Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans Preview
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Stadium— Los Angeles, California
When: Saturday, November 26, 2016, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ABC
Writer’s Pick: USC Trojans
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Betting on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+17)
Notre Dame’s won three of the previous meetings against rival No. 13 USC, but looking at how ugly the year has been for Brian Kelly’s troops, don’t expect them to come out on top here, despite being more than a two-touchdown underdog.
Sure, the Irish can put up a relatively good fight through DeShone Kizer. He looked phenomenal in the first half of last weekend’s matchup with the Hokies, throwing for 199 yards with two touchdowns to give his club a 10-point edge heading into the third period. However, the junior quarterback couldn’t sustain his fine play, including their lead, as Notre Dame eventually lost the game, 34-31, after being shutout in the final period.
That was the third time this season that Kizer and co. conceded a double-digit advantage in a loss. This habit of coughing up leads is most likely what will prevent them from capping off a losing season with a win.
Notre Dame is 1-4 SU and ATS in its last five road games.
Betting on the USC Trojans (-17)
USC’s 1-3 start to the season is nothing but a distant memory. The 13th-ranked Trojans have pieced together seven-straight victories (6-1 ATS) since then, putting them in the second seat of the Pac-12 South. It’s too late to win the division, but wrapping up the regular season with a win against rival Notre Dame appears like a guarantee.
The 36-14 triumph over UCLA last Saturday demonstrated how dangerous the Trojans can be on either side of the field. USC outgained the Bruins by a huge margin, 527-266, while shutting them out in the entire second half. Freshman quarterback Sam Darnold came out with a relatively solid performance, passing for 267 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of picks.
Ronald Jones III, meanwhile, spearheaded the onslaught on the ground, erupting for 121 yards rushing with two scores on 18 carries.
USC should be able to manufacture another all-around showing against an uninspired Irish defense that’s surrendering nearly 200 passing and rushing yards per game this season, and one that’s been sandwiching wins between losses all season long.
USC (-17) manhandles the Irish, beating them by at least 20 or more points.
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