“We get a chance to play for the national championship provided we win this week,” Coach Brian Kelly said.
The last time Notre Dame played in a national championship game? 8 years, 11 months and 29 days ago. It’s a big deal. “I was just being consistent with my rankings,” Kelly added. “I told our team that I felt like they were the best team in the country because I knew more about our team than the other two.”
The Irish defensive front seven if one of the bets in the nation and they will try to impact the game of freshman Max Wittek, who will be replacing Matt Barkley as quarterback.
The Trojans have dominated this rivalry in recent years with a 12-5-1 record over Notre Dame. And despite the Irish are -5.5 favorites, this USC trip looks as a trap game with a new quarterback for Southern Cal and with all the hype in Notre Dame’s side.
“I don’t think they look at USC and think of dominance,” Kelly said. “They felt like last year they let a game slip through their hands with sloppy play. Beat them at their place. So, no, our guys are excited about playing a rival in USC. But there’s no trepidation. There’s a great deal of respect for USC and what they’ve done. But our guys are very confident in themselves as well.”