd (RB), USC will need to move the ball through the air. Wittek has the ability to hit an open target, and that is exactly where Lee comes in.
The Biletnikoff finalist needs to get separation and make life easy on his rookie quarterback.
Lee has a slim chance to reach 2,000 receiving yards. He'll need to have a pair of huge games against Notre Dame and in USC's bowl game, though.
Marqise Lee leads the nation in catches (107), receiving yards (1,605) and ranks third with 14 receiving TDs.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) November 19, 2012
Prediction: Notre Dame 19, USC 17
This is perhaps my least favorite matchup of the week to predict. These two teams don't like each other and both sides will play hard and physical.
I'd be picking the Trojans if Barkley were playing. His absence could be saving me from mounting the wrong horse.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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