John Heisler | November 22, 2018
A football game between unranked Notre Dame and USC teams generally rates way above average on the scale.
A game with the 5-6 Trojans fighting for bowl eligibility?
A game with No. 3 Notre Dame (11-0) trying to finish off a so-far-remarkable unbeaten season?
That's all any fan could expect in terms of high drama.
And that's why a national audience on ABC Sports will be watching.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and his staff will do everything they can to make this a normal week—and make it all about standard preparation for a rivalry game. It won't be easy—in part because his Irish caught the eye of plenty of observers with the caliber of their play a week ago in Yankee Stadium. On a Saturday when some of the other top contenders muddled through their games, the Irish sparkled.
"Our kids were highly spirited, they played fast, they played free and they finished," said Kelly of the performance versus 12th-ranked Syracuse.
"That was something that we really talked quite a bit about in terms of playing in New York and playing in a game against a ranked opponent. We didn't want to play tentative--we wanted to play fast. I thought they handled that very well. They came out and really exerted a presence right away.
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