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Game Prediction: No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans

One of the classic rivalries in college football renews in South Bend this weekend.

Notre Dame and USC are two programs that should be annually competing for a CFP berth. While the Irish have had success in that regard over the last few seasons, USC hasn't really sniffed a post-season chance. Both teams are going through rocky moments (I know ND's record is good, but this hasn't been a great year for them) and a win on Saturday in a storied rivalry game would help lift their fans' spirits for sure.

Here's what our BuckeyesNow staff is expecting on Saturday evening:

USC at NOTRE DAME Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Spread: Notre Dame (-7.0)
O/U Total: 58.5

Brendan Gulick: USC 27, Notre Dame 17

If you love college football, this game should always be on your radar. That said, given that neither program has any shot whatsoever at making the College Football Playoff and that both are down on their luck, I'm not sure the same usual limelight exists around this year's matchup.

I generally like USC's offense and Notre Dame's defense and I think there could be some nice plays from those units this weekend. Kyle Hamilton in particular is a blossoming superstar. But I think Notre Dame's offensive line is going to continue to struggle against USC. I anticipate this will be a pretty competitive game, but not necessarily the highest caliber game of the season. 

Andrew Lind: USC 24, Notre Dame 17

This game used to be a must-watch every year, but with USC in the dumps and Notre Dame nowhere as good as their record shows, I have very little interest this time around.

However, I must say from a pure talent standpoint that the Trojans are the best team the Fighting Irish have faced all year – including undefeated and second-ranked Cincinnati. If they can force turnovers and not make any mistakes of their own, they’ll walk away from South Bend with the win.

Game Preview: Ohio State Looking For 27th Straight Win Over Indiana

Caleb Spinner: Notre Dame 35, USC 28

This rivalry between the Fighting Irish and the Trojans is undoubtedly one of my favorites in all of college football. Brian Kelly no doubt has the experience going into this rivalry game with a 7-3 record against USC while Trojans interim head coach Donte Williams is trying to stabilize a program that's had a rocky year. 

The Irish defensive talent is well spread, with seven different defensive players with interceptions and 15 different defenders with one or more tackles for loss. This will be a close game, but in the end the Irish will hoist the Jeweled Sheleighly.

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