Oct 18, 2011

USC at Notre Dame is the Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week

This season, pick who you think will win the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Champs Sports Bowl Facebook page before Saturday’s game. If you pick correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29, 2011!

Notre Dame leads series, 43-33-5. (Last meeting: Nov. 27, 2010; Notre Dame 20, USC 16)

USC and Notre Dame battle for the historic Jeweled Shillelagh this weekend in one of college football’s most storied rivalries. The two teams have met 82 times since 1926. An eight-game USC winning streak was snapped last season when Trojan receiver Ronald Johnson dropped a wide-open pass in the waning moments that likely would have extended the run. Instead, first year Irish Coach Brian Kelly took the shillelagh back to South Bend for the first time since 2001.

USC is flying a bit under the radar this season, despite having only one loss. The unranked Trojans drubbed California last week thanks in part to five Golden Bear turnovers. USC extended its win streak against its in-state rival to eight games with a 30-9 victory in Berkeley. All-Pac 12 quarterback Matt Barkley was held to a season-low 195 yards and fellow All-Conference performer Robert Woods, who leads the league in touchdown receptions and is second in receiving yards, managed only 36 yards on the day. But the USC defense forced four first-half turnovers, allowing the Trojans to cruise to what proved to be an insurmountable 20-0 halftime lead.

After a slow start to the season, Notre Dame has rattled off four-straight victories, putting it solidly back on the Champs Sports Bowl radar. Quarterback Tommy Rees threw touchdowns to four different receivers in the first half against Air Force in the Irish’s last game Oct. 8. Rees, who supplanted starter Dayne Crist in the second half of the opener, helped ignite Notre Dame to its best offensive performance since the Lou Holtz-era. All-American receiver Michael Floyd reeled in six catches and a score as seven Irish players recorded touchdowns in the 59-33 win.

Extra points:

*The USC-Notre Dame rivalry has produced more national titles (21), Heisman Trophy winners (14), All-Americans and NFL Hall-of-Famers (21) than any other rivalry in college football history.

*USC ranks first in number of NFL draft picks with 472, while Notre Dame comes in at a close second with 469.

*USC-Notre Dame games account for five of the 10 most-watched college football games in the history of television.

Expert Picks

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: Notre Dame
Season Record: 7-3
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Notre Dame
Season Record: 6-4
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: Notre Dame
Season Record: 6-4
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to ESPN.com’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Notre Dame
Season Record: 5-5

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