Notre Dame will be kicking off in its first night game ever against USC at Notre Dame Stadium shortly.
Here are a few quick thoughts before the Irish (4-2) try of their second win in a row over the Trojans (5-1).
- - This could be the best game to judge freshmen defensive ends Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt. With senior end Ethan Johnson limited by a high right ankle sprain, the two first-year players will be counted on plenty against the Trojans. Tuitt can also move inside and play nose, and with freshman Chase Hounshell also in the mix, we could see a steady rotation of Johnson, Lynch and Hounshell with Tuitt bouncing inside and out.
- This is the first time we will see Irish quarterback Tommy Rees play a team for the second time. Rees struggled with three interceptions in last year's win over USC, it will be interesting to see how far he has come tonight.
- USC quarterback Matt Barkley missed last year's game with an injury. He is very accurate, despite being off target in the Trojans' win over Cal last week. He has plenty of weapons, especially receiver Robert Woods.
- Finally, Notre Dame Stadium has developed a reputation for being quiet, so much so that athletic director Jack Swarbrick encouraged students two weeks ago to get louder to create a better home field advantage. We will see if the late start time and challenge from the AD gets this stadium rockin'.