College Gameday: Previews for Rival Matchups

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Geoff Nelowet:

(6) USC at (25) Notre Dame

Notre Dame has lost its last seven meetings with Southern Cal, and they have been outscored 284-95. Notre Dame has failed to score a touchdown in their last two meetings. Over the last seven years, this “rivalry” has been a one-way onslaught by the Trojans. Year after year, USC is a serious national title contender, whereas Notre Dame struggles to earn a winning record. This year may be different, though, as the Irish are a much better team than in years past, and they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Jimmie Clausen. The problem is that USC has one of the best defenses in the country, and they average more sacks per game than any division I program.

Aside from experience at quarterback, USC is a better team than Notre Dame from top to bottom. USC is led by stud freshman Matt Barkley. Barkley has already led the Trojans to a road victory over Ohio State this season, and he looked poised doing it. Barkley gained valuable experience playing in a raucous environment at the Horseshoe, and he did it playing against a top-tier Buckeye team. USC is primed to take down Notre Dame, as they’ve done with ease over the last seven seasons.

The Irish won’t go easily, though, as Clausen should be able to make a few plays. It will be Clausen’s toughest day of the season against a relentless USC defense. Clausen has put up Heisman-caliber numbers this season, but he has yet to go up against a complete defense like USC’s. Clausen’s best weapon, Golden Tate, has yet to go up against a secondary with Taylor Mays roaming the field. 

USC will take care of business in South Bend because they are a more physical team. Jimmie Clausen’s Heisman campaign will end after this game mainly because he does not have the supporting cast to consistently move the ball on the Trojans defense. Barkley will guide the Trojan offense, and they will do enough to win. Final score: USC 27 Notre Dame 20.

(3) Texas vs. (20) Oklahoma

The 5-0 Texas Longhorns will go up against the 3-2 Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl this Saturday. 2008 Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford will be leading the two-loss Sooners, who have much less to play for, against a Texas team that is vying for a national title birth. The Longhorns will be lead by their Heisman hopeful in quarterback Colt McCoy. The Longhorns won last season’s contest in an offensive shootout by the score of 45-35.

The Sooners look to avenge last season’s loss, and with Bradford returning to the starting lineup, they have a decent shot. Oklahoma lost Bradford to injury in the first week of the season, and they suffered losses to Miami and BYU without him. OU was ranked in the top-five in the preseason, and they are a far better team than their record indicates. They were a favorite to play in the national title game before Bradford went down.

With Oklahoma taking two losses, Texas has dethroned Oklahoma as top team in the big 12. After handily winning last season’s meeting, and being undefeated this season, Texas will play with a huge amount of confidence. Texas is also a better all around team than they were a year ago. Their defense is ranked fourth in the nation, when their defense was once a major weak spot.

Oklahoma, though, should not be underestimated. They still have the best quarterback in the country, and maybe the best running game in the country with DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown running the show. The Sooners also have a talented defense that will undoubtedly hold the Longhorns to less than 45 points. This weekend’s match up will be lower scoring affair with both defenses improving from a year ago.

Oklahoma is due to win this game. They have suffered two tough losses this season, and with the addition of Bradford back into the lineup, they will be playing with the confidence they had before he went down. Bradford will lead his team similarly to the way McCoy did his last season, and the Sooners will grind out a tough win at a neutral location. Final score: Oklahoma 30 Texas 21

Related Articles

Chicago Bears News: Six Undrafted Rookies Signed, Getsy On Team’s Receiver Room, Early 2022 Predictions

Bears Bring In Six Undrafted Rookies For Tryouts, Waive Six Six Players   The Chicago Bears are bringing…

Read More about Chicago Bears News: Six Undrafted Rookies Signed, Getsy On Team’s Receiver Room, Early 2022 Predictions

How NIL Rights Impact Canadian Players

It wasn’t all that long ago the NCAA announced that there would be changes coming to the NIL…

Read More about How NIL Rights Impact Canadian Players