The USC Trojans are preparing for one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football. After taking a year off due to COVID-19, USC will travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
There are a couple of elements that could throw off the Trojans from bringing their A-Game, such as weather, time-zone differences, and the rowdy crowd at Notre Dame Stadium. But don't fear USC fans, interim head coach Donte Williams has already started making minor adjustments to practice to prepare for each scenario.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame band music and Dropkick Murphys' “I'm Shipping Up to Boston” were played repeatedly through speakers on Howard Jones Field. Williams wants his players to become accustomed to the noise, so it doesn't become a distraction on Saturday night.
“I’ve been quite a few places where we did things like that in practice and play their fight song the whole practice and [it] almost becomes when you get there and they're playing it, you don't even hear it," Williams said. "You're just so accustomed to it, it's like the norm. You start tuning it out instead of it being there the first time when they are playing it and you get in awe a little bit.”
The team has also started training earlier to start adjusting to eastern-time.
“The time zones is always huge,” Williams said on Tuesday. “We made some adjustments as far as this week. Tomorrow or Thursday guys getting up early and I don't think that would be a problem for us just for the simple fact is that we lift weights in the morning, so a lot of things for us I think it's gonna help us out, work in our favor a little bit. Time zones is always different.”
Coming off a much needed bye week gave the Trojans an opportunity to reset after back-to-back games. With extra time to nurse injuries and scout Brian Kelly's team, Williams feels confident about the trajectory for the rest of the Trojans' 2021 season.
The USC vs. Notre Dame contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, the game will air on NBC.