Brian Kelly Expects Notre Dame To See ‘Best Version Of USC’

After a week off, Notre Dame is hoping a little bye-week luck o’ the Irish continues this weekend when ND hosts rival USC. In Brian Kelly’s tenure, the Irish have had 14 regular season byes. In the game following those bye weeks, the Golden Domers are an impressive 12-2, which includes two wins and one loss against USC, and Kelly anticipates the Trojans will be ready to even the score.

“We expect to get the best version of USC, which will be a very good football team,” said Kelly earlier this week.

Kelly and the Irish last played USC in 2019, a 30-27 win for ND. The rival schools were scheduled to meet last year, but the game was canceled because of the pandemic.

β€œNow we get to get back to it and play our rival in USC,” Kelly said. “Obviously we didn’t play last year. Excited to get this going again, especially back here at home.”

USC, who’s also coming off a bye, brings a 2-3 record and an unsettled coaching position to South Bend, none of which should matter come Saturday night.

“USC is going through a coaching change. We understand that. But this team plays extremely well against Notre Dame,” added Kelly. “It’s a rivalry game and they played very well on the road. I’m sure that’s because they can get away from the distractions that they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”

Kelly continued, “This will be a great challenge for us.”

Now in his twelfth season at Notre Dame, Kelly’s record versus Southern Cal is nearly as impressive as his post-bye history. In 10 games, he’s led the Irish to victory seven times and is now aiming for No. 8.

“The most special would be beating them Saturday, that’s for sure,” said Kelly.


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Written by Anthony Farris

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