USC tries to extend its winning streak to 8 vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame (4-7) at No. 12 Southern California (8-3, No. 12 CFP), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Line: USC by 17 +.
Series Record: Notre Dame leads 46-36-5.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
In the 88th edition of this intersectional rivalry, the Trojans attempt to finish their season on an eight-game winning streak while improving their case for a New Year's Day bowl game. USC could also steal a spot in the Pac-12 title game if Utah beats Colorado. The struggling Irish are playing for the Jeweled Shillelagh and not much else.
Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown vs. USC CB Adoree' Jackson. The sophomore receiver from Anaheim leads the Irish with 45 catches for 777 yards and eight touchdowns. Jackson has world-class speed and athleticism, but the Thorpe Award finalist has yielded three touchdowns in coverage over the Trojans' last two games – and those were the only TDs allowed by USC in those victories.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: LB Nyles Morgan. The junior has been a stable presence in a dismal season, leading the Irish in tackles and leading the defense.
USC: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. Jackson and Smith-Schuster are almost certainly playing their final home games, and both juniors would love to go out with a win. Smith-Schuster was slowed by an injury last week at UCLA, but would love to add to his 202 career receptions, already sixth in school history.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Irish are finishing their awful season under an extra cloud after the NCAA hammered the program this week with sanctions for major academic misconduct. The Trojans know a little something about NCAA sanctions, too. … The NCAA ordered Notre Dame to vacate its 21 victories in 2012 and 2013, including the final win over USC in 2012 at the Coliseum to complete an unbeaten regular season. … USC is trying to sweep its two traditional rivals – UCLA and Notre Dame – for the 20th season, but the first since 2011. … Notre Dame hasn't visited the Coliseum with a losing record since 1986. … USC is only 12-13-1 against unranked Notre Dame teams, including losses in 2010 and 2013. … USC QB Sam Darnold gets his first shot at the Irish. The freshman has thrown 22 touchdown passes during the Trojans' winning streak.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org