Notre Dame doesn't need fuel added to its fire, but Southern California quarterback Max Wittek opened his mouth anyway.
Wittek told an ESPN Radio affiliate (via Paul Myerberg of USA Today) out of Los Angeles that the Trojans were going to win Saturday's game. There was no maybe in there, nothing.
How stupid can you be? Notre Dame, if it does nothing else, plays with passion. No one gives them respect already. Adding to that notion is an awful idea.
Here is Wittek's full comment:
We haven't got the full game plan yet, but from what I can tell, we're going to play our offense, whatever coach (Lane) Kiffin feels comfortable giving me. If he wants to air it out, let's air it out. If he wants to pound it on the ground, let's do that. Like I said, I'm going to go out there, I'm going to play within myself, within the system, and we're going to win this ballgame.
USC is going to have issues beating Notre Dame as it is, especially without starting quarterback Matt Barkley running the show.
As talented as the offense is, the Trojans will have trouble defending against Notre Dame. Without Barkley, it's safe to assume that USC won't score as many points either.
Not to mention, who is Wittek? Sure, he's a talented No. 2 quarterback, but he's accomplished nothing so far. He definitely could, but he shouldn't count his chickens before they hatch.
Notre Dame's defense is going to show up. Wittek isn't going to have an easy path, especially considering that it's his first career start.
Giving an already motivated team a reason to win just isn't smart.
Notre Dame knows what it needs to do to to get to the BCS National Championship. Winning is the only option. For this team, which hasn't ever been ranked in the BCS polls, that's all the motivation it needs.
Wittek could step onto the field and have a great game. Crazier things have happened, but wait until you do it before opening your mouth.
Wittek's comment will be posted on Notre Dame's locker room walls. Don't think that won't be on their minds on Saturday, playing in their favor.