Welcome to the last Anti-Preview for the Fighting Irish in this regular season. It has been a very up and down year for the Irish, and they are looking to salvage a season with an improbable victory against our greatest rival. With most of the talk this week being about Coach Weis and his future with the program, the team is probably looking forward to getting away from South Bend and all of those type of distractions.
Speaking of distractions, I apologize to all of you who enjoy reading these Anti-Previews. This is going to be a very short and sweet version. I have had more on my plate than usual these past few days and I just don't have it in me for a full dose. Excuses, excuses- whatever.
Southern Cal. These guys are pretty fucking good and have only got better as the season has progressed. The defense is littered with future first round picks for the NFL and the offense has been extremely efficient. Plus, they have this for a distraction. I hate them.
What should you be drinking? I don't know. The real answer is "Yes. A lot." You better get wasted and you should have plenty of time to do it with a prime time game. Prime Time. Go for the shamrocks, and try not to end up as butch as this chick:
What should you be eating? They are out in LA, so anything is going to be possible. But instead of going the fine dining route, get something quick and easy. In-N-Out Burger. Or, maybe something as simple as a nice watermelon:
What freshman will have the biggest impact? I wish to Christ I could say Floyd, but we all know that ain't happening. Darius Flemming. He has been playing very well for the defense as of late. The Irish will need to create some type of pass rush and Flemming could use his quickness to his advantage.
What offensive player needs to step it up? I'm calling you out. The ENTIRE offensive line. SC is talking a lot of shit, and they are looking to fucking destroy Clausen. So the entire line has to pull up their skirts and get to work . Sam Young, Trevor Robinson, Chris Stewart, Dan Wenger, Eric Olsen, and Mike Turkovich. All of these guys have to step up and perform. If the Irish could somehow keep Clausen on his feet and maintain some kind of consistency in the ground game, than the Irish will be able to have a legitimate shot.
What defensive player needs to step it up? Steve Quinn. With Brian Smith out and a huge void on the defensive side, look for Quinn to see a majority of the snaps over Toryan Smith. Smith is a step slower than Quinn and with the speed the Irish will see against the Trojans. Quinn has the savvy to make an impact, but will he be able to keep up? The entire defensive unit will be going against an onslaught from a USC offense that will mix up the play calling and use multiple personnel groups. Sanchez must be on his ass to have any chance.. Quinn might be able to get there and do it.
What special teams player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker. Continue the consistency and nail those 45 yard and less field goals. Notre Dame could find itself in the middle of the fight if they are getting the job done on both sides, the field goal team could put them over the edge- either way.
Is there a rivalry trophy at stake? As a matter of fact, yes. (I wouldn't have asked otherwise) Here is an excerpt from an old Subway Domer post on all of ND's rivalry trophy games...
The Jeweled Shillelagh is the hardware given to the
winner of the annual contest of the Trojans and The Fighting Irish. Legend
states that Howard Hughes' pilot brought this Gaelic Warclub, made of blackthorn
oak, over from Ireland in 1952. The Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles
created the award. The winner of the contest is awarded the trophy with a new
medallion to mark the victor. ND has emerald shamrocks while USC has ruby
encrusted Trojan heads. Although the trophy was created in 1952, the entire
series is recorded back to 1926. There have been 5 ties and those games are
represented with a combo medallion. The original shillelagh was retired after
the 1995 season. There was simply no more room for anymore shamrocks or heads.
It now resides at Notre Dame because the Irish won more games up to that point.
(We still do even after losses for 5 straight seasons with a 42-31-5 mark).
There is a new trophy that is a little longer than the original. It was
purchased by Jim Gillis, a former baseball player for ND and USC. It is the same
kind of oak and hails from the County Leitrim in Ireland. It was introduced in
So who's going to win? Most people will say that this game is a sure bet. Notre Dame is a 30 point underdog and has virtually no chance to win this game or even have the delusional thought of keeping this game close. What the hell. Irish win 29-27. Somehow, someway.