In a surprising turn of events, the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans are set to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as 2.5-point underdogs, despite their recent 33-20 loss to Louisville. USC had a challenging outing against Arizona, a team that now holds a 3-3 record for the season, forcing the Trojans into a triple-overtime thriller at the Coliseum.
Caleb Williams and the USC offense had a dismal beginning to the game, with three consecutive three-and-outs followed by a punt. This marked one of the worst starts they’ve seen all season. Meanwhile, Arizona capitalized on USC’s defense struggles, swiftly climbing to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. However, USC managed to rally, although they narrowly avoided a loss to a relatively weaker opponent, thanks to backup quarterback Noah Fifita’s impressive performance, which included five passing touchdowns.
Notre Dame, on the other hand, has faced formidable competition this season, narrowly losing to No. 6 Ohio State and securing an impressive road victory against a resilient Duke team. Nonetheless, they too have their shortcomings. Quarterback Sam Hartman, a transfer from Wake Forest, demonstrated his talent but struggled against Louisville, throwing three interceptions and enduring five sacks.
The upcoming matchup poses a unique challenge for USC’s defense, as they haven’t encountered an offensive line as strong as Notre Dame’s. The Fighting Irish also boast a formidable running back in Audric Estime, a 5-foot-11, 227-pound powerhouse who excels at breaking tackles, a feat USC has struggled with in recent games. While Caleb Williams has consistently demonstrated his ability to keep up with any offense, the slow start they experienced against Arizona could prove immensely challenging to overcome when facing Notre Dame.
Nonetheless, USC has a trump card in their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, who has only lost three games throughout his career with the Trojans. This means that a victory for Notre Dame is far from out of the realm of possibility.
The highly anticipated showdown between the USC Trojans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is scheduled for this coming Saturday, October 14th, at 4:30 p.m. USC will need to recover quickly from their recent setback to stand a chance against the formidable Fighting Irish.
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