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Notre Dame vs USC: 3 Matchups To Watch

  • Justin Melo
  • November 25, 2022
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Saturday’s evening showdown between USC and Notre Dame is this weekend’s second-most appetizing college football contest behind Ohio State-Michigan. The ramifications are massive. The Trojans must reign victorious to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

USC and Notre Dame possess what’s often described as college football’s greatest intersectional rivalry. Saturday will mark their historic 93rd meeting. Old grudges will be renewed.

Several high-end 2023 NFL Draft prospects will take the field for both the Trojans and Fighting Irish. Their talents will directly shape the outcome. We’ve swiftly identified three player-vs-player matchups that demand your attention.

JORDAN ADDISON VS. NOTRE DAME’S CORNERBACKS

USC wide receiver Jordan Addison is coming off his most impressive performance of the season. Addison recorded 11 receptions for 178 receiving yards and one touchdown in last Saturday’s instant-classic victory over the UCLA Bruins. It was a season-defining performance for Addison.

College football’s best receiver will now aim to build upon that performance against Notre Dame on Saturday. Notre Dame’s cornerbacks will pose a legitimate threat to Addison’s current form. Notre Dame’s stingy passing defense is currently allowing 186.8 passing yards per contest. They’re the 16th-ranked program in the nation in that department.

Addison is currently the hands-on favorite to become the first receiver selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Addison may solidify that positioning with a memorable performance against Notre Dame. In-house scout Kyle Crabbs sent Addison to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his latest NFL mock draft.

ISAIAH FOSKEY VS. USC’S OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Isaiah Foskey is Notre Dame’s best pass rusher. Foskey currently leads all Fighting Irish defenders in sacks with 9.5 quarterback takedowns. It’s not particularly close either, with second place on the team totaling just 3.5 sacks thus far.

The No. 17 overall player in our latest TDN100 update, Foskey is a dynamic athlete with the natural abilities necessary to threaten the edge on a snap-by-snap basis. USC’s offensive staff will be highly aware of the threat Foskey poses.

Foskey should receive opportunities to line up against both USC left tackle Bobby Haskins and right tackle Jonah Monheim. Monheim has especially been excellent this season, but Foskey is a rare breed that should possess the upper hand in both matchups. Foskey will give USC’s offensive line all they could handle.

CALEB WILLIAMS VS. HEISMAN EXPECTATIONS

USC superstar quarterback Caleb Williams is potentially closing on this year’s Heisman Trophy. Williams is currently viewed as one of the frontrunners alongside Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. A solid showing against the Fighting Irish coupled with a Trojans victory could attach a jetpack to Williams’ Heisman hopes.

Williams has simply been outstanding this season. His decision to follow Lincoln Riley to Southern California by transferring from Oklahoma to USC has proven to be a fruitful one. Williams has thrown for 33 touchdowns versus just three interceptions this season. A dual-threat quarterback, Williams has added 316 rushing yards and seven touchdowns to his offensive totals.

Williams was outstanding in USC’s 48-point winning effort over UCLA. Williams threw for a career-high 470 yards and two touchdowns. Williams’ victory over the Bruins clinched USC’s place in this year’s Pac-12 title game.

Notre Dame’s aforementioned secondary will present Williams with a challenge. Safety Brandon Joseph is the 82nd-ranked overall player in our November edition of TDN100. Williams could have his “Heisman moment” on Saturday.

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Justin Melo