Five Questions: USC

A trip to the West Coast to play rival USC has the Irish looking for their seventh victory of the season. Can the Irish defense keep up the pace? That and more in this week's edition of Five Questions.

Can the Irish keep their current winning streak alive?

If the Irish can earn a victory against USC on Saturday, they will have their first three-game winning streak to end a regular season since 2005.  In the history of Notre Dame Football, there have only been nine such streaks.  It would also mark the first victory over the Trojans in the LA Coliseum since 2000 and snap the Trojans dominance of the past eight seasons.  A loss places the Irish at 6-6 for the third consecutive year.

Can the Irish defense keep up their mastery of the last three games?

Notre Dame has seen its defense come alive over the past three games, as they have only given up one touchdown in the last twelve quarters of play and have gone eleven consecutive quarters without giving up a touchdown.  The current streak matches one that came in 1981 when the Irish played Navy, Georgia Tech, and Air Force.  The last time an Irish defense had done better was in 1980 when Notre Dame went 23 quarters over a six game period without allowing a touchdown.

Can the Irish offense continue to improve with Tommy Rees at quarterback?

Rees has been playing solid since taking over for Dayne Crist and the offense has continued to make strides each week.  However, Rees will need to take his game up another notch for the Irish to against the Trojans.

Will the Irish go after the Trojans with their passing game?

USC is giving up 272 yards in the air per game and Notre Dame is hitting on about 267 yards per game.  Brian Kelly's passing offense should be primed for a big game.

Who will step up for the Irish and make the play that makes a difference in the outcome of the game?

Will Tommy Rees, Michael Floyd, Manti Te'o or someone no one thinks about step up and make a play to be remembered for helping the Irish win this game?


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