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File / Associated Press

Learning experience

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees learned a lot last time he played USC.

The sophomore was making his third start in last year's 20-16 victory over the Trojans, who come to Notre Dame Stadium for a game Saturday night.

"The USC game wasn't one of my better games," said Rees, who completed 20 of 32 passes for 149 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. "You are obviously happy with a win, but going on from that game, I just wanted to make sure I limited mistakes. I really feel like from that game on, I've really took an important step in understanding what defenses are trying to.

"I think that was the biggest thing for me against USC, not necessarily recognizing everything they were trying to do to me and taking advantage of it."

Rees said he expects to see similar defensive alignments when the Irish play the Trojans this weekend.

"I wouldn't be surprised it if was a lot of the same stuff," Rees said. "They are a team that is extremely talented, extremely well coached. I don't think they are going to do things too much differently than they have been."