USC Morning Buzz: Is Notre Dame This Bad?

The South Point Hotel in Las Vegas has USC a 1-point underdog at Notre Dame in South Bend on Oct. 23.

Is Notre Dame that bad?

The Irish don’t even get the requisite 3-points for being at home? Against Clay Helton?

USC’s offensive line and linebackers are a 1-point underdog? I’m actually not sold on USC’s corners either but that will set off the fanboys.

Like I said, is Notre Dame this bad?

OK, Notre Dame returns only four starters on offense. And six on defense. Plus its kicker and punter.

Not a lot. I guess that means only a 1-point favorite.

But what are the odds Brian Kelly develops more players by Oct. 23 than Helton?

41 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Is Notre Dame This Bad?

  1. Helton won’t develop any players by October 23rd. But Orlando will…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed MG, this isn’t about Helton. It’s about what can be done in spite of Helton. USC held in there longer last trip, so maybe if they can ignore Helton they will move ahead.

      Okay nap time over what were we dreaming about?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Every year we are in the top 20 or 15……then we play and have a tough time against world powers like Az St, Wa St, Cal, Utah and the ruins…..during the Helton era.
    After a while the preseason crap is just that.
    Every USC QB is a Heisman until……he plays.
    Every USC DL is all pac 12 but they can’t stop the run or hold the edge.
    Helton has a lot of friends determined to push his agenda…..but in the end…..the smell will lead you to where he takes them.
    Yep….we will have a great defense……with an interior starting DL that is a fellow that was booted from bama and just went thru serious surgery that was a 4 star and has no high level talent near him or behind him except for Foreman….who is a freshman.
    Still a fan…..but Helton needs to start evaluating his team with some credibility…….what am I talking about…..its Helton……the greatest used car man in the country.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The last drought at Notre Dame lasted 12 years if I recall correctly. It included some really close games and some of the most egregious refs ever to attend Mass on Sunday.
    It also encompassed the tenure of two of worst coaches in USC history. Maybe the thought process here is that with better strength and conditioning, better blocking and an improved defense USC is due.
    I don’t know where they are going to come from, but if they do, we win.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I’ve come to realize victories for underdogs require several “ifs” falling into place. Yesterday a guy asked me whether Federer had the stuff to pull off another Grand Slam. After thinking about it I realized that he could — but it requires him getting 100% over his surgeries, staying healthy, a couple of surprise losses by favored players and some lucky bounces.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Naw, I don’t see SC winning this game. the team takes after their coach and they will be grasping for straws instead of having a great game plan. SC loses by 4. That is because of Helton and Harrel. They won’t think of even running the ball. They will throw the ball around 80% of the time. Against nd, it would be nice to have a full back.


  5. It has always taken a USC team of superior talent and coaching to win in South Bend….

    That said, take ND and give a point if you wager. There is no better bet right now.
    By game day, you’ll be giving up 6 points.

    Last time we went to South Bend with a good chance to win, Sammy was QB and Rojo was running amok–despite a Calloway O-line that was shambolic. Swarbrick had set up the schedule such that ND had three weeks to prepare: A patsy game, a bye week, then game prep week. By game day ND was rested and healed and prepped. The Trojans were in the middle of a 12 week run with no bye week. Toa thought that Sammy was punting on first down and launched one 20 yards into ND territory. Game over.

    I expect USC to go 11-1 this season given the absolute gifts from the CFB scheduling gods, and this could be the loss, despite Bohn wisely scheduling a bye before the trip to ND.

    At 10-2, I only retain the HC with a win in Vegas Friday 12/3 and a win on New Years day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Point of order: It looked to me like Sam RECOVERED that shitty snap (btw, what else did we expect from Toa in a Big Game played in South Bend?). The sign we were gonna lose wasn’t the snap —it was Sam politely trotting off the field with not a peep of protest after the bad turnover call ….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not only did they have the extra week to prepare, the second week was post finals and they had no school to worry about…

      And wasn’t it just recently that Slovis had his team in a position for a comeback (much like this year’s games and just ran short of time), and that was a good nd team… No?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point. In our haste to critique all thing Helton we (okay, “I”) forget how close we came in that J. T. game…or that last Oregon game to gaining a “W” on the final drive…..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Says the guy who thinks losing late is a win..

        Never made an excuse. Unlike you, I didn’t say anything would be different. Just pointed out a fact.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Interesting that everyone seems to think that the ruins or the devils are close, yet the folks at PFF have different ideas…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sincerely always enjoy hearing from Owns — but you’re right, Pudly —it’s not healthy for our bruin friends to prolong their orgasm over LOSING in the Final Four….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When you’re on a major losing streak in a sport you cheated so hard at to become “the” elite team, you have to reach in deep to pull out anything that sounds even remotely like a positive. It’s lunacy for him to continue down this path. It leads nowhere except the foot of a cliff.

        On the other hand, there is softball 🥎.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. P. S.
        I never heard one Trojan say we came within ONE touchdown and ONE two pointer of being Pac 12 Champs…..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What are the odds the Kelly develops more players than Clay by the end of October.

    Secretariat-at-Balmoral odds: 1-20


    1. While Porter Gustin or ARSB didn’t need such help, likely a large part of the team will benefit by Ms. Johnson’s expertise. Nutrition at this level of competition is an underappreciated science. Greatest benefit will be Jan to September, IMHO.
      Sep to Jan 1 is just a physical grind that you try to survive.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gustin is showing some promise in the NFL–maybe a “lankier Clay Matthews JR?”

        I will always wonder if Porter OVERTRAINED and deprived himself of adequate calories and/or adequate carbs and set himself up for a bunch of weird injuries.

        Still, I will agree with you that he coulda’ been a great MMA assassin or even WWE
        star (insert lol emoji)


  7. New poster here. Have to say how much i enjoy the witty retorts on most subjects. Hope you don’t mind me joining in occasionally.

    Now for the bad news. We are actually loaded this year. Kelly has us at the reload rather than rebuild stage. The game will not be close. ( But I actually cheer for USC in general, as it is good for the sport for USC to get back to a legitimate contending position and for the ND USC game to be one of the biggest of the year nationally.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Always nice to have new opinions, whether agreeable or not. I will say that I’ve seen a number of early polls that suggest the line is accurate. But we’ll see..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ND:
        Then I see you plunking down a large wager and giving the 1 point at this stage.
        It’s worth the trip to the South Point Hotel. Never gonna see better odds than this.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ll be taking that point my friend, not giving. I just can’t bring myself to believe that the leprechaun is invincible.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. My Prediction (which comes with a Big “If”):
        IF our starters at QB, Receiver, Running Back, Corner and Safety are 100% healthy on Oct 23rd— we handle Notre Dame like we haven’t handled them since that day Adoree pissed all over ’em.
        Yes, it would be nice if our lines got involved —but we can beat ’em with a first rate, fast break offense.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I don’t wager, Pudly76, that’s why I do see us beating ND in South Bend this year–USC’s offensive “finesse” and lack of run game put up enough points and Orlando’s D comes up with a big stop at crunch time. Losing a highly efficient Ian Book and breaking in a new QB becomes ND’s downfall in crunch time, and the Trojans squeak out a close one.
        Ugliest W ever.

        The haters are hoping for an epic loss to use as a springboard to ousting the HC. As a former player, I only think about the young men who put so much effort into their HS and College career. Those who committed to USC deserve better than this shambolic program. I think most of the recent program additions are NOT the shambolic Sunbelt/AAC pipe-line and USC is moving in the right direction.

        I expect an 11-1 season despite (italics, bold, and underline) the HC and ongoing improvement. I’m not sure Bobby Bowden was a great coach, but he had the recruits, the money, the prestige, and brilliant assistant coaches. Helton?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Many things can change of course, but right now our strength appears to be pass rush, with faster, more fluid D ends and linebackers CH has assisted our plan with his further de-emphasis of the run game. I like your QB very much but he might not finish this game.


    1. He did okay last time. So we’ll see. It’s your corners and safeties that come into doubt. We’ve gotten bigger outside and faster in the slot than we were. Pittman was one problem, but Drake is something else altogether. We’re so deep outside we’re not even mentioning 2 five stars including the National POY.
      And I think it’s too early to call out running game a flop. Only time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I like your defensive ends and linebackers very much –but— playing the second half against Dart would be their worst nightmare.


  9. There is a difference between being a realist and just being completely pessimistic. I agree Notre Dame should be much more than a 1 point undergod, but there is alot of USC bashing that is not warranted.

    The defense should have a stellar line – Tuli, Figeuroa, Foreman, Jackson, Sopsher or Toia. Going to be the best in the Pac-12. Good coaching by So’Oto. Corners will be strong with ITS, Chris Steele and maybe Josh Jackson or Ceyair competing for playing time. Linebackers will be alot better than last year with Mauga getting better and Raesjon Davis is going to push for playing time, along with maybe Julien Simon. And what if Solo gets healthy? Goforth and Scott are going to get challenged for playing time.

    At safety we have to replace Hufanga, which will be tough, but there will be depth of talented, but young players.

    Overall, this defense is going to take a step forward, top 20 -25 defense, up from top 40.

    The offensive line is a big question mark, but they will be training against a stellar defensive line, so I think they get better as a unit that some might think. Jonah Monheim is going to be on the field. Better coaching and they will be forcing players to compete for their position. I say that the pass protection is solid, if not stellar and the rush blocking gets improved a ton.

    The big question is whether Graham Harrell will incorporate play action and broaden out his scheme to keep teams from simply dropping 8 into coverage. If they cant stop that, then the offense sputters.

    This year Drake London is going to be more dominant than any USC receiver in a long time. Way more dominant than Michael Pittman in his senior year. Michael Jackson 3 is nearly as good as Amon Ra by the end of the year. And Trigg comes in and provides another big body that, when on the field with Drake London creates massive mismatch problems. And that doesnt even include Bru or Gary Bryant.

    Running backs have 3 solid players, Ingram, Vae and Campbell. Not even including Kenon. They just need blocking and schemes that take advantage.

    If Slovis gets injured, we also have the most talented QBs in Dart and Moss. Dart might even be as good as Slovis right now, with Moss a step behind.

    We finally have a top-notch S&C coach and a new nutrition program, so the kids will get developed in their physical and mental abilities.

    So all the negativity is just over-blown. Utah and Notre Dame are going to be really tough teams to beat this year. But SC isnt going to be easy to beat up on either.

    The Utah and Notre Dame games are close enough that either team can win and it will come down to the luck of the day, who gets the breaks. Seems to me that Clay Helton is one of the luckiest guys around.


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