Friday, October 11, 2013
USC Looks Rejuvenated Under New Coach
With both Notre Dame and USC both having very mediocre starts to their seasons. Their upcoming game had seemed to lost a little luster, at least nationally. Even in the games they won neither team really looked that impressive. Then Notre Dame suffered a bad loss to Oklahoma and later that same night USC gave up 62 points to Arizona State. That loss got Lane Kiffin fired.
Just when it seemed that neither team was going to do much this season. Notre Dame travels to Dallas and shocks Arizona State. That seemed to rejuvenate the Irish heading into a bye to prepare for USC. Being that the Trojans lost to the Sun Devils the week before, you would think that Notre Dame would have the momentum going into the game.
While Notre Dame has good reason to be confident, they cannot assume victory against USC. The Trojans had their first game on Thursday under Interim Coach Ed Orgeron. Let's just say that they just flat out looked like a different team. Granted it was against an Arizona team that doesn't appear to be very good, but don't forget that this USC team lost to PAC 12 doormat Washington State and barely beat Utah State and Hawaii under Kiffin.
Sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler had his best game throwing for 297 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He did it without Marqise Lee too who will likely play against Notre Dame. Nelson Agholor filled in nicely in Lee's absence with 7 catches for 161yards including a long 62 yard touchdown. Having him opposite of Lee can be scary. Also Senior runner Silas Redd was able to play for the first time all year and he gained 80 yards in limited duty. Tre Madden has been solid all year in Redd's absence. To make it short, this team is getting healthy for the first time all year and will be another big challenge for our improving defense.
USC did look a little sloppy on defense in the second half and allowed the Wildcats to get back in it by giving up three second half touchdowns. However, the game was basically over when the Wildcats made their late run.
Now this game next week suddenly has a different feel to it. While Notre Dame-USC will always matter regardless of record, this game suddenly has regained a little national appeal. With both teams at 4-2 and looking rejuvenated after their best games of the year, the winner sets itself up for a possible BCS run or run at the PAC 12 South title.