We have arrived at our first truly “big” game of the year...with the 13th Ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish taking on the 11th Ranked USC Trojans. Huge games like this bring a unique, euphoric sense of anxiety, excitement, and pure scaries like nothing else. I find myself reading every single possible blog and article repeatedly and looking for things to distract me like cleaning the house, raking the leaves, attempting to nap on Saturday (but getting too excited to sleep). I search for things to make the days go faster, yet as the game inches closer, my anxiety rises.
This got me thinking, what other game weeks have driven this type of hype, this type of anxiety, and this type of excitement? It is easy to look back at some of these huge games (especially the losses) and forget about the environment that surrounded them. I have chosen some games in particular, both wins and losses, that created the fondest sense of anxiety for the fans. With that, I present to you, Philly G’s list of most anticipated games (along with videos of the wins....I’ll spare the videos of the losses....we’ve been down that road before)
Embrace the debate and vote below, and share stories of your most anticipated big game match ups.
1. At USC 2012 (finale to get into natty) - If we won this game, we would go to the National Championship. The fan base was in a dream state ..... “Could this actually happen?” If they won, they would be undefeated and have a clear trip to the Title game, with no title games remaining. The Fact that this Game was also a night game was even better. (shout out Theo Riddick for being a monster)
2. Vs. FSU 1993 (the next week didn’t happen) #1 vs. #2....Win this and a cupcake the following week against Boston College to go to the National Championship. This Promo is pure 90’s bliss and the game lived up to the hype-unbelievably perfect:
3. At Oklahoma 2012 The Irish headed to Norman to take on the #8 Ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a game that had all Irish fans truly fearful. This was a game that was outside of the typical schedule, and one that sent shivers down my spine. Our perfect season at risk, coming off of a pretty shitty performance vs. BYU the week before, I was not confident at all. However, this proved to be a staple victory during that season. Enjoy!
4. At FSU 2014 (Offensive....like repulsive... Pass Interference). the Undefeated #5 Fighting Irish headed to Tallahassee to take on the #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles. The build up during the day was astounding and the the anticipation was massive.... and the Irish showed up. Then something happened....not sure what. Goodnight.
5. Vs. USC 1977 (green jersey game) Words from my father, “Campus was electric even before they busted out the Green Jerseys......Then the team came out after warmups wearing those beautiful things....and we went wild... everything was just so cool”.
6. Vs. USC 2005 (Bush Push) - We know it, we hate it. I will not talk about it anymore or even put video evidence of this game. Instead, enjoy this picture of a puppy.
7. Miami 1988 - Catholics Vs. Convicts.....#4 Irish vs. #1 Miami. This game hype had it all, including the famous shirt, which was created by the Notre Dame faithful. Also, who could forget the pregame brawl?.....and the legendary quote by Lou, “after we kick their butts....you save Jimmy Johnson’s ASS for ME” (insert your own Lou lisp impression)
8-Other-Please vote below and share other games that caused you the most happiness, scariness, and anticipation during the week.
Most Anxiety inducing Big game week
This poll is closed
Other- Please comment below!
(purposefully left out USC 2005-the wounds are too deep)
Cold Take: We will know the outcome of the game EARLY based off of the battle at the Line.
The USC offensive line has been decimated by injuries this year, and the Notre Dame defensive line has been the most improved unit on the team. The D line needs to deliver because Sam Darnold has been significantly worse under pressure this season and his rating has also suffered. Our Offensive line is our biggest weapon. We will be able to tell EARLY who is dominating the battle upfront, which will determine Darnold’s effectiveness as well as our ability to run the ball. Game on.
Hot Take: Kevin Stepherson will be a REAL part of the game plan
I know Kelly mentioned this during the press conference, but this is the week that Kevin Stepherson will finally get involved in the game plan. To put it lightly, we NEED someone to start stepping up and making plays. Chase Claypool has been just about the only person making any plans that aren’t easy pitch and catches. Chase will continue to step up and make those catches, but Stepherson has the ability to take a slant or a “fuller screen” to the house. He can also blow the top off of the defense-which we currently don’t have. I don’t think he will be a breakout star, but we will see him finally starting to make plays, which will be critical down the stretch. Plus he did this to USC last year: