No. 11 USC pays prime-time visit to No. 13 Notre Dame
No. 11 USC (6-1) at No. 13 Notre Dame (5-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, (NBC)
Line: Notre Dame by 3 ½.
Series record: Notre Dame leads 46-37-5.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The winner likely could make a significant move into the top 10. Rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit, USC held off an upset bid by Utah, stopping a 2-point conversion for a 28-27 on the same weekend that had Pac-12 rivals Washington and Washington State fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. Notre Dame’s last six foes are a combined 31-7 and include No. 8 Miami), No. 16 North Carolina State and No. 22 Stanford.
The USC defense, led by ILB Cameron Smith, vs. Notre Dame’s running game and RB Josh Adams. The junior has 776 yards rushing and is averaging 9.02 yards per carry, with six runs of 59 yards or more). Notre Dame is fifth in the nation in rushing offense (308.0 yards per game). The Trojans are 65th in yards per carry allowed at 4.12.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
USC: QB Sam Darnold. The 6-4, 220-pound sophomore, who is 15-2 as a starter, has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 2,063 yards with 15 touchdowns against nine interceptions. For his career, he has 46 TD passes and eight 300-yard games.
Notre Dame: QB Brandon Wimbush. After a bye week, Wimbush is healthy again from the foot strain that sidelined him in 33-10 victory at North Carolina. The 6-1, 228-pound junior is second on the team in rushing (402 yards), has thrown for 782 yards and has a combined 14 TDs, including a team-high eight on the ground.
FACTS & FIGURES
“The greatest intersectional rivalry in college football” has produced 14 Heisman Trophy winners between the two schools. . USC rolled into the Rose Bowl thanks in part to a 45-27 victory over Notre Dame last Nov. 26; In 2015, host Irish rallied for 41-31 victory, scoring 17 unanswered points in interim coach Clay Helton’s debut. . The Trojans have totaled 500-plus yards in 11 of their last 16 games. . USC is 10th nationally with 10 interceptions. . Notre Dame is ninth in turnover margin (1.17 on 14 for/7 against in six games) and has a 73-10 edge in points off turnovers.
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