Not a ton, but some was made about USC Football potentially not being up to speed on what the USC-Notre Dame rivalry really means due to the program having 20 transfers. Look--it's a bitter rivalry. The two schools have played each other 90(!) times despite not playing in the same conference (Notre Dame is too scared to even play in a conference).
One of those 20 transfers is of course Caleb Williams, who is the best one. It's vital that he and his teammates know how serious this rivalry is. And sure enough, they did. It was very clear on the field that they did. They beat Notre Dame in a contest that wasn't even close. They won it 38-27. They led ever since they scored the first TD of the contest in the first drive of the first quarter.
Williams in particular seemed to understand how important the rivalry was. 20 years ago, USC QB Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy largely due to his dominant, 425-yard, four touchdown performance in SC's win over ND in Week 13 that year.Williams followed suit, hitting the Heisman pose after one of his four touchdowns against ND in Week 13 of this year.
He had four touchdowns (one passing), and four total incompletions out of 22 pass attempts. He went for 232 passing yards and 35 rushing yards. He didn't turn the ball over a single time. He danced around the Notre Dame defense countless times when they thought they were pressuring him.
Williams doesn't feel pressure, though. And the best part was how Williams disrespected Notre Dame before the game even started with what he painted on his nails before the contest:
Caleb Williams painted "(Expletive) ND" on his nails before Notre Dame's game against USC Football on Saturday.
Caleb Williams is most certainly up to speed on the USC Football-Notre Dame rivalry. His success on Saturday certainly spoke to it, and he'll be playing in the rivalry again next year. He's got to be coming into this next chapter with some confidence, too.
That's because in the last 20 meetings between these two squads, Notre Dame has never beaten USC when the Trojans have had an elite head coach. SC was 8-0 under Pete Carroll in that time frame and are now 1-0 under Lincoln Riley.
They were 8-0 in their last eight against the Irish before sanctions hit in 2010. And even with sanctions hitting during that prominent part of these last 20 meetings, SC still is 12-8 against ND in these previous 20 matchups. USC's the better program, and Williams clearly seems to understand that.