2) The Injury Report
The Trojans head to South Bend with key injuries in key positions. Marqise Lee headlines the group of questionable starters including Tre Madden, Morgan Breslin, and Anthony Brown. The status of those players will no doubt have a huge impact on the game.
USC welcomes the return of Dareus Rogers and De’Von Flournoy at receiver after suiting up just two scholarship wide outs against Arizona. However, Lee is still USC’s best player on offense and none of those players could truly replace his impact if he isn’t ready to go. Xavier Grimble is another big target whose availability status should have Trojan fans crossing their fingers.
The Trojans are fortunate that Madden waited to go down with injury only after the return of Silas Redd. However, Redd doesn’t have the explosive big play potential of Madden. Justin Davis is available to fill in, but a full-strength running back stable would be a huge boon against the strength of the Notre Dame defense.
On defense, J.R. Tavai proved his worth against Arizona, but throwing Breslin back in the mix would only make the Trojan pass rush more formidable. Brown is an even more important return as he’d give some much needed relief to the struggling USC secondary.