TALE OF THE TAPE

College Football Week 13: #1 Notre Dame At USC

Notre Dame
USC
Wake Forest v Notre Dame
Arizona State v USC
Coaching
Winner 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.
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.
Offense
Winner Inconsistent at times this season, the Irish offense was incredible efficient against lowly Wake Forest last week, totaling 584 yards.
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.
Defense
Winner 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.
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.
Special Teams
ND’s special teams obviously haven’t cost it a game, but they haven’t been good.
Winner USC had a punt blocked last week. Their special teams strength lies in the return game.

The Winner Is

Wake Forest v Notre Dame
Winner 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. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to the media during a press conference Sunset over water
    More Shocking, Bill Belichick Not Aware Of Deflated Footballs Or Sun Setting In West?

    The sun sets in the west every day. But is that more shocking than Bill Belichick claiming ignorance in Deflate-gate?

  2. Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Which Team Has The Super Bowl Edge? New England Patriots Vs. Seattle Seahawks

    The Patriots have managed to outsmart both the Ravens and Colts with trick plays in the postseason, and the Seahawks will have to be on high alert here.

  3. 2012 NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii Richard Dean Anderson who played MacGyver
    Would You Rather Watch The NFL Pro Bowl Or MacGyver Reruns?

    The NFL Pro Bowl is technically still football. But what if there were something better to watch, like “MacGyver” reruns?

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,390 other followers