USC Captain Thinks Trojans Will Be “Running Up the Score” on Notre Dame

The Notre Dame – USC Rivalry usually doesn’t need anything extra to get the juices following between the two squads.  This year, USC captain Michael Pittman decided to add a little fuel to the fire providing Notre Dame with bulletin board material in advance of the Trojans trip to Indiana.

In case you missed it, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40’s on Saturday night for kick-off.  Those temperatures are unseasonably cold for this time of year.  For Notre Dame fans who have been long annoyed that USC never has to play in the South Bend cold, those temps are also unreasonably delightful.

When asked about playing in the cold temperatures in Notre Dame Stadium this weekend, Pittman told reporters on Tuesday that he’s he told his teammates to embrace the “suck” and then added a little gem about running up the score on the Irish.

Reminder: USC limps into this year’s contest with two losses in their last three games – both of which have come on the road.  They lost to unranked BYU 27-30 and then lost to now unranked Washington 14-28 two weeks ago before having a bye last weekend.  USC was also 2-4 on the road in 2018, meaning they’ve lost six of their last eight on the road.

Another reminder: the last time USC traveled to Notre Dame, the Irish blew out the then #11 ranked Trojans 49-14.

Add that all up and it’s some pretty tough talk for a team that’s lost six of eight on the road and six of their last nine overall against Notre Dame.   To his credit, though, he did have a solid performance against Notre Dame last year in LA with seven receptions for 91 yards.

Notre Dame’s players did not need any extra motivation this weekend.  They know that there is no margin for error after the loss to Georgia if they any desires to make the playoffs again this year.  They also don’t need any extra motivation to get up for their biggest rival.

Some Notre Dame fans have been up in arms on Twitter today over Pittman’s comments, but there is no need to be.  All Pittman did was place the spotlight on himself should USC suffer a similar fate to the one they suffered two years ago against the Irish.

All that said, I’m sure that Brian Kelly and his staff were not in the slightest upset to hear Pittman’s brash talk this week.  He might play it down when he talks to the media tomorrow, but you know that Kelly made sure that all of his players were well aware of the trash talk coming from one of USC’s captains none the less.

What makes Pittman’s bulletin board all the more interesting is when it’s contrasted with how Notre Dame’s captains are talking about this weekend’s game.  Here’s a tweet quoting Chris Finke:

That is also coming from a captain on a team that is currently ranked 9th in the country that is still in the playoff hunt – not one that very likely will be fighting to save their coach’s job down the stretch this season.

In the end, none of this matters or will have any bearing on who wins and loses this weekend. After the first few minutes, this will all go out the window, and all that will matter is which team walks the better walk, not who talks the better talk.  That should be Notre Dame based on all the evidence we’ve seen over the last two and a half seasons.

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  1. Pittman is a gifted receiver but not very smart and kind of a wimp. Our DB’s and safeties shut him down to a total of 40 yards om a couple of catches. He is a long strider and when he catches it in stride he can be very dangerous. As an experienced player and a captain he should know better than to flap his lips but if he was bright he wouldn’t be at the University of Spoiled Children. Murf GO IRISH!!!!!o

  2. This is a quote from a wise man.:

    “,-32.5,… I’ll never forget that number.

    It was the point spread in the 2008 USC/ND game. It was the largest underdog point spread in the modern history of Notre Dame Football (Post-WWII). It’s still hard to believe that a Notre Dame Football team was (or ever would be) a four-and-a-half touchdown underdog to anyone. But, that was indeed the case, and I’ll never forget that game – another ignominious low point in a decade stretch-filled era of ignominious low points. USC easily won the game 38-3, and they covered that unimaginable spread too. Chuckles the clown was hiding his stupid-assed face behind that idiotic multi-colored play card (worrying that USC would read his lips about the upcoming play, LOL, LOL), while Pete Carroll was giving “high fives” to his defensive players for not allowing Notre Dame a first down in three quarters.

    Now, here we are eleven years later, and we’re favored by 11. My, how things have changed !!!”

    The vilest, most scurrilous chapter at Notre Dame ever was the ascendancy of Weis, and his enabler, that charlatan John Jenkins

    That is over, and we are in a far, far better place with Brian Kelly. He is 16-2 the last two seasons with losses to
    Clemson/Swinney/Lawrence and Georgia/Smart/Fromm.

    In the last two seasons Helton and SC, including the cliched Socal playersare 8-9.

    The game is in Notre Dame Stadium.

    The readiness is all.

    Notre Dame went on the road and stood toe-to-toe with an intimidating Georgia team in Athens.
    USC went on the road and laid an egg in Provo against the BYU team that couldn’t quite beat (prepare for the oxymoron) “MAC” power Toledo..

    Do the math.

    1. Ugh, the Weis years. The Davie/Willingham/Weis years did a lot of damage to ND. Now I’ve had my criticisms of BK, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it took a long time to undo the damage of all those years of mediocrity.

      The only thing Weis did that was maybe a positive is he did improve recruiting. He couldn’t develop them well as players, but he could get them to come to ND.

      Otherwise he just turned out to be a lousy coach.

      I’m ashamed to admit it but in his final season I actually rooted against ND by the end of the season because I wanted him gone, and I was afraid if they improved they’d keep him on another year (part of that is I’ll admit I wanted BK at ND and there was a window of opportunity then that was going to be gone if we waited another year–another school would have scooped him up).

      Ever since the 2016 debacle (esp. after the infamous Duke game) I’ve had my doubts about whether this team will ever break through under BK. But that being said I’m nowhere near where I was under Weis. I root for ND to win all their games and want them to win a NC. I’d gladly eat my criticisms of BK for a NC.

  3. I agree with Bob Rodes. I don’t see this having any real meaning for how hard our guys play, hit, rush, block, etc. When the training is as rigorous as it has been, from Balis and Kelly both, there really is only one gear on the gameday transmission…General Patton felt the same way when confronted late in the war with an impossible mission…”This is where all the training pays off.”
    In other words, our guys can’t step it up a notch just because some guy somewhere shot off at the mouth, because in training, they are already on the top rung. Now they might clean up execution a bit, but even that would be more for its own sake than for an opposing player who if you think about it, is more irrelevant than irreverent.

    But Bob said all this a lot more economically. They really are playing like Champions, even at Georgia, maybe especially at Georgia. So let USC join the fun…leave those palm trees behind and come on up to play a really good, well coached, superbly conditioned Notre Dame Team in pine tree country. My only regret is that we can’t treat USC to a blizzard…maybe sleet, if we’re we are a good host. Welcome to the suck.

    BGC ’77 ’82

  4. Barring numerous penalties and turnovers . . .
    With the abundance of great athletes on both teams, the final score will be determined as is often the case on which team controls the LOS. I like NDs chances. This is the week the OL must exert dominance and as the temperature drops, I’m counting on Southern Cal lads to chill out and lose the last quarter and a half like Stanford did last season. Will Jafar maximize his opportunities like Dexter did last season @ home versus the Cardinal? First touch- TD. Let history repeat itself

  5. It’d be interesting to see how often something like this happens, the opposing team provides bulletin board material, and lives to regret it.

    I’m glad ND typically avoids that kind of talk. It’s really a stupid thing for a player to do.

    As a Phillies fan I remember in 2007 when Jimmy Rollins famously said the Phils were the team to beat in the NL East. Early September he looked like a bit of a fool. Until the Mets infamous collapse and the Phils did win the East after all. I bet Rollins was probably relieved, LOL.

  6. I don’t think anyone on the Notre Dame team really cares, frankly. It’s getting to the point that ND’s motivation is simply winning. That’s what makes a champion. We’ll see whether we take care of business.

  7. Well, unofficially, I would suspect a defensive bullseye has been put on Pittman. IF he should back up that smack, then so be it. I will speculate that the D will have a thing to say about this.


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