The Trojans have made their way to chilly South Bend for their Saturday match up with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which means it’s about time for the prognosticators of Reign Of Troy to give their predictions for who will take home the coveted jeweled shillelagh.
Michael Castillo | USC 31, Notre Dame 23
For a Trojan secondary that has struggled in the past two games, facing Tommy Rees might seem to be a welcome sign. But not so fast, as Rees has been productive when he’s not turning the ball over, while the Trojans haven’t produced turnovers much at all during in the last four games. Look for SC to force to try and force Rees into third and long situations and for the Irish’s 95th-ranked rushing offense to be the difference, ultimately forcing Rees to throw down the field. Trojans get some stops, while Kessler continues to improve on offense, a little healthier at receiver, with a balanced stable behind him.
Matthew Moreno | USC 31, Notre Dame 27
I think the USC defense will rebound a bit and put forth a performance similar to what we saw in the first four games. Tommy Rees can struggle when facing pressure and I fully expect USC to attempt to make him play in constant duress.
Notre Dame’s defense isn’t as stout as it was last season, and USC should be able to utilize the talented group of running backs to help open up the passing game.
Cody Kessler really just needs to be a “game manager” and stay within himself. Take your shots when they’re available, but don’t force anything.
With Ed Orgeron at the helm, the team appears to have more excitement and passion to play, which should bode well in a rivalry game. It’s a big swing game for both teams, and USC wins in a close one, 31-27.
George Dulcich | USC 24, Notre Dame 21
USC will get the win in a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. USC is riding on a high and is playing with a huge chip on their shoulder. Notre Dame is still trying to find their identity and they won’t find it after this one. The USC defense has been exploited the past two games but luckily the ND offense is nothing spectacular. Tommy Reese has not been able to find much rhythm this season. The Irish defense will be tough to beat but having our running back depth and Marqise Lee will be a huge help. Now with Silas Redd, Tre Madden, and Justin Davis we will have fresh legs always. The running backs will help open up the pass game for Kessler.
Alicia de Artola | USC 31, Notre Dame 34
I’m going with a touch of hopeful reverse psychology this week. USC is absolutely capable of beating Notre Dame. However, the game is on the road and the late comeback allowed to Arizona gives me some pause. These teams feel evenly matched. Neither offense has been particularly prolific. Both defenses come into the game with question marks. This should be a close one and unfortunately the Trojan defense has looked vulnerable late in games while Cody Kessler has been shaky in the second half. That doesn’t instill much confidence in a game that could very well come down to the final drive. Notre Dame will take the lead midway through the fourth quarter and Kessler will come short in the final drive.
Who do you think will win? Sound off in the comments below.