No. 12 USC (8-3) vs. Notre Dame (4-7), at the Coliseum. TV: ABC, 12:30 p.m.
Most intriguing story line: Notre Dame has endured a miserable season, but its record is a little misleading. Six of seven losses have been by seven points or fewer. (The seventh loss was by eight points.) “You come away feeling their record does not match the personnel that’s on the field right now,” USC Coach Clay Helton said. A win would mark the 20th time USC has swept Notre Dame and UCLA. The two rivals’ struggles this season have already produced four “perfect days” for USC fans — when USC wins and UCLA and Notre Dame lose during the same week. That is the most in USC’s history.
USC pass offense vs. Notre Dame pass defense: Sam Darnold had two passes intercepted in each of the last two games, a small sign of trouble in an otherwise pristine freshman season. Still, Darnold hasn’t had a game as the starter with more interceptions than touchdowns. His top target, JuJu Smith-Schuster, has been hampered by various injuries. He has now gone four consecutive games without reaching 100 yards receiving. Darnold made up for it last week by completing passes to 11 USC players. The strength of Notre Dame’s team is its passing defense, which ranks 28th nationally by giving up only 195.6 yards a game. But the Trojans have faced stiffer challenges. EDGE: USC
USC run offense vs. Notre Dame run defense: Justin Davis, the starting running back at the season’s start, is nearing full strength after returning from an ankle injury, but Ronald Jones II has kept his grip on the starting role. Against UCLA, Jones rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns in 18 carries. He has averaged 152 yards in the last four contests. Notre Dame’s rushing defense gives up 180.2 yards per game, 75th in the nation, though Helton has been impressed by defensive tackle Jarron Jones (8.5 tackles for loss) and defensive end Isaac Rochell (seven tackles for loss). EDGE: USC
Notre Dame run offense vs. USC run defense: UCLA delivered a shock to the Trojans by rushing for 47 yards in the first quarter last week. Then USC gave up a total of eight yards rushing the rest of the game. The Trojans haven’t given up more than 85 yards rushing in a game in almost a month. Notre Dame is 78th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 164.2 yards per game. Josh Adams is a powerful back who has rushed for 753 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. But Kizer may be more dangerous. Notre Dame has called several designed quarterback runs each game for Kizer, who averages 44 yards in 10 carries, including sacks, and leads the team with seven touchdowns rushing. EDGE: USC
Special teams: USC has blocked a field-goal attempt in each of the last two games, another evolution in one of the nation’s best special teams units. For Notre Dame, C.J. Sanders is 23rd nationally in kickoff return average and has two touchdowns this season. That’s one more than Jackson, who also has a punt-return touchdown. EDGE: USC
USC 38, Notre Dame 24.
Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand