The Gooold Sheet

The venerable betting publication, the Gold Sheet, likes Notre Dame to upset USC, 27-26.

Excerpt: “On the bright side for butter-fingered Irish, they had only one giveaway last week.”

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USC Morning Buzz: Anthony Davis Remembers Greatest Comeback

It is the 40th anniversary of college football’s most celebrated comeback, the 1974 USC-Notre Dame when the Trojans trailed 24-0 and scored 55 straight points in about 19 minutes.

Tailback Anthony Davis returned the second-half kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, the most famous play of the game and his career.

“It doesn’t feel like 40 years ago because people keep talking about it,” Davis said. “It’s fresh to me. It’s ironic I go places now at 62 and people still talk about it.”

Full story here

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Was UCLA LB Eric Kendricks Inbounds On Interception?


USC coach Steve Sarkisian said he heard back from the Pac-12 this week regarding UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks’ interception in the first half. The play caused a replay review before he was deemed inbounds.
“They confirmed that he was inbounds,” Sarkisian said. “They had a pretty good shot from the TV copy they were able to zoom in on. They confirmed it. It was a heckuva play. They confirmed that call.”

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Halftime Speeches 101

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This is the 40th anniversary of the 1974 USC-Notre Dame, when the Trojans trailed 24-6 at halftime and then scored 49 straight points. At halftime, USC coach John McKay told his team the story of the 1964 Notre Dame game when USC trailed 17-0 at halftime and won 20-17.

McKay also told Anthony Davis he would return the kickoff to open the second half for a touchdown, which Davis famously did. So why was it so unimaginable for USC to overcome a 24-14 halftime deficit last Saturday against UCLA?

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Freshmen Everywhere

A stat released Wednesday by USC determined that eight true freshmen made 45 starts this season. Three of those players are offensive linemen (Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama, Viane Talamaivao).

Not all those starts were forced out of necessity, however, because the coaches decided to play senior Aundrey Walker (18 career starts) as little as possible this season.

 

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USC Morning Buzz: Giving Thanks

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It’s Thanksgiving and Steve Sarkisian made the players write down what they are thankful for as a homework assignment last night. Here’s one thing I’m thankful for: USC will wear its traditional helmets against Notre Dame.

Perhaps the shiny helmets are being buried after that UCLA-game performance.

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The Latest Line

USC is a 7-point favorite over Notre Dame. That seems like a lot of points for two disappointing teams but the Irish just lost three defensive players (defensive linemen Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day, safety Drue Tranquill). Notre Dame also has a depleted roster. And close losses. 

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A Chicken And Egg Dilemma

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Is USC’s offense too conservative? Yes. But why? Is it because Steve Sarkisian will not take chances or because he feels Cody Kessler is not capable of running a wide-open offense?

Remember Sarkisian coached Jake Locker and Keith Price at Washington. And I wrote back in the spring the playbook was pared down because of the lack of a running quarterback. After watching the UCLA game, does that justify keeping the game plan bland? And how does it improve next season?

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