Hype on for Usc-nd tilt

Edmonton Sun - - SPORTS -

Brian Kelly is in his 10th season as head coach at Notre Dame, and he has man­aged to take con­trol of the Notre DAME-USC ri­valry.

No. 9 Notre Dame (4-1) will host USC (3-2) on Sat­ur­day evening in the 91st in­stall­ment of the sto­ried matchup. The Tro­jans have won 11 of the past 17 meet­ings be­tween the pro­grams, but the Fight­ing Ir­ish are 6-3 since Kelly took over in 2010.

The ri­valry with USC re­mains as spe­cial to him as ever.

It’s easy ex­plain why.

“The tra­di­tion,” Kelly said to re­porters this week. “Go­ing way back, ob­vi­ously this game be­ing played for so many years as an in­ter­sec­tional ri­valry, (and) they’re not up the street. They’re across the coun­try. Great play­ers have played in it. Great coaches that have coached in it. Na­tion­ally tele­vised.

“So I just think the history, the tra­di­tion of it be­ing played ev­ery year, it’s one of those ri­val­ries that hasn’t gone away.

It’s part of col­lege foot­ball.”

As is often the case, the game car­ries high stakes along with history.

In fact, Kelly’s six wins against USC rank third all-time among Notre Dame coaches. He trails only Lou Holtz (nine) and Frank Leahy (eight).

The vet­eran coach knows bet­ter than to take USC lightly. The Tro­jans have a dy­namic of­fense that has posted

27 points or more in four out of five con­tests this season.

The only ex­cep­tion was a 28-14 loss at Wash­ing­ton on Sept. 28 in USC’S most re­cent game be­fore a bye-week last week­end.

Notre Dame is com­ing off a 52-0 win over Bowl­ing Green last week­end in a tune-up for the Tro­jans.

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