Tuesday, October 11, 2005

USC and ESPN GameDay visit South Bend

For some reason the media (both local and national) think the Trojans did not play well on Saturday vs the Arizona Wildcats. Well, other than about 6 plays, the Trojans played outstanding in my opinion. Here are some quick stats to back this up:

  • USC gained 724 yds and only allowed 245 yds for the Wildcats, 500 yds difference in total yards is getting it done
  • USC had 39 first downs vs 12 for Arizona
  • The Trojans rushed for 337 yds vs 64 for the Wildcats
  • USC had 2 players each rush for over 100yd for the 3rd consecutive week
  • USC was 10-14 on 3rd down conversions vs 1-9 for Arizona
  • USC held the ball for 37 minutes vs 23 for Arizona
  • USC had touchdown drives of 96,95,88,83,80 and 80 yards

Those numbers do not indicate that the Trojans struggled. The Wildcats had absolutely outstanding special teams, were +2 on turnovers, completed two long passes....and still lost by 21. If USC does not turn the ball over (2 plays) and allow 2 long pass plays (2 plays), it would have been a much larger margin of victory. The kickoff coverage needs a ton of work, but the Trojans are still playing pretty good football right now.


Notre Dame Preview and Other Tidbits

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. This is quite simply USC vs Notre Dame and there is nothing better. This is likely the most hyped USC vs Notre Dame game since 1988 and Irish fans are claiming it is the biggest game in South Bend since Florida State in 1993.

This will be the fourth time that the tailgate crew has been in attendance for GameDay and it is an awesome experience. The Trojans have won three huge games with GameDay in attendance (Rose Bowl 2003 and Cal and Notre Dame games last year) and we are hoping to go 4 for 4. Come join us in Joyce South (look for USC EZ-Up and flags) both before and after the game Click here for Map

  • The Irish are ranked 8th in passing offense, 35th in rushing offense, 9th in total offense and 17th in scoring offense (37pts per game)
  • With Charlie Weiss at the helm, you can count on the Irish being well prepared and running an outstanding scheme
  • The Irish are averaging 3.81 yds/carry vs 6.97 for the Trojans
  • Notre Dame's defensive statistics are not as impressive, #31 in rushing D, #114 in passing D, #94 in total D and #54 in scoring D (24pts/game).
  • The Irish are allowing 4.11 yds/ carry vs 2.89 for the Trojans
  • Notre Dame has done an outstanding job of forcing turnovers in the redzone (even the endzone) particularly against Michigan and Washington
  • The Irish likely have the best OL that USC has faced to date....should be a challenge for the Trojan DL
  • LaJuan Ramsey will return to the line-up for the Trojans this week which should give the defense a boost. It is unlikely that Cushing or Sartz will play....let's all hope that Reggie is close to 100%

  • The Irish will move the ball on the Trojans....USC will focus on keeping the ball in front of them (unlike against UofA) and avoiding long kickoff/punt returns that can flip field position
  • Turnovers will be critical (more so than ever) in the outcome of this game, particularly given the explosive offenses
  • USC has faced 2 high powered passing attacks so far (Oregon and ASU) and faired pretty well. The Irish faced Michigan St (#2 in total offense behind the Trojans, albeit by 75yds!) and gave up 44pts and 488yds in an overtime loss
  • Talk about a tale of 2 cities, the Irish passed for 227yds and 140yds against Pitt (#11 pass defense) and Michigan (#20 pass defense), respectively, but pased for 487, 327 and 468 against Mich St (#106), Washington (#94) and Purdue (#116). Either the Irish are getting better with time or they encountered some weak resistance against the pass....we will find out Saturday!

Look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago and South Bend...let's hope the Trojans can grind out another tough win on the road.

Fight On!


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