College Football
Notre Dame at Southern California
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 29, 2014
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Notre Dame and USC were on the fringe of a top-10 ranking in early September and part of the national championship conversation but Saturday they’ll be playing mostly for bragging rights when they collide in Los Angeles. The Fighting Irish have taken the biggest tumble, losing their last three games and four of five as their defense slipped mightily. The Trojans haven’t been able to find any traction this fall, failing to win three straight games during a season for the first time since 1997.

The Trojans could only muster 200 total yards and seven points through the first three quarters Saturday against UCLA before ultimately losing 38-20. Josh Shaw, USC’s best defensive back, made his debut last week following a 10-game suspension but couldn’t prevent UCLA from gaining 265 yards after its catches, the most the Trojans allowed all season. Notre Dame has not only lost three straight in a season for the first time in four years but has surrendered at least 30 points in the last six, one short of the program record.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: USC -7

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (7-4): Everett Golson is two touchdown passes from tying Jimmy Clausen for third-most in program history for a single season, but this has hardly been a stellar year for the senior. He has been intercepted 13 times and lost seven fumbles, all in the last eight games. Golson led the Fighting Irish to a victory in the Coliseum two years ago to finish off an undefeated regular season.

ABOUT USC (7-4): The Trojans will need to do a much better job protecting quarterback Cody Kessler than they did last weekend. Kessler was pressured or sacked on 22 of his 41 drop-backs, more than double his season average, and was sacked six times, matching his career high. That’s a big reason why he had so much difficulty getting the ball to gifted wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who caught just three of nine balls thrown his way for a season-low 24 yards.


1. Only four players have started all 11 games on defense for Notre Dame.

2. The Fighting Irish have at least one interception in the last 14 games, the longest streak in the FBS.

3. The Trojans have not allowed an opponent to score on its opening possession and has outscored the opposition by 100 points in the first quarter this season.

PREDICTION: USC 28, Notre Dame 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Notre Dame 7-4 L3 34.7 27.5 5-2 2-2 4-4 0-0 0-0
Southern California 7-4 L1 33.8 24.6 4-1 3-3 6-2 0-0 6-3
Last Meeting
Notre Dame Southern California
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/19/13 USC 10 ND 14 302 136 166 330 129 201
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Notre Dame T. Rees 66.7 166 2 0
Southern California C. Kessler 58.8 201 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame C. McDaniel 18 97 5.4 0
Southern California S. Redd 19 112 5.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame T. Niklas 4 58 14.5 1
Southern California N. Agholor 6 89 14.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Notre Dame T. Jones 1
Southern California S. Redd 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Notre Dame E. Golson 61.1 3280 29 13
Southern California C. Kessler 69.7 3133 30 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame T. Folston 150 802 5.3 5
Southern California J. Allen 231 1244 5.4 9
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Notre Dame W. Fuller 66 962 14.6 14
Southern California N. Agholor 85 1103 13.0 10
Touchdowns Player TD
Notre Dame W. Fuller 14
Southern California N. Agholor 12
Quickchart Matchup
Notre Dame Off vs  Southern California Def
453.5 yards
402.6 yards
4.2 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
8.2 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt
Southern California Off vs  Notre Dame Def
441.5 yards
386 yards
3.9 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
8.3 yards/attempt
7 yards/attempt