No. 15 Notre Dame football at No. 6 USC: Who has the edge?

No. 15 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC

When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum

TV/Radio: ABC/AM 790

Records: Notre Dame 8-3; USC 10-1, 8-1 in Pac-12

Line: USC by 5

Notable injuries: NOTRE DAME: PROBABLE: DL Jayson Ademilola (undisclosed), TE Mitch Evans (ankle), DL Isaiah Foskey (undisclosed), S Brandon Joseph (undislcosed); QUESTIONABLE: CB Cam Hart (shoulder), WR Tobias Merriweather (concussion); USC: OUT: EDGE Romello Height (shoulder), TE Jude Wolfe (foot)

What’s at stake? For both teams, the Jeweled Shillelagh. For Notre Dame, a win would give the Irish a chance at a New Year’s Six bowl game. For USC, a win would keep alive hopes of the College Football Playoff. Which conversely means that Notre Dame has the chance to play spoiler against their archrival, something these teams have a history of doing against each other.

Who’s better? USC is the better offensive team. Notre Dame is the better defensive team. Strength versus strength should make for an entertaining game.

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Matchup to watch: The USC defense vs. Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer. The last time USC played a dominant tight end, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid dragged the Trojans down the field with him, making a mockery of USC’s ability to tackle. Mayer is probably the best tight end prospect in the country and will present a similar challenge for USC to contain.

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USC wins if: The Trojans limited Mayer to 20 yards after the catch. … QB Caleb Williams has another 450-plus-yard performance for the second week in a row. … USC creates three turnovers to stop the Irish offense.

Prediction: USC 42, Notre Dame 35. This is the type of game that very well could come down to who has the ball last, with the teams trading blows for a full 60 minutes. Those games usually come down to who has the best quarterback, so give me Williams and the Trojans in a classic.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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