The USC Trojans travel to South Bend, Indiana, where they face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the 88th time since the legendary college football rivalry began in 1926, in a game that carries do-or-die playoff implications for both teams. USC comes in at 5-1 and ranked No. 11 in the nation, while No. 13 Notre Dame brings a 6-1 record into the game, which will live stream from South Bend on Saturday.
A loss in the game for either team almost certainly spells elimination from the College Football Playoff series — especially for Notre Dame, who has the more stressful schedule ahead, with four Top 25 teams remaining on their calendar. The Trojans, on the other hand, will not face another ranked team before the Pac-12 Championship game, if they get there.
In the 92-year history of the USC vs. Notre Dame rivalry, the Irish have the edge with 46 wins to 37 Trojan victories and five games tied. The 21st century, however, has been a dominant one for USC against the Irish. In the last 15 matchups, starting in 2002, the Southern California squad has emerged victorious in 11 of 15 clashes between the two legendary football schools.
The USC run of success took some of the luster off of the rivalry – but Saturday's matchup should renew the glamor once again. The game will be the first between the two in which both Notre Dame and USC enter the game with Top 25 rankings since 2009.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the USC vs. Notre Dame game, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time/4:30 p.m. Pacific at 78,000-seat Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, October 21.
USC comes into the game hobbling from a series of injuries, including to linebacker Porter Gustin with a broken toe and torn bicep, as well as defensive end Rasheem Green, who's limping from a bad ankle. The Trojans also put in a shaky performance last weekend, managing to edge Utah by just a point, 28-27, despite playing at home. Quarterback Sam Darnold fumbled three times in the Utah game — an issue that the 20-year-old, already touted as a top NFL 2018 draft prospect, will need to clean up if his Trojans hope to get past Notre Dame and stay in the playoff hunt.
Watch a preview of the USC vs. Notre Dame featured game of the college football weekend, in the video below.
For Notre Dame, redshirt sophomore signal-caller Brandon Wimbush has not played since the Irish scored an easy win over Miami of Ohio on September 30, missing the October 7 clash against North Carolina with a foot injury. Notre Dame had a bye week last weekend, but Coach Brian Kelly is confident his starting quarterback in "100 percent."
"He's starting to see things quicker," Kelly said on Friday. "We haven't changed things offensively, it's the same things. And it's getting near that point of conscious competence where he sees it, he knows what it is, and now if we can build that a little bit more with the receivers, we're gonna be in pretty good shape."
To watch a live stream of the USC vs. Notre Dame NCAA college football clash on Saturday, use the link provided by NBC Sports Live Extra, by clicking here, or by downloading the NBC Sports Live Extra app to watch on mobile devices, or on set-top streaming devices such the Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV. NBC Sports Live Extra will require cable login credentials, however.
To watch a free live stream of the USC-Notre Dame game without access to a cable login, fans will need to sign up for a free trial subscription to Sling TV, which carries local NBC channels, at this link. Fubo TV will also carry the game and offers a free trial subscription at this link. Both Sling and Fubo offer downloadable apps for smartphones and tablet computers as well as for TV streaming devices.
[Featured Image by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]