Can Notre Dame's offense control the tempo of the game and control the clock with its running game?
The Irish have scored 21 rushing touchdowns on the season and average 200 yards a game on the ground. USC has given up 15 rushing touchdowns on the season with an average of 150 yards given up a game.
Redd, a Penn State transfer is enjoying a solid season with 740 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on only 138 carries. McNeal enters the game with 658 yards and two scores on 104 carries and he starred vs. the Irish defense last October, gaining 118 yards.
Lee and Woods have combined for 24 touchdowns on the season and a staggering 2,326 receiving yards. This might well be the biggest test the Irish secondary has faced this season.
Will USC quarterback Max Wittek's guarantee to beat the Irish happen?
A Tuesday's radio interview guarantee will sure be to make the Irish locker room wall as Matt Barkley's replacement looks to make a big splash. Said redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek: "We're going to win this ballgame." Wittek knows he needs this game to show USC coaches he should be the next leader of the Trojans offense as heralded recruit Max Browne will soon arrive on campus.
Can the Irish keep their top ranking for more than a week?
Not since 1993 have the Irish sat atop the college football world. A win Saturday guarantees they will stay at the summit until they take the field for the National Championship game. This is not the first time the Irish have battled the Trojans when ranked No. 1 as the two teams have matched up a total of seven time with the Irish going 5-2 in those games. In fact, five of the games have been played at USC with the Irish winning three.