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Burning questions as Irish look to end Trojans CFP dreams

Notre Dame-USC might not feature two teams playing for a potential College Football Playoff spot but one is and the other has looked the part of a top-10 team nationally over the last month.  How does Notre Dame go into Los Angeles and play spoiler to the Trojans, who are likely two wins away from their first College Football Playoff appearance?

To find out more about the bigness of this game and where Notre Dame can possibly look to exploit weaknesses in USC, we spoke to Matt Zemek, the managing editor of Trojans Wire.  Here is how Matt answered our questions about Saturday’s showdown.

This is the biggest ND-USC game since when?

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Trojans Wire:  2006. Notre Dame got shredded by LSU in the Sugar Bowl a month later, but that was still a very important game going in. It felt bigger because of 2005, whereas the 2002 game — which is an interesting game to compare to 2022 (first-year Notre Dame head coach going up against a USC team with a Heisman-contending quarterback) — didn’t feel as large because Ty Willingham’s team didn’t have as high of a ceiling as the 2006 Irish did. Charlie Weis felt like a coach in late 2006 who could still do special things at Notre Dame. 2002 marked the end of Notre Dame having real hope after Willingham’s otherwise successful first season on the job.

Besides the transfer portal, what has Lincoln Riley done to turn USC around so quickly?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

his might seem cliche, and it might elicit some groans and eye-rolls, but it’s true: culture.

Trojans Wire: Lincoln Riley really did change the culture. Maybe that’s not a total credit to him, because the culture was extremely bad under Clay Helton and nearly anyone could have improved the culture in one year. However, Riley has improved the culture on a scale which is hard to…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/notre-dame-usc-burning-questions-221110168.html?src=rss

Author : Fighting Irish Wire

Publish date : 2022-11-22 22:11:10

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