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USC Trojans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
When: Saturday, October 12, 2019, 7:30 pm ET
We have a battle between two schools with a long history between them when the USC Trojans travel to South Bend for a matchup with the #9 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is the 91st meeting between the two universities with Notre Dame holding a 48-37-5 edge.
USC is 3-2 on the season and is coming off a 28-14 loss to #17 ranked Washington Huskies. Notre Dame is 4-1 this season and tortured Bowling Green State University by a score of 52-0 last Saturday afternoon in South Bend.
Slovis to Start for USC SaturdayUSC is coming off a bye week and lost on the road to #17 ranked Washington by a score of 28-14. The Trojans committed three turnovers against the Huskies and junior Trojans quarterback Matt Fink was the culprit, throwing three interceptions to go along with 163 passing yards and a touchdown with an additional seven rushing yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Stephen Carr rushed for 94 yards on just seven attempts and senior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr hauled in four balls for 64 yards and a touchdown to lead USC in their loss to Washington.
Notre Dame allows a total of 330.2 yards of offense per game with 147 rushing yards allowed and 183.2 passing yards per game with 14 sacks and six interceptions with one pick-six by freshman defensive back Kyle Hamilton.
USC has had injuries to all their quarterbacks, and it appears freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis will start now that he’s cleared concussion protocol and was in full pads for practice on Tuesday. Slovis has thrown for 732 yards with five touchdowns, four interceptions and has been sacked three times this season. Slovis has rushed for an additional 11 yards this season.
Slovis has three receivers with over 200 receiving yards and the Trojans are led by Pittman with 501 receiving yards and four touchdowns followed by junior wideout Tyler Vaughn with 414 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns and sophomore wide receiver Amon-Ra-St Brown with 238 receiving yards and three touchdowns but is questionable for Saturday with various maladies including a shoulder problem.
The Trojans will look to run the ball against Notre Dame and have three backs with over 150 rushing yards this season; junior running back Vavae Malepeai leads the way with 360 rushing yards and four touchdowns but is listed as questionable for Saturday with a knee injury and didn’t practice on Tuesday. Carr has 189 rushing yards on 33 attempts for two touchdowns and frosh running back Markese Stepp has rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown for the Trojans this season.
Notre Dame Buries Bowling GreenNotre Dame improved to 4-1 this season with a 52-0 beatdown over Bowling Green last Saturday in South Bend. Senior quarterback Ian Book threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns and junior running back Tony Jones Jr rushed for 102 yards on just seven attempts. Senior wideout Javon McKinley caught five balls for 104 yards and a touchdown and senior wide receiver Chase Claypool hauled in a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Fighting Irish to their lopsided victory over Bowling Green last Saturday.
USC allows 411.4 total yards of offense per game and allows 175 rushing yards and 236.4 passing yards per game with 13 sacks and just two interceptions this season.
Book has an opportunity to hang a big number on the leaky Trojans secondary and has thrown for 1254 yards with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. Book has rushed for an additional 139 yards with two touchdowns and has suffered eight sacks this season.
Notre Dame has five receivers with over 100 receiving yards and is led by Claypool, with 347 receiving yards and four touchdowns and is closely followed by junior tight end Cole Kmet with 204 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. McKinley is third on the list with 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns with senior wide receiver Chris Finke and his 137 receiving yards and a touchdown and last but not least sophomore tight end Tommy Tremble has 136 receiving yards and a pair of scores this season.
The Fighting Irish has one running back with over 100 rushing yards this season. Jones leads Notre Dame with 381 rushing yards and four touchdowns without a fumble this season and sophomore running back Jahmir Smith has contributed 61 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Fighting Irish this season.
- Fighting Irish are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Fighting Irish are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
- Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Trojans are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games on FieldTurf.
- Trojans are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
- Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Notre Dame is favored by 11 points and that looks like a good number and we will side with the Fighting Irish on Saturday. Book has been fantastic against the weaker schools and had a strong showing against Georgia and I think he has a big day against a Trojans secondary allowing over 230 passing yards per game. Notre Dame should be able to run the ball and Smith is probably excited to go against a defense allowing 175 rushing yards per contest.
The Trojans will rely on Slovis and I don't know how effective he will be due to that concussion he suffered three weeks ago but USC also has Finke and he can get the job done. The Trojans will score but they probably can't keep the Fighting Irish offense to do whatever it wants and that will spell doom for USC.
I will lay the wood and play Notre Dame to beat USC.
Prediction: Notre Dame -11 Points
Full-Game Total Pick
This game opened at 62 points and I suspect this game will exceed that total and luckily for us the total has dropped to 57.5 points and that should make us smile. Neither defense is anything to write home about and both offenses shouldn't have that many problems moving the football Saturday evening. Clear skies and temps in the lower 50's should make the evening perfect for scoring the football. I saw the following trend I think is important for Saturday.
Prediction: Over 57.5 Points