Facing your rivals in back-to-back weeks is tough, and it's important that Sark and the Trojans get at least one victory out of these matchups. Like UCLA, Notre Dame has gotten over on USC the past two years, and Trojan fans are still bitter about it.
Both games have been close, and USC has ultimately handed the victory, thanks to some small mistakes, to the Fighting Irish.
Because Sark has coached at USC before, he knows exactly how important this game is, and he knows how to contend with Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish might have the upper hand quarterback-wise if former starter Everett Golson is granted the opportunity to start again, after missing the entire 2013 season because he cheated on a final exam the previous spring. He fared well against the Trojans in 2012, the year he led the Fighting Irish to the National Championship game.
That said, we also saw Notre Dame get absolutely crushed in the face of strong defensive competition, something we know USC brings to the table.
Without any compelling tape to go on of USC's new scheme and Notre Dame's look for 2014, it's hard to say how this game will go.
But because the Fighting Irish have just managed to squeak by the Trojans in the recent past, USC will have to play a mistake-free game to turn the series back in its favor.
If Sark can lead the Trojans to victory on their home field this weekend, it will send him into the offseason with lots of good vibes from Trojan fans.
Prediction: USC 14, Notre Dame 10