The movie “Rudy” has touched the hearts of sports fans at large for generations, and it appears No. 10 USC head coach Lincoln Riley is among those touched hearts.
It really is a great movie. Despite being undersized for a linebacker, having to transfer his way to the school and work his way up to the active roster from the scout team — let alone with his family not believing he could do it — Rudy Ruettiger got on the field for two plays at the end of the regular season, recording a sack on Georgia Tech‘s quarterback to close out the game.
All that said, could Riley’s sentiment for Rudy backfire?
Yes, it’s easy to respect the sacred ground that Ruettiger walked, but if Riley continues to run the tape leading up to kickoff, Notre Dame could get the best of USC based on its head coach being an emotional mess. The last thing that 2022 Heisman winner Caleb Williams and a team with College Football Playoff aspirations needs is a distracted playcaller in their ear.
If Riley, who has never coached a game at Notre Dame, walks into South Bend, looks around and says “this is the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen,” the Trojans could be in trouble.
USC is 6-0, but its last three games have come with a degree of difficulty. The Trojans beat Arizona in a third overtime last week, which came after surviving comeback bids from Colorado and Arizona State playing them tough the week prior. On the other side, Notre Dame has lost two of its last three games, falling to 5-2.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series matchup against USC, 50-37-5, and has won each of the last five matchups in South Bend. That said, USC won their matchup last season in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, 38-27.
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