THE GREATEST INTERSECTIONAL RIVALRY IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL • USC and Notre Dame…two renowned brands…two iconic football programs…it doesn’t get any better. • USC travels to South Bend to challenge the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 94th meeting of the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football. It will be shown live nationally on NBC. • The game is a battle between schools with glorious gridiron heritages. The winner gets year-long possession of the jeweled Shillelagh. • In its last 11 games against the Irish, USC is 4-7. • USC is ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. •Last year, both teams were also ranked for this match up. USC was No. 5 and Notre Dame was No. 13. ARIZONA RECAP • Defending Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams led the Trojans to defeat Arizona 43-41 in a thrilling 3OT game. • Williams was 14-of-25 with 1 TD. He also rushed for 41 yards and 3 TDs and the game-winning 2 point conversion in triple overtime. • Williams’ 3 rushing TDs tied his single-game career-high. • USC’s comeback against Arizona was the biggest in the Lincoln Riley era at USC – the previous best being a comeback from 14 points down vs. UCLA last season. • USC has scored at least 42 points in every game this season, the first time in school history that it has scored 40 or more points in each of its first 6 games of the season. • The 43 points that USC scored were the most Arizona has allowed in a game this season (31 twice before). USC entered the game with a 53.6 scoring average, top in the country. USC currently still sits at No. 1 in the nation in scoring offense (51.8). Arizona was allowing its opponents to score 19.0 points per game in its first 5 games. • RB MarShawn Lloyd had 15 carries for 86 yards and a rushing TD. It was his fourth rushing TD of the season. • WR Kyron Hudson caught a 5-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds remaining in the first half to bring USC within 3 points making it 17-14 at the break. He finished the game with 2 catches for 12 yards. • WR Brenden Rice led USC with 96 receiving yards on 4 catches. • S Jaylin Smith led the Trojans with 10 tackles. • RUSH Jamil Muhammad had 2 sacks in the second quarter and now has a team-leading 6 sacks this season. • In CB Jacobe Covington’s first start of the season, his critical INT of Arizona QB Noah Fifita in the second quarter allowed the Trojans to have a short field and set up USC QB Caleb Williams to score his first rushing TD of the night and put the first points on the board for USC. • It was Covington’s first INT of his career. • QB Caleb Williams and RB Austin Jones each rushed for TDs in the first and second overtimes, respectively. Williams then rushed for a successful 2-point conversion to push the Trojans ahead 43-41. Then the USC defense stopped Arizona’s attempt to win the game. • The last 3OT game for the Trojans was against Stanford in 2011, when USC lost 56-48. • Saturday’s game was the first 3OT win in program history. • It’s its history, USC has only played in 12 overtime games. • USC improved to 6-0 – back-to-back 6-0 starts for first time since doing so 3 straight years in 2004- 05-06. CALEB BY THE NUMBERS • This season, Williams is 119-of-166 for 1,808 yards with 22 TDs and 1 INT. He has also rushed for 124 yards this season with 6 TDs – all within 20 quarters of football throughout 6 games, including 3OTs against Arizona. • Compared to his first 6 games of his Heisman winning season in 2022 (122-of-188 for 1,590 yards with 14 TDs and 1 INT and 178 rushing yards with 3 TDs – playing 23 quarters of football), Williams has thrown 8 more TDs through 6 games this year. • He is currently No. 1 in the nation in passing efficiency (206.4), points responsible for (172), points responsible for per game (28.7) and passing TDs (22), No. 2 in the nation in yards per pass attempt (10.98), No. 7 in the nation in total offense (324.3), No. 8 in the nation in passing yards (1,808) and No. 9 in the nation in passing yards per completion (15.31). • He is the first FBS player in the last 25 years to throw for 6 passing TDs in a game for multiple schools. COUNT WITH CALEB Last 6 games Total Yards Passing TDs Rushing TDs vs. SJSU* 276 4 0 vs. Nevada * 361 5 0 vs. Stanford# 302 3 1 at Arizona State 332 3 2 at Colorado 415 6 0 vs. UofA 260 1 3 *played 3 quarters #played 2 quarters RILEY’S ELECTRIC OFFENSE • The Trojan offense is No. 1 in the nation for scoring offense (51.8), No. 3 in the nation for team passing efficiency (196.97), No. 3 in the nation for passing offense (355.2) and No. 4 in the nation in total offense (523.3). BREATHTAKING BRANCH • WR Zachariah Branch continues to impress the college football world with his shifty moves and electric returns. Against Stanford, he returned a punt for a 75-yard TD in the second quarter . He had a 96- yard kickoff return for a TD vs. San Jose State on Aug. 26. • He also has 2 TD receptions this season and is the first Trojan since Adoree’ Jackson in 2016 to have a punt return and kickoff return for a TD, as well as at least one receiving TD in the same season. Jackson had 2 punt returns and 2 kickoff returns for TDs and 1 TD reception during the 2016 season. • Since 1971 (when records are available) Branch is one of just 3 USC players to accomplish the feat, joining Jackson and Curtis Conway (1992 – 1 kickoff return TD, 1 punt return TD, 5 rec TD). He also had 4 receptions for 30 yards and 1 carry for 2 rushing yards against Stanford. • Branch is currently tied for No. 1 in the nation in kickoff return TDs (1) and punt return TDs (1). MORE NATIONAL RANKINGS • USC is No. 1 in the nation in tackles for loss with 57.0 and is tied for No. 3 in the nation in sacks with 22.0.
NOTRE DAME SCOUTING REPORT • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 5-2 overall. • They are coming off a 20-33 loss to Louisville on the road. • After starting the season 4-0, the Irish have lost 2 of their last 3 games. • QB Sam Hartman leads the Fighting Irish and is 118-of-183 for 16 TDs and 3 INTs. • RB Audric Estime (105 carries for 692 yards for 7 TDs) is Notre Dame’s top back. • TE Mitchell Evans is Notre Dame’s top pass catcher with 22 receptions for 343 yards and 1 TD. • TE Holden Staes has scored 4 receiving TDs for the Irish, the most on the team. • In addition to Evans and Staes, 10 other receivers have caught TDs for the Irish this season. • S Xavier Watts has intercepted 2 passes this season, while S DJ Brown, S Ramon Henderson, CB Clarence Lewis and CB Benjamin Morrison have each collected 1. • DL Howard Cross III leads the team with 42 tackles. He also leads the team in TFLs with 5 for minus 10 yards. • DL Jordan Botelho is the top sack man for the Irish with 2 sacks for minus 14 yards. • K Spencer Shrader is 7-of-12 in FGs this season with his long being 54 yards. RANKINGS • USC is ranked No. 10 in the latest AP Poll and 9th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. • Notre Dame is ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and 21st in the USA Today Coaches Poll. SERIES • Notre Dame leads the series with USC, which began in 1926, 50-37-5 (not including Troy’s 2005 victory that was later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 50-38-5). Including that 2005 vacated game, USC has won 12 of the last 20 meetings and 15 of the last 26 (including 8 in a row from 2002 to 2009), but ND has won 7 of the last 11. Since 1967, USC has gone 26-25-3 (not including the 2005 vacated game; original record: 27-25-3). • In South Bend, USC is 13-28-1 (not including the 2005 vacated game; original record: 14-28-1), with 2 other USC losses in Chicago. USC has lost in its last 5 trips to South Bend (its longest streak since dropping 7 consecutive there from 1983 to 1995), but Troy had won the previous 5 times there and 6 of the previous 8. USC AND NOTRE DAME BOTH RANKED • In USC-Notre Dame games in which both teams are ranked by AP, Notre Dame holds a 17-14-2 edge (not including 1 USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 17-15-2). When USC is the higher ranked team in such games, the Trojans hold an 12-6-2 advantage (not including 1 USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 13-6-2). IN OCTOBER • USC has a 317-125-19 (.708) all-time record while playing in the month of October (not including 5 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 322-125-19, .711). UNDEFEATED GOING INTO SOUTH BEND • When USC is undefeated (wins and ties) going in to South Bend to play Notre Dame, the Trojans are 5-2-1.
UNDEFEATED GOING INTO SOUTH BEND • This year’s USC-Notre Dame game is just the seventh Trojan night game ever at Notre Dame Stadium (2011 was the first and it also happened in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021). It also ties with those games as the latest USC-ND game ever (7:30 p.m. kickoff), as all 12 such night encounters in Los Angeles were 5 p.m. starts. ARTICIFIAL TURF • USC is 49-35-1 in its last 85 games on artificial turf (not including 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 52-35-1). SHILLELAGH • The winner of the USC-Notre Dame game gets year-long possession of the jeweled Shillelagh. The foot-long shillelagh—a Gaelic war club made of oak or blackthorn saplings from Ireland—has ruby-adorned Trojan heads with the year and game score representing USC victories, while emerald-studded shamrocks stand for Notre Dame wins. For tie games, a combined Trojan head/shamrock medallion was used. The first Shillelagh was retired after the 1989 game when it ran out of space for the medallions and a second one is now in use. There are now 50 shamrocks, 38 Trojan heads and 5 combined medallions on the shillelaghs (1 USC win was later vacated due to NCAA penalty). WINNING TRADITIONS • USC and Notre Dame have 2 of the top gridiron heritages in the country. The schools have both won 11 national titles (USC in 1928-31-32-39-62-67-72-74-78-2003-04 and Notre Dame in 1924-29-30-43-46-47- 49-66-73-77-88). Notre Dame is fourth in all-time victories among Division I-A schools (943, not including 21 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty) and USC is ninth (873, not including 14 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC has played in 54 bowls (with 34 wins, not including 1 win and 2 appearances vacated due to NCAA penalty), while Notre Dame has been in 41 bowls (with 20 wins). Fourteen players from both schools have won Heisman Trophies (USC’s Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Charles White, Marcus Allen, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Caleb Williams and Notre Dame’s Angelo Bertelli, John Lujack, Leon Hart, John Lattner, Paul Hornung, John Huarte, Tim Brown). Notre Dame has had 201 All-American first teamers, while USC claims 175. USC has 35 players in the College Football Hall of Fame and Notre Dame has 49. Both schools have had 5 players selected first in the NFL draft and both are well-represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (a record 14 from USC and 13 from Notre Dame). Both programs have had legendary coaches (USC’s Gloomy Gus Henderson, Howard Jones, John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll, and Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy and Ara Parseghian). A WIVES TALE • If it had not been for the persuasiveness of a young bride in 1925, the Trojan-Irish series may never have been established. The series came about because of a discussion between two wives. USC’s graduate manager, Gwynn Wilson was a forerunner to the modern-day athletic director. He and his bride, Marion, got on the Sunset Limited train to Lincoln, Nebraska where Notre Dame was going to play the Cornhuskers. Mission: a USC-Notre Dame home-and-home series. Wilson didn’t get to meet with Rockne though, until after the game when they all got on a train to Chicago. “He told me that he couldn’t meet USC because Notre Dame was traveling too much,” Wilson said. “I thought the whole thing was off but as Rock and I talked, Marion was with Mrs. Rockne, Bonnie, in her compartment. Marion told Bonnie how nice Southern California was and how hospitable the people were.” “Well, when Rock went back to the compartment, Bonnie talked him into the game. But if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Wilson talking to Mrs. Rockne, there wouldn’t have been a series.” USC-NOTRE DAME CONNECTIONS • USC has no players from Indiana, while Notre Dame has 13 Californians on its roster. • USC ILB Mason Cobb and Notre Dame S Thomas Harper previously played together at Oklahoma State. • USC S Bryson Shaw and Notre Dame DL Javonte Jean-Baptiste previously played together at Ohio State. • USC DL Korey Foreman and Notre Dame CB Jaden Mickey were teammates at Centennial High School. • USC TE Jude Wolfe, RB Matt Colombo, P Will Rose, DL Kobe Pepe and Notre Dame DL Cole Aubrey all prepped at St. John Bosco. • USC QB Miller Moss, S Jaylin Smith and Notre Dame DL Junior Tuihalamaka all prepped at Bishop Alemany High School. • Notre Dame running backs coach Deland McCullough previously served as USC’s run game coordinator/running backs coach in 2017. • USC ILB Raesjon Davis, WR Kyron Hudson, WR Josiah Zamora, RUSH Solomon Tuliaupupu, CB Domani Jackson, WR Corey Nerhus and WR Raleek Brown were high school teammates with Notre Dame CB Clarence Lewis at Mater Dei. • The athletic departments and business schools at USC and Notre Dame, along with those at North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan and Texas, conduct the Sports Management Institute for mid- and upper-level sports administrators who aspire to be athletic directors, executive directors or general managers in college, amateur or pro sports.
NOTRE DAME NOTES:
IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS
Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff Show will appear outside Notre Dame
Stadium for the first time this weekend. Former Irish quarterback
Brady Quinn (‘06) is part of the broadcast crew that will preview the
Notre Dame – Southern Cal game (and all of the Saturday college football slate) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET in the Library Quad, just north of
Notre Dame Stadium.
Mitchell Evans led Notre Dame with a career-best 134 receiving yards
against No. 17 Duke on Sept. 30, while Holden Staes paced the Irish
with 115 receiving yards at NC State. Notre Dame is the only FBS team
in the country with two different tight ends posting 100-yard receiving performances this season.
The Notre Dame defense ranks among the nation’s top 15 in three
crucial defensive statistics. The Irish defense is 12th in total defense
(279.4), third in pass efficiency defense (96.98) and 15th in scoring
This weekend’s prime time game is the fourth of an unprecedented four-straight night games for the Irish. The team has only played
three night games in a row four times previously. See page 10 for
Notre Dame is facing its fourth-consecutive ranked opponent for the
sixth time in school history and first time since 2000. See page 10
Notre Dame and Southern Cal have combined to produce 14 Heisman
Trophy winners, seven from each program, which includes current
SC quarterback Caleb Williams. See page 9 for a look back at Notre Dame’s previous four meetings with a reigning Heisman Trophy
Senior defensive tackle Howard Cross III leads all FBS linemen with
42 tackles this season and is the only front-four defensive player in
the country with 40-or-more tackles. See page 7 for more.
Spencer Shrader became the first Notre Dame kicker to connect
from 50-or-more yards twice in a game last weekend at Louisville.
Shrader started with a 53-yard kick early in the third quarter, then
matched his own school record with a 54-yard field goal with 1:06
remaining in the same period. Shrader is now tied with Kyle Brindza
(2011-14) and Jonathan Doerer (2017-21) for the most 50-yard kicks in
a Notre Dame career with four.
Shrader leads all FBS kickers this year with four successful 50-yard
Sam Hartman has thrown 126 passes in his career and has eclipsed
the 14,500-yard barrier in career passing yards. He is just the sixth
FBS quarterback to ever throw for 125 touchdowns with 14,500 passing yards. See page 6 for a full breakdown of Hartman’s prolific career.
NOTRE DAME – SOUTHERN CAL SERIES HISTORY • Notre Dame and Southern Cal will be meeting for the 94th time Saturday night with the Irish leading the all-time series 59-38-5. Notre Dame has won four straight over SC in Notre Dame Stadium dating back to 2015. All-time Notre Dame is 28-14-1 (.663) against Southern Cal in ‘The House That Rockne Built.’ • Saturday marks the eighth consecutive time ND and SC will meet with at least one team ranked in the AP top 25 (dating back to 2015) – Notre Dame is 5-2 in those contests. • Saturday night is the 35th time both ND and SC are meeting ranked among the AP top 25. The Irish are 17-15-2 (.529) in those meetings, but just one-for-the-last-five dating back to 2002. Before 2002, the Irish had won five consecutive games with both Notre Dame and Southern Cal ranked in the top 25. • Notre Dame has only met a 10th-ranked SC team once – in 1966 the Irish secured their claim to a national title with a 51-0 victory in Los Angeles. • Notre Dame and Southern Cal have spoiled each other’s run to a national title 14 times in the series history. The Irish handed the Trojans their first loss in 1927, 1947, 1952, 1973, 1988 and 1995. Notre Dame also tied SC in 1968 and 1969 providing the only blemish on the Trojan record that season. Southern Cal played the spoiler role in 1931, 1938, 1964, 1970, 1971 and 1980. • Two former participants of the Notre Dame – Southern Cal series will be a part of Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff show, which will take place on Notre Dame’s campus for the first-time ever on Saturday: Brady Quinn (‘06) and Matt Leinart. • For a full list of the Notre Dame – Southern Cal series, including a box score from the most recent meeting, see page 13. GAME FACTS • Notre Dame is 14-3-0 all-time on October 14. That includes a 1-1 record against Southern Cal – a 30-0 win 1961 and a 24-7 loss to top-ranked SC in 1967. • Notre Dame is 7-2-0 all-time on October 14 at home and 4-1 in Notre Dame Stadium. • Notre Dame is 9-3-0 against the Associated Press 10th-ranked team all-time. The first victory was a 21-0 win by the 18th-ranked Irish over No. 10 Georgia Tech on Nov. 25, 1944. The most recent was 20th-ranked Notre Dame’s 20-3 outcome over No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing on Sept. 15, 2012. • The Irish have played five games all-time as the AP No. 21-ranked team. The most recent was a 45-38 victory over No. 19 South Carolina in the 2022 Gator Bowl. • Notre Dame is 407-100-8 (.798) all-time in the month of October.
TWO-DEEP TIDBITS – OFFENSE Jayden Thomas is the leading returning receiver for the Irish in 2023. He leads all wide outs on the team this season with 15 catches for 228 yards. He returned to the starting lineup at Louisville after missing the Duke game with an injury. Chris Tyree has shifted to wide receiver after three years as a running back with the Irish. Tyree has made a key play in each of Notre Dame’s five victories this season, which includes a career-best 76-yard touchdown reception against Central Michigan. True freshman Jaden Greathouse nabbed a 35-yard touchdown pass on his first career touch against Navy. He followed up with a 20-yard scoring catch later in the game. He missed the game at Duke and was limited at Louisville last weekend with a leg injury. Joe Alt, the son of former NFL All-Pro John Alt, is one of four team captains for the Irish this season, has been selected as a consensus preseason All-American and is on the Outland, Lombardi and Walter Camp Award watch lists. See page 7 for more on Alt. Pat Coogan made his first career start in just his second game played against Navy. He has started all seven games for the Irish at left guard this season. Zeke Correll has played guard and center during his career and now enters the season as one of the top snappers in the nation. He will make his 30th-career start on the Irish offensive line against Southern Cal and is on the Rimington Award watch list. Rocco Spindler joined Coogan in making his first career start, at right guard, for the Irish against Navy. He has started all seven games at the same position this season. Blake Fisher is one of the more athletic right tackles in the nation, Fisher combines with Joe Alt to provide Notre Dame one of the best offensive tackle bookends in the nation. Mitchell Evans leads the Irish in receiving with 22 catches for 343. He peaked with a career-best 134 receiving yards in the victory at No. 17 Duke. He also plays a key role in some of Notre Dame’s short yardage packages by taking direct snaps. He rushed for five first downs and a touchdown from under center last season. Holden Staes capped the scoring against Central Michigan with a four-yard catch which followed up his career-best game at NC State which included four catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns came from more than 30 yards (30, 45). Staes and Evans combine as the only two TEs, from the same team, to post two 100-yard receiving performances this season. Rico Flores Jr. earned his first career start against Central Michigan and responded with early career-highs of three catches and 60 receiving yards. His first career touchdown reception against Ohio State provided the Irish their first lead of the game. Flores also nabbed a crucial two-point conversion in the game’s final minutes at No. 17 Duke. Sam Hartman continues his ascent up the FBS career passing touchdown and yardage lists this season. See page 6 for much more on Hartman. Audric Estimé owns three 100-yard performances in the first seven games of the year, while rushing for 95 yards vs. Navy and 81 at Duke. Jadarian Price’s first career carry against Navy was a 19-yard touchdown. His second career catch was a 40-yard touchdown reception vs. Tennessee State. Spencer Shrader has quickly established himself as the best long-distance kicker in Notre Dame history. The USF transfer has kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal twice this season –at NC State and at Louisville. He shares the Notre Dame record for career kicks of 50 yards or more (four) with Kyle Brindza and Jonathan Doerer. Bryce McFerson has a booming leg showed that off against NC State. He punted six times in the game, averaging 50.7 yards per attempt. He also posted a career-best 59- yard punt against the Wolfpack. He also uncorked a 57-yard effort at Duke. Michael Vinson is in his sixth year at Notre Dame and is one of the top long snappers in the nation. He has developed into a clear leader not only for the Irish special teams, but the entire roster.
TWO-DEEP TIDBITS – DEFENSE Jordan Botelho missed the first half of the Louisville game after being called for targeting late in the game at Duke. Botelho leads the team with two sacks this season and has 19 total tackles. Joshua Burnham posted his first career start in place of Botelho last weekend and finished the game with two tackles. Overall, Burnham has been distruptive in limited snaps, with 2.5 tackles-for-loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries. Rylie Mills is No. 10 on The Athletic’s Freak List for his work in the weight room and has been distruptive on the defensive line so far in 2023. Mills posted a career-best seven tackles in the victory at No. 17 Duke and followed up with five more stops at Louisville last weekend. Jason Onye posted an early-career-best game with five tackles against Tennesee State. He also blocked his first career field goal, preventing TSU points after the Irish fumbled a kick return and gifted the Tigers the ball at the ND 12-yard line. Howard Cross III is the only Power 5 defensive lineman with double-digit tackles in a game this season after his dominating 13-tackle, two-forced fumble performance at Duke. He was named the Senior Bowl Defensive Player of the Week, the Bednarik Award Player of the Week and the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week. Javontae Jean-Baptiste played perhaps the best game of his career against Ohio State, posting a career-high eight tackles. JJB has been consistent across the Irish defensive line all season and is fourth on the team in tackles (31) and leads the Irish with six quarterback hurries. Nana Osafo-Mensah is a leader in the defensive line group and a steady force against the run. He had two key plays against Louisville last weekend, which included a tacklefor-loss followed up by his first sack of the season. Marist Liufau enters his second full season as a starter in 2023 and has been all over the field through the first seven games of the year. He has 29 tackles on the season, two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. JD Bertrand missed the CMU game in concussion protocol and has retured to the line up in top form over the past three games. He has 28 tackles in the last three outings, which includes 11 at No. 17 Duke and nine tackles, one sack and a shared tackle-for-loss at No. 25 Louisville last weekend. Jack Kiser does a little bit of everything for the Irish defense and can appear on the line or even as a spot safety if necessary. He is third on the team with 36 tackles after piling up a career-best 10 while starting at Mike linebacker for JD Bertrand against Central Michigan. Cam Hart was voted a captain by his teammates this season, and looks poised for a highly productive final season with the Irish. Hart began the second half at No. 25 Louisville with a forced fumble and recovery. DJ Brown returned for a fifth year and is the ‘quarterback’ of the back seven for Notre Dame’s defense. Brown picked off his fourth career pass against NC State, missed the CMU game with a leg injury but returned against Ohio State to finish with three tackles and two PBUs. He also finished with a career-high matching nine tackles at No. 25 Louisville. Xavier Watts has grown from a rookie wide receiver into one of Notre Dame’s starting safeties. Both of his interceptions this season (at NC State, at Duke) have set Notre Dame up in the red zone and directly led to 10 points (seven at NC State, three at Duke). Benjamin Morrison was a Freshman All-American last season, and is focused on taking his game to an even higher level in 2023. He intercepted his first pass of the season at NC State. See page 7 for more on Morrison. Clarence Lewis has played in 44 games at Notre Dame and scored his first career touchdown on a 33-yard interception return against Tennessee State. He started at nickle in place of Thomas Harpe at Louisville, who missed the game in concussion protocol. Thomas Harper, a transfer from Oklahoma State, made his first start in an Irish uniform against TSU and followed up with a team-high seven tackles at NC State. He continued his playmaking moments with his first career sack against Central Michigan. Harper missed the game at Louisville but is hopeful to return to the lineup against Southern Cal this weekend.