Sunday, November 21, 2004

Here Come the Irish and ESPN GameDay

After a week off, the Trojans welcome the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the Coliseum. This game holds a unique place in college football lore and is without a doubt the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football. This game is always special and this year will be no different with the ESPN GameDay crew, a sold out stadium and national television audience. In addition, to honor the 30 year anniversary of the Trojan comeback victory over the Irish in 1974, USC has named the game "Anthony Davis Day". AD sparked that fantastic comback with a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half. This is quite simply USC vs Notre Dame and there is nothing better.

Tailgate Update
ESPN GameDay will be returning to USC and we will be there. GameDay films a tape delayed segment for Sports Center at 7am and goes live at 7:30am. Get up early, show the nation that the Trojan fans support their team and get on TV...IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT! Click here to hear Kirk Herbstreit ask Hoover/Flynn tailgaters to show up at GameDay!This will be the third time that the tailgate crew has been in attendance for GameDay and it is an awesome experience. The Trojans have won two huge games with GameDay in attendance (Rose Bowl last year and Cal game this year) and we are hoping to go 3 for 3.

After a brief hiatus, the tailgate will back for the Notre Dame game...and will be back in force. Tailgate was cancelled for the Arizona game due to the birth of Trevor Flynn. Trevor and Clare are doing great and Trevor has been watching lots of football. Thanks to all of you who have called, stopped by, or sent gifts. Trevor will probably not be making an appearance this week, but as you can see from the photo below, he is ready for football!

A big game calls for special food. Phil Navarro has spent the entire season catching lobster and will be serving lobster this week at the tailgate. Word is that he has 30lbs!

In addition, Jennifer Ignacio will be make some gumbo and we will have all the regular fixings (burgers, etc). For those early arrivers, we will have breakfast.

Marcus Wooler will be making a rare appearance at the tailgate and he may even don his dancing outfit

We will be watching some great games on TV before the game, the best of which is Virginia vs Virginia Tech which starts at 10am. Other games include Georgia/GTech (12:30) and Oklahoma St/Texas Tech. This is the last tailgate at the Coliseum, but we will be at the Rose Bowl next week as well.

Tidbits on the ND Game, and All things USC Football

  • It is Thanksgiving this week, so let's take a moment and be thankful for our USC Trojans. USC is 10-0 and is guaranteed a third straight BCS bowl bid. The program has come a long way and this should be enjoyed, not taken for granted
  • The Notre Dame game is sold out and USC will average a record 85,000 in attendance this year. This shatters the previous record (set last year) of 78,000
  • Notre Dame is 6-4, coming off a painful 41-38 loss to Pitt in South Bend. The Irish are bowl eligible and may actually play the UCLA Bruins in the Insight Bowl
  • Notre Dame struggles to defend the pass (ranked 107th nationally in pass defense) fact all 4 losses have come to teams ranked in the top 30 in passing offense (USC ranked #24)
  • In their 4 losses, the Irish have given up on average 348yds passing, including 383 yds to Pitt in their most recent game
  • Notre Dame has played very well against "run first" teams so look for the Trojans to pass early to set up the run...this is what Norm likes to do anyway
  • Dominique Byrd did not play last year vs the Irish...look for him to be a big focus in this game against the big, but slow ND linebackers
  • We hope that Steve Smith and Chris McFoy can return to lineup this week after missing games due to leg injuries....John Drake may be back at guard as well
  • On offense, Notre Dame is ranked 87th in rushing (128yds per game), 47th in passing (230yds/gm) and 54th is scoring (26pts/gm)
  • Irish freshman RB Darius Walker (#3) is a good player, however, the Irish rarely pass when he is in the game due to his weakness in blocking
  • WR Matt Shelton is a deep threat for the Irish and QB Brady Quinn is improved over last year
  • The Irish have beaten highly ranked Michigan and Tennessee, but have lost to Pitt and BYU
  • USC is ranked 2nd in rushing defense, 2nd in scoring defense, 4th in total defense, 5th in turnover margin, 5th in pass efficiency defense and 7th in scoring offense
  • Beating the Irish is never easy, but a raucous Coliseum crowd will certainly help. Come out and support the Trojans as they fight it out with the Irish.

See you there!


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