Found November 22, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES - Although the result wasnt the one they were looking for, USC didnt have any problem getting up for UCLA.
The buildup contributes to that. They dont have Conquest every week on the USC campus, nor do they have a bonfire each week on the UCLA campus. Those traditions are saved for USC-UCLA rivalry week.
Players from both sides of the crosstown rivalry know each other as well as their families. USC head coach Lane Kiffin said that aspect alone makes the UCLA game the toughest on the schedule.
Not liking UCLA comes easy to Trojans, making it a natural rival.
Realizing Notre Dame is a rival comes after some coaxing.
This isnt your fathers rivalry.
We try to work on that, Kiffin said of getting his players to realize the significance of the rivalry with Notre Dame. I dont think that thats natural to them. It is what it is. Its what we live in nowadays. Youre dealing with 17 to 21-year old kids and for whatever reason they dont come in here understanding that so were working on that.
T.J. McDonald is one of the rare Trojans that came into the school knowing what the rivalry means and importance of it.
For all that his father, Tim, accomplished as a Trojan, he never beat Notre Dame. Its still a big game for him as well as the other Trojan alums.
This is a huge rivalry, T.J. said. He definitely has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to this rivalry. He just tells me its a big game all of the Trojan family is watching. Everybody wants to see how the Trojans are going to play, how theyre going to respond from last week and you just got to be able to go out there and make a statement.
This generation grew up being surrounded by Trojan dominance over Notre Dame and will likely find it hard to believe the Irish actually hold a 43-35-5 advantage in the all-time series.
The Notre Dame this group of players grew up watching is nothing like the No. 1 team that will stroll into the Coliseum on Saturday. This is the first time the Irish have held such a ranking since 1993.
So, yes, when it comes to thinking about the Irish, viewing them as a top flight program wasnt really observed among this group of players.
Im sure when these kids grew up with the eight straight (USC wins) so they werent watching the same type of games that 20 years ago kids were watching, Kiffin said.
As he works on his players understanding the significance of the rivalry, the players, if nothing else realize who theyre going up against. The No. 1 team in the nation is coming into the Coliseum on Saturday. That needs no coaxing.
BEST OF MAXIM
Lane Kiffin is known for many things. Draw your own conclussions. However, he is known for holding is cards close regarding discussing player injuries. And now, here's this. Yesterday's practive video shows freshman quarterback Matt Wittek taking snaps preparing to be the starter for Saturday's game with Notre Dame. That's fine, no problem at all. Starter Matt Barkley...
Max Wittek, a redshirt freshman quarterback who will play in the place of the injured Matt Barkley this weekend, said he believes the Trojans will beat the Fighting Irish.
USC Coach Lane Kiffin talks with the media following Wednesday's practice as the Trojans continue to prepare for No. 1 Notre Dame.
USC Coach Lane Kiffin wishes the Trojan family a 'Happy Thanksgiving' following Thursday's practice as USC continues to prepare to host top-ranked Notre Dame.
Earlier this week, Lane Kiffin announced that Matt Barkley would not play in Saturday's game against Notre Dame. With Barkley out, the Trojans' upset hopes now rest on the arm of redshirt freshman Max Wittek. Wittek only has nine pass attempts for the season and has taken limited snaps in his young career.
With a redshirt freshman at the helm and the Irish likely to play...
Max Wittek and Matt Barkley huddled briefly Tuesday after practice, the USC quarterbacks sharing a laugh and perhaps strategy before facing a phalanx of reporters and camera operators in separate interviews.
Wittek wore a grin on his bearded face, Barkley a black sling on his injured right arm.
For Wittek, a redshirt freshman who will start in place of Barkley on Saturday against...
With USC Trojan Matt Barkley shelved after suffering a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder last weekend against UCLA, the senior quarterback’s NFL Draft stock continues to rapidly plummet. The 6-foot-2, 230 pound Barkley, who was once projected to … Continue reading →
USC Coach Lane Kiffin speaks with the media following Tuesday's practice as USC prepares for its regular season finale hosting top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame.
USC redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek is confident the Trojans will take down No. 1 Notre Dameon Saturday night.
In an interview on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles, Wittek expressed confidence in his abilities — and trust in head coach Lane Kiffin leading into the showdown against Notre Dame.
“If he wants to air it out, let’s air it out,” Wittek said of Kiffin. “If...
There’s more than a place in this year’s BCS Championship on the line at the LA Coliseum this weekend. This is rivalry weekend. There’s pride on the line.
Make no mistake about it, USC would love nothing more than to upset bitter rivals Notre Dame on Saturday night and knock the Fighting Irish out of the championship picture, a victory that would not just make up for a disappointing...
Petros Papadakis, FOX college football analyst, joins Matt this week to discuss the crazy weekend of football that was. They talk about USC's loss to crosstown rival UCLA and what this could mean for Lane Kiffin; a thought on embattled first year coach Mike Leach; and a preview of this weekend's Territorial Cup game between ASU and Arizona.
Among his observations:
Game Day Goulash
LSU keeps its hopes for both the SEC title and the BCS title by beating Arkansas 20-13. Now Alabama has to do is lose to Auburn. Don't hold your breath. (ESPN)
Huskers pierce Hawkeyes.
Nebraska tramples Iowa 13-7 on its way to solidifying the Big Ten Legends Division title. (The Omaha World-Herald)
Let's start a riot.