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Columnist: Why USC will upset Notre Dame with backup quarterback

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10:28 AM ET 11.24 | It's just football. I'm picking USC to beat Notre Dame on Saturday because, well, it's just football. I'm picking the Trojans to upset the top-ranked Irish at the Coliseum because Max Wittek, who is replacing the injured Matt Barkley, is the perfect leader for a team set up perfectly for this moment. No, this is not a homer pick. If I was going to make a homer pick, I would pick the place where I have invested enough money to paint that dome gold. My oldest daughter graduated from Notre Dame, a wonderful place that has shaped her life, and she's going to be really angry when she reads this while doing that fist-pumping routine on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shortly after dawn. I just can't see her heroes winning. I just can't see the Irish hanging with Marqise Lee and Robert Woods and those huge tight ends and that speedy Curtis McNeal and the hostility of a Coliseum full of fans clamoring for their disappointing team's final shot at redemption.

Los Angeles Times

Max Wittek, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Max Wittek, Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
November 24, 2012  10:38 AM ET

Hmm????? I' said the same thing last week, "For the first time this year, a team with everything to lose has nothing to lose, and is there anyone more dangerous?"

November 24, 2012  10:42 AM ET

Oh yeah I'm changing my pick right now after reading this article. NOT!

USC has been existing on media fumes all year including a lot of press for individuals like Lee and Woods. Football is a team sport and ND plays better as a team by a wide margin.

November 24, 2012  10:43 AM ET

Anyone catch that Arizona game last night.

November 24, 2012  10:49 AM ET

Who is Max Witek's backup?

November 24, 2012  10:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Oh yeah I'm changing my pick right now after reading this article. NOT!USC has been existing on media fumes all year including a lot of press for individuals like Lee and Woods. Football is a team sport and ND plays better as a team by a wide margin.

Dr, yes ND is a very good team, but IMO if USC can keep the turnovers down (they had three against UCLA), then this will be a very close and fun game to watch, after all ND is only a 5-1/2 point favorite. IMO, it will all come down to, if USC can run the ball against ND. I don't mean run for big yardage, but just enough to keep ND honest. We shall see, I for one am looking forward to it the game.

November 24, 2012  10:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Who is Max Witek's backup?

Marqise Lee. LOL

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November 24, 2012  11:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Todd Marinovich?

In his "college days", he would make a great backup QB!!!

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November 24, 2012  11:12 AM ET

Rivalry game. Anything is possible.

Comment #11 has been removed
November 24, 2012  11:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Word. Question: Wittek's arm is dependent on his offensive line. Will he get the 3-4 necessary seconds to throw the ball?

GTH, good question!!! I would think that USC and Wittek will have to do the quick slants to Woods and Lee and have McNeal catching back out of the backfield, but that's easier said than done!!!

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November 24, 2012  11:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Who cares, just show more of the song girls. ;-)

I highly and enthusiastically support this recommendation.

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November 24, 2012  11:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

No. Barkley didn't get that much, why would Wittek.BTW, Just heard Wittek had 15INTs as a senior...love that stat. LA media is hilarous: 4year starter goes down, that is some how a good thing.

Huh??? How could Wittek have 15 int's as a Senior?????? He is only a red shirt Freshman!!!!

 
November 24, 2012  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

No. Barkley didn't get that much, why would Wittek.BTW, Just heard Wittek had 15INTs as a senior...love that stat. LA media is hilarous: 4year starter goes down, that is some how a good thing.

Ironic, but that is exactly how many interceptions Barkely has thrown in his senior year at USC.

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