Almost every year, the college football world is treated to a battle between the USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This year’s edition features both teams ranked in the top 25 entering the weekend. Battles between these schools seldom disappoint, and 2023 doesn’t seem like it’s going to break that trend.
USC hits the road a perfect 6-0. Will Notre Dame bounce back from a loss by beating their rivals?
defend the shillelagh at all costs ‼️
— USC Football ✌️ (@uscfb) October 11, 2023
#10 USC Trojans vs. #21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds and Match Details
|*Odds Subject to Change|
Fixture: USC Trojans @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date and Time: October 14, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. EST
Location: Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana
Field Surface: FieldTurf CORE
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Breezy, and 47 Degrees
#10 USC Trojans
It’s impossible to begin talking about this team without mentioning reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. He leads an offense that is averaging a nation-leading 51.8 points per game. USC, under head coach Lincoln Riley, also gains 523.3 yards per game, the fourth-most nationally.
The Trojans gain 355.2 yards through the air, the third-most nationally, although both of the schools ahead of them are in the Pac-12 too. USC is also picking up 168.2 yards per game on the ground, led by MarShawn Lloyd. Stopping the Trojans when they have the ball is a grueling task.
Most of the scoring is by necessity because the defense gives a lot of it right back. USC is allowing 27.0 points per game, a number much lower thanks to the first four weeks. In their past two games, both against unranked Pac-12 schools, the Trojans allowed 41 points.
One positive is that USC has a Pac-12-leading 22 sacks this season. Still, they’re bleeding 421.3 yards per game in 2023. 157.0 of those yards come on runs, while the other 264.3 come via passing plays. They’ve allowed at least 28 points in both road games, and this will be their toughest one yet.
#21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Both of Notre Dame’s losses came against teams currently ranked in the top 15 nationally. The independent program is also fresh off its worst performance of the year after allowing 33 points to Louisville. They’ve been much sturdier this season, ranking 15th nationwide with 15.9 points against per game.
The Fighting Irish hold opponents to 279.4 yards per game, which is the 12th-best mark in the nation. The Notre Dame defense is especially dominant through the air, allowing the third-fewest passing yards per game (146.6). On the ground, foes gain 132.9 yards per game, but only 3.6 yards per rush.
When the Fighting Irish have the ball, they’re no slouches either. This year’s team is putting up 34.1 points and gaining 437.9 yards per game. QB Sam Hartman and running back Audric Estime are leading Notre Dame’s charge.
Through the air, Notre Dame is compiling 266.9 yards per game. On the ground, the Fighting Irish are racking up 171.0 per contest. They’ve gone three straight games without scoring 30 but coming back home is the perfect time to make it happen again.
For a fourth straight week, Notre Dame will take on a ranked opponent. After a 1-2 start in the first three, the Fighting Irish will even up their record on Saturday. Using their elite pass defense, Notre Dame will be one of the few teams to successfully slow down Caleb Williams and USC’s high-octane offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Fighting Irish will have no problems scoring on the Trojans’ defense. USC is allowing more than 400 yards per game and has allowed more than 40 in two consecutive games. Notre Dame will move the ball with ease all night, giving their defense plenty of support. With the crowd on their side, the Fighting Irish take home an impressive home win.