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Irish Insights

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Sights set on USC

The time line for Ian Williams to return from an MCL sprain gives the senior at max two more games with Notre Dame.

Williams will be out for at least four to six weeks, which means he could be able to play in the season finale at USC on Nov. 27.

Past that, Notre Dame (4-4) would need to get two more wins against either Tulsa (this weekend's opponent), Utah (Nov. 12), Army (Nov. 20) or USC to qualify for a bowl game and give Williams another possible game to play in before he graduates.

Williams said his goal is to be playing in the season finale.

"I really do want to play that game," Williams said Tuesday while holding himself up with crutches. "I'm just going to do what I can to get back. That's the goal right now, USC."

Williams said he has been told to rest his leg right now, and that he could start working out in a week or two.

When Williams was injured in the loss to Navy, the senior said he knew it was bad because he couldn't get back into the game, but he had no idea it was going to be bad enough to keep him on the sideline.

"I didn't know it was that serious until we got the MRIs back the other day," Williams said. "I just couldn't really put a lot of pressure on it. So I knew it was kind of bad. I knew I couldn't go back in, and if I can't go back in, I know it's pretty serious.

It was a tough play. Things like this happen all the time. It's just unfortunate that it happened.

"(Defensive line coach Mike Elston) said he watched the play, and somebody just kind of fell into my legs. I don't think it was dirty."

As for Sean Cwynar and Hafis Williams, who moves inside after playing end this season, Ian Williams said he has no doubt the two juniors will be able to make up for the loss of his 37 tackles, fifth highest on the team.

"They know the defense, and they know how to get ready and prepare," Williams said. "I just know they will be fine."

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