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CFB : ATS Matchup
Saturday 10/21/2017Line$ LineOU LineScore




USC (6 - 1) at NOTRE DAME (5 - 1)
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Week 8 Saturday, 10/21/2017 7:30 PM
Board OpenLatest
402NOTRE DAME-3.5-3.5
USC - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
All Games6-1+1.81-63-434.416.3477.0(6.4)2.323.713.1385.4(5.4)2.3
Road Games1-1-1.20-20-228.515.0341.5(5.1)
Last 3 Games2-1-1.20-31-231.015.0457.0(6.4)2.722.313.7405.7(5.7)1.7
Turf Games1-1-1.20-20-228.515.0341.5(5.1)
USC - Current Season Statistics
Offense (All Games)34.416.324.429:2437-181(4.9)23-3862.4%296(7.9)74-477(6.4)(13.9)
Opponents Defensive Avg.26.712.52029:1536-150(4.1)20-3359.6%237(7.1)70-387(5.6)(14.5)
Offense Road Games28.515.018.527:4633-148(4.4)20-3361.2%193(5.8)67-341(5.1)(12)
Defense (All Games)23.713.119.630:3536-147(4.1)20-3654.6%239(6.7)71-385(5.4)(16.3)
Opponents Offensive Avg.31.91521.531:4537-164(4.5)22-3662.1%251(7)72-415(5.7)(13)
Defense Road Games25.015.022.032:1331-117(3.7)28-5154.4%321(6.2)83-439(5.3)(17.6)

NOTRE DAME - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
All Games5-1+1.75-14-240.024.0471.2(6.4)
Home Games2-1-1.32-12-140.028.7458.0(6.5)1.017.711.3344.3(4.8)1.7
Last 3 Games3-0+23-02-141.029.7448.3(6.4)0.715.09.3379.3(5.1)2.7
Turf Games3-1-0.33-13-142.225.0496.2(6.8)
NOTRE DAME - Current Season Statistics
Offense (All Games)
Opponents Defensive Avg.2411.618.129:0638-166(4.4)17-3154.9%200(6.5)69-365(5.3)(15.2)
Offense Home Games40.028.721.725:5940-270(6.7)16-3150.5%188(6.1)71-458(6.5)(11.4)
Defense (All Games)16.89.719.031:4036-134(3.7)21-3954.4%231(5.9)76-366(4.8)(21.7)
Opponents Offensive Avg.24.81419.831:5441-176(4.3)17-3155.1%207(6.7)72-383(5.3)(15.5)
Defense Home Games17.711.317.734:0138-128(3.4)18-3453.5%216(6.4)71-344(4.8)(19.5)
Average power rating of opponents played: USC 42.6,  NOTRE DAME 35.8
USC - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
9/2/2017W MICHIGAN49-31W-28L59.5O34-23223-33-289248-26312-23-941
9/23/2017@ CALIFORNIA30-20W-17L62U38-13326-38-223233-11322-52-3036
9/29/2017@ WASHINGTON ST27-30L-5L59U29-16315-29-164230-12234-51-3401
10/7/2017OREGON ST38-10W-33L56U37-18424-36-328336-12216-29-1973
10/21/2017@ NOTRE DAME            
10/28/2017@ ARIZONA ST            
11/11/2017@ COLORADO            

NOTRE DAME - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
9/16/2017@ BOSTON COLLEGE49-20W-14W54O51-51511-27-96244-18524-41-2153
9/23/2017@ MICHIGAN ST38-18W-3.5W54.5O40-18214-20-173032-15132-53-3453
9/30/2017MIAMI OHIO52-17W-21W53.5O39-33310-23-170033-11519-37-2622
10/7/2017@ N CAROLINA33-10W-13.5W64U57-34117-31-146228-8619-42-1793
10/28/2017NC STATE            
11/4/2017WAKE FOREST            
11/11/2017@ MIAMI            
USC: After coming out of nowhere to win the Rose Bowl last season, expectations are high in LA. USC has the best QB in CFB in Sam Darnold, and the team also returns seven starters from a defense that was top-25 last season. It'd be shocking if the Trojans don't win the Pac-12.
NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame's 2016 season was a nightmare, but the team should be able to turn things around this year. The Fighting Irish have a good offensive line, so they should be able to improve in the running game. They do, however, have to be a lot better defensively.
Stakes high for No. 11 USC, No. 13 Notre Dame

LOS ANGELES -- The rivalry between No. 11 USC and No. 13 Notre Dame stands as one of the most hallowed in college football, with a lineage that transcends individual season records.

"I think it's the best intersectional rivalry in college sports," USC head coach Clay Helton said.

With a combined 22 national championships and 14 Heisman Trophy winners between the programs, the USC-Notre Dame rivalry has the hardware to back up Helton's claim. Both teams enter Saturday's matchup at Notre Dame Stadium ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2009, and the game has College Football Playoff implications.

The 89th installment of the series looks to be more befitting its lofty history than recent editions.

Last year's rain-soaked 45-27 USC win at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ended with the future of Notre Dame football uncertain, as head coach Brian Kelly fielded questions afterward about his status.

"Last year, Coach Kelly was dealt a hard hand because of the injuries he had (on the roster), especially late in the season," Helton said. "Right now, they're a healthy club."

Playing with a complete lineup -- including quarterback Brandon Wimbush, whom Kelly said Tuesday was 100 percent coming out of a bye week -- Notre Dame has stormed to a 5-1 start. Its only loss came to currently third-ranked Georgia by one point on Sept. 9.

The Fighting Irish have relied on a multifaceted run game, paced by running back Josh Adams' 129.3 rushing yards per game -- seventh in the country -- and supplemented by the dual-threat playmaker Wimbush at 80.4 yards per game.

Combined with a defense that has allowed just one rushing touchdown, Notre Dame has already exceeded its 2016 win total. Talk of change has given way to championship aspirations.

USC, at 6-1, is also a viable national championship contender -- contingent on Saturday's result, anyway.

No team has advanced to college football's four-team playoff in the three years of its existence. That's a small sample size, but it indicates that Saturday's clash might a de facto elimination game, raising the stakes beyond one side taking home the Jeweled Shillelagh.

Notre Dame's fifth-ranked rushing offense (308.0 yards per game) takes aim at a USC defense that has been central to the Trojans' strong start. USC won in its last outing, 28-27 over conference opponent Utah, as quarterback Sam Darnold said the Trojans "wouldn't be able to win that game without (the defense)."

Linebacker Cameron Smith was critical to the win over Utah -- as he has been to USC's defense throughout the season. Notre Dame's Kelly described Smith as his "favorite player on the (Trojans) defense." The linebacker made 16 tackles against the Utes with an interception, and he figures to be pivotal in USC's efforts to slow Adams.

"He's all over the field," Kelly said. "He's smart. Great tackler in space, the ability to do a lot in coverage but plays well in the box."

Among Smith's contributions the last time out was an interception made in the red zone. USC's defense has been excellent with its back against the end zone, holding opponents to a 41.4 percent touchdown conversion rate inside the 20-yard line.

Only 11 defenses in the country are better. Notre Dame has one of them, allowing 35 percent.

"We've done a really good job of matching personnel there, and (stopping opponents on) first down," Kelly said. "Leverage has been with us in down-and-distance in the red zone, and leverage has been with us in matching personnel in the red zone."

Should Saturday's game come down to a red-zone play, it will call to mind the game at Notre Dame Stadium 12 years ago when Trojans running back Reggie Bush pushed quarterback Matt Leinart into the end zone for a winning touchdown.

USC played for a national championship that season; Notre Dame went to the Fiesta Bowl, finishing just outside of the BCS title picture. Such are the potential stakes this year -- for the first time between these programs since the 2006 season.

"It's great for college football when both teams are doing well, and there's so much excitement around the game on a national scope," Helton said. "It makes it fun for the players, the coaches and the fans."

Last Updated: 10/20/2018 4:01:05 AM EST

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