USC No. 6 has its sights set on one of the coveted four spots in this season’s College Football Playoffs, and the next step on that journey comes on Saturday when the Trojans host No. 15 Notre Dame, when those two traditional powers will share their history renew rivalry. With a lot at stake in this year’s showdown, it has become one of the most anticipated meetings in the rivalry’s recent history.
The USC-Notre Dame series, set for its 93rd edition Saturday night at the Coliseum, dates back to 1926 and has only been interrupted twice – the first being a three-year hiatus for World War II and a year hiatus during the COVID -19 pandemic-hit 2020 season. Notre Dame has an all-time lead of 50-37-5, including a 7-3 lead in the last 10 games.
But while history serves as a fitting backdrop for this series, there’s also a theme of renewal, as it will mark the first time both Lincoln Riley and Marcus Freeman have participated in this rivalry as head coaches of their respective programs. It’s also about USC’s pursuit of a first-ever college football playoff appearance, Caleb Williams nearing a potential Heisman Trophy, and whether Notre Dame can win a sixth straight game to end the season strong and give themselves one giving chance to crash the new year six.
Follow live updates and highlights of the Notre Dame vs. USC game here.
How to watch Notre Dame vs. USC live
date: Saturday, November 26 | time: 7:30 p.m. ET
location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles
TV: ABC | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)
Notre Dame vs. USC: Must know
Caleb Williams builds his Heisman Trophy campaign: After leading the Trojans to a win over UCLA and earning USC’s place in the Pac-12 title game, Williams saw his Heisman chances improve enough that the honors felt more like a two-horse race looks. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is still the betting favorite according to Caesars Sportsbook, but the odds of him being surpassed by Williams will be known by kick-off as Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Michigan will be final. Williams has 33 touchdowns for just three interceptions, adding 316 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in the season. That’s more total touchdowns (40) than Stroud and a slightly better touchdown-to-interception rate. Now many voters want to see a “Heisman moment” at the end of the season, and while Stroud will have a tremendous opportunity to make that happen early in the day, there will also be a huge audience for this rivalry game, which begins a huge primetime window at the Eastcoast.
Notre Dame thrives in November: That program was elite when it came to completing the regular season schedule, winning 19 straight games in November. The last time Notre Dame lost in November was at the end of the 2017 season and the coaching change hasn’t changed that trend as Marcus Freeman has guided the Fighting Irish to victories over Clemson, Navy and Boston College so far this month. Additionally, this year’s team has found an attacking rhythm in the latter parts of the season, surpassing 35 points in five straight games for only the second time in program history.
One of the best rivalry trophies in college football: Championship success gives these two programs a solid claim to having one of the greatest rivalries in esports, as both USC and Notre Dame have won 11 national championships in their history. However, their annual showdown is also notable for its awesome rivalry trophy. The winner of the game between USC and Notre Dame will receive the jeweled Shillelagh for a year, a beautiful jeweled ornament to which a new piece is added for each result in the series – a ruby red Trojan head for USC wins, an emerald green shamrock for Notre-Dame wins. One way or another, a first-year coach will be in possession of that precious rivalry trophy on the field on Saturday night.
Notre Dame vs. USC prediction, tips
Featured Game | USC Trojans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Trojans will find that Notre Dame will be one of the tougher tests of the season as the Fighting Irish look to stay away from Williams with solid ground play and then complement that with a bend-but-don’t-break defense. But if I’m forced to choose between Williams and Drew Pyne in a game I expect to be close, I will side with the Heisman Trophy contender. Forecast: USC -5.5
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