New coaches lead ancient rivals into Notre Dame-USC clash


LOS ANGELES — — Its rapid transformation from a chaotic program to a revitalized powerhouse in its first season under No. 5 Southern California Lincoln Riley is one of the most impressive developments of the college football season. One.

No. 13 Notre Dame took some time to roll under fellow first-year head coach Marcus Freeman, but the Fighting Irish are back to their usual formidable form and even picking up speed .

But no big season at either school would be complete without a memorable version of these teams’ famously intersecting rivalries.

They’ll have their moment at the 93rd meeting of Jeweled Shilerag on Saturday night, among all the other key traps that often make this matchup so special. It has hosted these Blue Blood programs since 1926.

“I think we just have to embrace this moment and enjoy it and enjoy the competition at this level,” Riley said. no doubt about it it’s fun to have a really good competition in a cool venue with a lot going on it’s a lot of fun it’s a lot of fun take it and make sure we keep winning I think they understand that and we’re not going to minimize it.”

USC (10-1) won a spot in the Pac-12 title game on December 2 with an 8-1 record in conference play, but could fall to the College Football Playoffs from its current No. 6 position in the playoff rankings. There is a nature. It depends on beating Ireland (8-3).

Notre Dame won’t participate in this year’s four-team tournament, but a victory over the Trojans would be the ideal ending to a regular season that has seen impressive progress under Freeman. After a 0-2 start, Ireland are heading into the bowl season with her five straight wins and her 9 of 10 wins overall, and feel they deserve to be on the biggest stage in college football.

“There’s a different feel to this, and you can feel it in our program and among our players,” Freeman said. And you can really feel it.”

Caleb vs Irish

USC quarterback Caleb Williams The Trojans’ thrilling 48-45 win at UCLA last week saw them step into the Heisman Trophy race by grabbing the nation’s attention with a string of impressive performances highlighted by 503 total yards and three touchdowns. I jumped in.

USC relied on Williams’ strong offense to cover a less dominant defense, but Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t allowed opponents a total of 400 yards this season. The stage was set for the showdown.

An Irish 400-yard streak is “difficult in college football,” Riley said. We’re building some foundation and it’s showing.”

wake up the echoes

This rivalry is one of the most compelling in college football, both for its history and its endurance. Only World War II and his COVID-19 pandemic put it on hiatus. This game is Notre Dame since 1955 and his 2018 at the Coliseum where a plaque honoring Knute Rockne hangs on the peristyle. For the first time since 2017, Notre Dame leads the rivalry 17-14-2 during a game where both teams are in the AP Top 25.

ground game

Notre Dame’s rush offense is formidable, sophomore and Logan Diggs When Audric Estim He has led the group in over 200 yards in six games this season. USC’s run defense is better than pass defense (no surprise with his air-oriented Pac-12), and UCLA said he’s rushed for 200+ yards in the Trojans’ last eight games. The only opponent.

If the Irishman does not run the ball or falls behind, Drew Pine With an FBS-leading 18 interceptions and an astounding mid-season knack for timely takeaways, he must face the Trojan defense. USC leads FBS with a plus 20 sales margin.

first time person

Both Riley and Freeman are rivals for the first time as head coaches, although Freeman was an assistant last season as the Irish beat the Trojans 31-16 at South Bend. The school’s two of his freshman head coaches last met in 2010 when Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame beat Rain Kiffin’s Trojans at the Coliseum where he went 20-16. It was when I broke moment of decline.

on the edge

USC Defensive Ends may be the most attractive matchup when Notre Dame has the ball Tri Tuiplotu Against an Irish offensive line booked in tackles Joe Alt When Blake FisherTuiprotu is a Lombardi finalist and one of the country’s top defensive players, ranked third on the FBS with 11 sacks, and has made countless big plays on the edge. Alto and Fisher anchor a line that has allowed just 17 sacks all season.


AP College Football: and–Top25

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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