USC looking to salvage season

LOS ANGELES -- Imagine all those Notre Dame fans who will be descending upon the City of Angels this week believing they're going to see their beloved No. 1 Irish complete the regular season undefeated by knocking off Lane Kiffin's fading USC Trojans on Saturday night in a sold-out Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

It does seem like a potential slam dunk for coach Brian Kelly's team. The Trojans, now 7-4 and not having beaten anybody of consequence, could be without the services of star quarterback Matt Barkley, who apparently hurt his right throwing shoulder late in the UCLA game.

If Barkley -- who is 2-0 as a starter against the Irish -- can't play, he will be replaced by redshirt freshman Max Wittek, whose is about as green as the jacket worn by Notre Dame's leprechaun mascot.