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Smith has seen all sides of rivalry

Notre Dame safety and captain Harrison Smith has seen all sides of the rivalry with USC.

Smith was a starter as a sophomore in a 38-3 blowout loss at USC in 2008, and he was in the starting lineup against in 2009 when Notre Dame fell 34-27 at home.

Last year, Smith made a goal-line interception with 36 seconds remaining to seal a 20-16 win.

"There was quite a difference in those trips," Smith said Wednesday. "Looking back to some of the great guys who had been to USC, there was a lot of them there at that time (2008). It's kind of interesting to see it from the different side of it.

"Some of the guys who were there for those games can take those experiences into this game, because it is always such a big rivalry game. And there is a lot on the line for both teams. Having both of those sides of it will probably help us in preparation this week."

Notre Dame had lost eight games in row to USC before last season's victory, and Smith said being part of the rivalry when the Irish were blown out then competitive then victorious can help entering this weekend's game.

"We kind of got to see a couple of different angles on it," Smith said. "USC is always a tough group, always a lot of talent, well coaches. It is always a battle with them."