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Notre Dame Home Dominance vs. USC Road Success Is An Intriguing Storyline

Notre Dame has been a dominant program at home and USC has been quite good on the road in recent seasons, but one has to give on Saturday night

Notre Dame has been an outstanding home football team for five seasons, and the Irish strength on its home turf will be put to the test Saturday night when the USC Trojans come to town.

Brian Kelly's team has gone 27-2 at home since the beginning of the 2017 season, with both losses coming to Top 5 teams. Georgia beat Notre Dame 20-19 in South Bend back in 2017, and the Bulldogs ended up being the national runners up in 2017.

Notre Dame then ripped off 26 straight wins at home before losing to Cincinnati 24-13 on Oct. 2.

One of those wins was a 30-27 victory over USC back in 2019. Notre Dame jumped out to a 20-3 third quarter lead due in part to a 51-yard touchdown run by Braden Lenzy on a reverse (imagine that). USC stormed back and cut the lead to 23-20 in the fourth quarter before Notre Dame put the game away with a late score.

Since that game the Trojans have not lost a road game, ripping off eight straight wins, with three of the last four road wins coming by at least 16 points. USC's average margin of victory in those eight wins is 14 points.

The Trojans are 2-0 on the road this season, dominating Washington State (45-14) and Colorado (37-14).

I'll be honest, I was surprised to see USC's record on the road since it's loss to the Irish. I really don't have an answer as to why that is, especially the blowout nature of many of those wins. Perhaps getting away from Los Angeles, and all that it entails, allows the USC players to be more focused and rally around each other.

What I do know, however, is that playing on the road has been kind to the Trojans going back to the end of the 2019 season. Notre Dame has been very good at home, although the Irish have been sloppy on their home field this season.

Notre Dame won its first two home games this season, but the first required a come-from-behind victory over a Toledo team that is now 3-4, with losses to Colorado State, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. The Irish also struggled a bit against Purdue before finally putting the Boilermakers away in the second half.

Against USC, a team that has scored 41.7 points in its last three road games, the Notre Dame offense will have to get back on track. If that happens the Irish will get back to its winning home ways and the Trojan road win streak will end in convincing fashion.

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