Despite the guarantee of victory by USC Trojan freshman quarterback Max Wittek, who happens to be making his first career start, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will roll over the Trojans tonight. The Notre Dame defense is going to be too much for the freshman quarterback and shaky offensive line to handle. The Notre Dame defense is currently number one in the country, allowing only 10.1 points per game and 288.3 total yards per game. More bad news for Wittek; they’re also only giving up 195.2 passing yards per game, with six touchdowns allowed and 14 interceptions. Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te’o is going to take advantage of another opportunity in primetime and turn in yet another monster performance.
The Irish offense is going to surprise some people tonight (just as they have done several times this year) and put up some points against the Trojan defense. Running back Cierre Wood will steal the show on offense for the Irish.
Notre Dame is clearly a polarizing team; either you love them or hate them. I’m still shocked at the lack of respect for the Fighting Irish, however. They are the number one team in the country, facing an unranked opponent, but are only seven point favorites. That’s staggering. If it were the Alabama Crimson Tide or another SEC team ranked first and facing an unranked opponent, they would be at least 17 point favorites.
Notre Dame has beaten quality opponents this year, with their most convincing victory coming on the road, when they beat the Oklahoma Sooners 30-13. Yes, the Irish have played down to some opponents and gotten some favorable calls, but that is what is often needed to finish a season undefeated. Again, substitute and SEC or Big 12 team name for Notre Dame and everyone would be calling it a season of destiny, not a lucky break.
The bias against the Irish is somewhat understandable. They have admittedly stayed in the national spotlight because of their name, not their performance, for several years. It’s about time that people disregard their bias (on either side of the conversation) and recognize this team for what they are: the number one team in the nation with an incredible defense and adequate offense.
Notre Dame will beat USC tonight in a convincing fashion and put themselves into the national championship game. This is a season of destiny for Notre Dame, but that doesn’t mean that they are not deserving of an appearance in the national title game.