29_35x90 knx_35x90

Tale of the tape

College Football Week 13: #1 Notre Dame At USC

Wake Forest v Notre Dame Arizona State v USC

Notre Dame

USC

Notre Dame is the No. 1 team in the country. Let that sink in for a moment. The Fighting Irish are one win away from a spot in the national championship. Coaching You don’t even have to listen that closely to hear the calls for Lane Kiffin to be fired. After all, USC was the preseason No. 1 and is now 7-4 after last week’s loss to rival UCLA.
Inconsistent at times this season, the Irish offense was incredible efficient against lowly Wake Forest last week, totaling 584 yards. Offense We have to evaluate USC’s offense sans quarterback Matt Barkley, who injured his shoulder last week and won’t play on Saturday, and that’s not easy considering redshirt freshman Max Wittek will make his first career start in his place. All we know about him is that he said USC will win this game.
Dominant all season, the Irish pitched its first shutout of the year last week. It has faced every sort of attack this season and should have plenty of confidence against the Trojans. Defense UCLA scored on its first four possessions last week, getting out to a 24-0 lead. The Trojans settled in after that, but consistency has been a problem for this unit.
ND’s special teams obviously haven’t cost it a game, but they haven’t been good. Special Teams USC had a punt blocked last week. Their special teams strength lies in the return game.

The winner is

Wake Forest v Notre Dame
Notre Dame
3 out of 4

It’s not that surprising one of these teams is ranked No. 1. But everyone thought, at least back in September, that it would be USC, not Notre Dame. USC hasn’t beaten a team of ND’s caliber this season and, without its quarterback, will have trouble pulling off the upset.

-Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor

More Tales of the tape

  1. (credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) (credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Can’t Decide Between Seattle-Denver? Here’s Who You Should Root For

    Suppose you’re a casual fan. Who do you root for this year – Denver, or Seattle?

  2. (credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    New Jersey Vs. New York: Who Really ‘Owns’ Super Bowl XLVIII?

    With the Super Bowl coming to town, it’s cause for some friction between the states. But we wonder, who does this Super Bowl really belong to – New York or New Jersey?

  3. (credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images) (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Stats Aside, Which Franchise Has The Edge? Seattle Seahawks Vs. Denver Broncos

    You can’t turn on the tv without a breakdown of what might happen on the field, so we’re looking at some factors that likely won’t influence the game outcome.

See all Tales of the Tape