USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick – NCAAF Week 8

The USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a rivalry matchup to attend to on Saturday night in South Bend. USC is looking for a better effort against their long distance rival in this one. It’s been a turbulent season for USC, as they look to improve to 4-3 on the season. They’ve gone through some rough times, including head coach Clay Helton getting canned.

I thought Helton should have been gone two years ago. Better late than never I guess? I don’t know if everyone in the athletic department was blind or just ignoring what was going on, but it was clear that Helton was not the guy. Helton had talent to work with. Recruiting wasn’t necessarily his problem, but his game plans and X’s and O’s rarely worked well.

With Helton out, Donte Williams is acting as the interim head coach for the Trojans. USC can’t be a tough place to attract a qualified head coach, right? Helton seemed like a baffling hire to begin with for a program like USC, so it may not be as easy as 20 or 15 years ago in Los Angeles. The Trojans are coming off a 42-26 loss against the Utah Utes at home.

It was a discouraging performance for the Trojans, but USC fans have gotten used to this by now. They have three wins on the season against San Jose State, 30-7, Washington State, 45-14, and Colorado, 37-14. There isn’t a signature win on their resume, but maybe they get up for the Fighting Irish on Saturday night.

Notre Dame goes into this contest with one loss and five wins on their record. They’ve had some really good moments, including a 41-13 blowout over the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field on September 25. However, Notre Dame struggled to hold their own versus the dangerous Cincinnati Bearcats a few weeks back.

They opened the month with a 24-13 loss against the Bearcats. The suffocating defense forced Jack Coan into an interception with just 114 yards passing. Notre Dame responded with a 31-28 win in a tough environment over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. Not a bad win against a Virginia Tech team that is tough to beat at home. Head below for our free USC vs. Notre Dame pick on October 22, 2021.

USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Live Odds and Betting History:

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
USC Trojans +6.5 (+105) +210 Over 58.5 (-112)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -6.5 (-125) -250 Under 58.5 (-108)
Team Data USC Trojans Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Overall Record 3-3 5-1
ATS Record 3-3-0 3-3-0
Away/Home Record 2-0 2-1
ATS Away/Home 2-0-0 1-2-0
Points Per Game 32.2 31
Points Against Per Game 27.3 24.3
Passing Yards Per Game 318.3 270.5
Rushing Yards Per Game 129.8 96.2

USC vs. Notre Dame Prediction:

USC watched as J.T. Daniels requested a transfer to the Georgia Bulldogs after Kedon Slovis showed enough as the starter after Daniels was injured.

Daniels is in the saddle for an appearance in the National Championship, while Slovis is on this 3-3 team on the road to nowhere at USC.

Slovis has passed for 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 64% completions. The junior has been serviceable, but this offense has lacked another gear.

You don’t often say that for a team that’s 12th in the nation with 318.2 passing yards per game, but they’ve struggled to come up and finish drives when they need it.

The Trojans’ defense isn’t good enough to have wasted drives from the offense. They’ve allowed 382.2 yards per game for 69th in the FBS.

USC are 78th with 27.3 points conceded per game. Conversely, Notre Dame are 63rd with 24.3 points allowed per game.


USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Trends:

USC

  • 11-5 overall in their previous 16 games
  • 4-2 ATS in their previous six games versus Notre Dame
  • 1-4 overall in their previous five games at Notre Dame
  • 4-14 ATS in their 18 games as an underdog
  • 3-12 ATS in their previous 15 games as an underdog on the road

Notre Dame

  • 17-3 overall in their previous 20 games
  • 19-1 overall in their previous 20 games at Notre Dame
  • 4-1 overall in their previous five games at Notre Dame
  • 4-1 ATS in their previous five games in October
  • OVER is 5-2 in their previous seven games versus the Pac 12

Notre Dame are going with shared duties at quarterback. Jack Coan started the year in the QB1 role, but has been sharing snaps with Tyler Buchner. Buchner is the future, so this is valuable experience for him. Coan is probably the better option at this point, though.

The grad transfer has passed for 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 62.1% completions. He’s the definition of a game manager. He’s helped lead the Fighting Irish to 366.7 yards and 31 points per game. Against a pedestrian USC defense on the road, expect the Irish to move the ball.

USC hasn’t beaten anybody noteworthy this season, though they have lost to beatable foes in Stanford, 42-28, Oregon State, 45-27, and Utah, 42-26. If this wasn’t a rivalry game, I suspect that this spread wouldn’t be under a touchdown. USC hasn’t had the best success going to South Bend, and in their current form, it’s likely going to be tough again in this one.

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USC vs. Notre Dame Pick
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH -6.5