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Marqise Lee hopes to be ready for Notre Dame

Oct 14, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT

Arizona State v USC Getty Images

Last year, Notre Dame caught a break when quarterback Matt Barkley wasn’t able to play against the Irish. They might catch a similar break if All-American wide receiver Marqise Lee‘s knee injury keeps the Trojan’s best player off the field on Saturday.

The Biletnikoff winning wide receiver watched the Trojan offense explode in Ed Orgeron’s debut as USC’s interim head coach last Thursday night, but hopes he’s healed enough to make it onto the field in South Bend Saturday night.

Various reports surrounding the Trojan beat had Lee doing some individual work at practice on Sunday, but did not participate in any team work. Orgeron gave an update on a fairly lengthy injured list on Sunday and had Lee among those questionable along with linebacker Morgan Breslin, fellow receiver Victor Blackwell and a handful of others.

Injuries have plagued USC, limiting an already undermanned Trojan roster early this season. But even without Lee, the Trojans broke loose through the air against Arizona, with Nelson Agholor leading the way with seven catches for 161 yards and a touchdown as Cody Kessler threw for 297 yards on just 15 completions.



  1. viktory2013 - Oct 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Knowing SC with an opportunity to play ND in South Bend, if he can walk, he’ll play. Orgeron most likely held him out last week to make sure he didn’t get dinged up. He’s not really the issue; it’s more about how Kessler handles the defense and vice versa. He and Wittek from last year are pretty similar: big arms, big plays, but easily rattled. Orgeron isn’t smart enough to outcoach anyone, and the rah rah stuff lasts about a quarter, so then it’s up to Rees not to give them life with a bonehead play. We’ll see how it shakes out.

  2. bearcatirishfan - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Is arizona’s defense any good? Just wondering how good the competition was for this “explosion”

    • onward2victory - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      If you watch the highlights, one of SCs long TDs was due to a horrible open field tackle whiff. If Rich Rod is still coaching AZ then I’m assuming their defense couldn’t stop a powder puff team. I expect this game to be a defensive battle and, like most games, will come down to who wins the turnover battle.

  3. irishwilliamsport - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    It should be a ND win but you never know this year. There are 13 losses in the BK 3.5 year era, Five of those were games we were out played in and lost legitimately, Stanford and the pummeling by Navy in 2010, the USC laid egg on prime time TV in front of 50 recruits, Stanford in 2011 and Alabama last year. The other 8 losses were games we found a way to lose, MU, MSU and Tulsa of all teams in 2010, South Florida, MU and FSU in 2011 and MU and OU this year.

    In 2010 we had the little giants fake field goal by MSU, Michigan should have been a W, Tulsa and the greedy throw into the endzone when we were in field goal range.

    In 2011 South Florida was a disaster, in 2013 we still try to throw the ball into the end zone against 8 men in coverage from the 5 yard line. Michigan goes 80 yards in 28 seconds because we were in the wron coverage, we stop blitzing in the second half vs FSU in the bowl game and let them get back in it.

    This year the defense is playing mostly man coverage and paying the price dearly against MU, if we ran the ball 60 times vs OU we would have won the game.

    The point is coaching has played a significant role in the losses and TR is not responsible for them all. They’re asking him to beat everybody through the air and it’s not working.

    • mtndguy - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      You lost me, what does that have to do with Marquis Lee playing on Saturday?

      • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        It means you’re an idiot

  4. nudeman - Oct 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Some interesting stats:

    Total Defense:
    SC 19th
    ND 46th

    Rushing Defense:
    SC 15th
    ND 23rd

    Passing Defense:
    SC 69th
    ND 87th

    Total Offense:
    SC 69th
    ND 80th

    Rushing Offense:
    SC 39th
    ND 95th

    Passing Offense:
    SC 87th
    ND 53rd

    I could keep going, but have to be home by midnight. So here’s my takeaway:

    1) They are higher ranked than ND in all but one of these categories.
    2) The only category ND leads them in is the one that scares us all the most. Passing game.
    3) USC also has the 15th ranked rush defense, so does this mean we’re looking at another 50+ passes from Rees again? Tell me now so I can find something else to do.

    Overall: This is not the clownshow that Kiffin was running. They love Orgeron, are probably still on a high over his hire and their win vs. UA, and they’re very dangerous. As of now they are a 3 pt underdog, which means Vegas sees these teams as even. (home field adv. is always worth 3 pts)

    Too soon for me to predict. Not feeling it yet.
    And I was wildly wrong on ASU, so there’s no credibility here anyway.

    • bearcatirishfan - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      I looked at those earlier but you hav to take note that a majority of who they played so cars this year is cupcakes so their stats area little padded by batter.

      Although still talented and dangerous and I kind of wish kiffin was still there.

      My guess on the title of the article is marquis will play but be limited to more of decoy role and not to stretch the field. If his knee is still hurting and he’s not practicing he won’t be 100% by Saturday.

    • papadec - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      nude – right on as usual. Thanks for the stats – just in time to blow my late lunch. I thought home field advantage was worth more like 6-7 points – it doesn’t really matter what the Vegas spread is, when these two play each other. As for the stats, they’re only good for our buddy “load” to use to piss off the ND fans & some computer “power” rankings. They aren’t against the same teams.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Hey nude, you are assuming that we thought you had credibility before being wildly wrong on ASU. (j/k) I also felt like we’d be blown out by the Sun Devils. I just thought the whole Shamrock Series, Cowboy Stadium, new uni’s, etc would somehow magnify the problems we’ve seen this year on both sides of the ball. Oh well, feels good to be pleasantly surprised every now and again. I’m feeling pretty good about a rout of SC this weekend, just hope I don’t suffer the opposite emotion, which is to be unpleasantly surprised, I guess. And papa, excellent point. How many players are we down beyond just Golson? We haven’t been at full strength all year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d accept a 2-10 season so long as we beat Michigan and SC. I dislike those two programs intensely. It’s too late for UM this year, so let’s just beat the tar out of these Trojans and I’ll be happy. GO IRISH.

  5. fnc111 - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Kelly’s only shot to win this game is if Lee doesn’t play. He hasn’t beaten a full strength SC team yet. Also, 1-3 against Michigan and constant head scratching moments in his ND tenure.

    I’m trying to figure out why ND nation thinks this coach is so much better than the other crud we got stuck with?

    Coach Kelly reminds me of John Cooper. A lot of hype and nothing else.

    • mtndguy - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Except possibly the first game of the year, when do teams ever play each other at “full strength”? That’s football, you play with who you have, no excuses.

    • papadec - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      fnc – 8-5, 8-5, 12-1.

    • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      He’s a much better college caoch then Davie, WIllingham and Weis and has been a head coach for a long time. However, his offense is rediculously hard for guys to learn and the 8 head scratching losses over the past 3.5 years where the team beat itself are flags to me. Too many mistakes.

      • nudeman - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Couldn’t agree more, on all points. I like Kelly but the times that ND has been flat out dominated and outplayed by a better team pale in comparison to the times we’ve lost because of bad coaching or preparation.

        There was no excuse for the University of Notre Dame losing to:
        – USF (just not ready to play; terrible coaching, terrible QB’ing)
        – UM (2011, 2013; just threw both of those away)
        – FSU (Rees was bad, but Diaco was worse)
        – USC (2011; terribly FLAT performance, at home, national TV, 100 recruits there; no excuse),
        – Tulsa (Rees should have thrown that ball in the 3rd row but pass never should have been called)
        – Navy (2010; when Navy actually has a better team, I retire as an ND fan)
        – And maybe 1 or 2 others my photographic memory isn’t recalling right now.

        By comparison, we’ve only been seriously beaten by an obviously better team twice:
        – Stanford, 2011
        – Alabama

        MAYBE you could put Michigan, 2010 in there, but I think they were only slightly better.
        But Diaco turned Denard into a star by having no plan to contain him

      • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM


        Stanford in 2011 and 2012, Navy pummeled us in 2012, USC in 2012 although you can argue had Christ not fumbled and we scored it may have been a different game and Alabama last year. A lot of the other losses are coaching, MSU little giants fake field goal, SF disaster, Tulsa – kick the damn ball, OU this year – run the damn ball when you average 9 yards a play, UM this year – blitz happy on 3rd down, FSU in the bowl game.

      • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Sorry Stanford in 2010 and 2011

      • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Sorry again Navy in 2010 and USC in 2011

      • nudeman - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        I can’t include MSU little giants game as one where the coaches screwed up

        ND had that won on the road and they even had the play defensed correctly, but Harrison Smith (I think) slipped when trying to cover the guy
        Can’t blame Kelly or Diaco for that.

      • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        I guess, but why not drop 3 guys who are not trying to block the kick back in coverage in that situation and the UM game in 2011 where we gave up a wheel route with 20 seconds left and up by 4. Why not put 4 guys so deep that nothing could get behind them. I’ll give you that one but the other 7 no way.

    • mayo1010 - Oct 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      fnc writes: “I’m trying to figure out why ND nation thinks this coach is so much better than the other crud we got stuck with?”

      I don’t think only ND nation thinks BK is a good coach as the reigning National Coach of the Year winner the entire NCAA thinks he’s great! Nimrod!!!

  6. fnc111 - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Final score will be 10-7. It’ll be a physical, ugly game like MSU was. Couldn’t tell you which side is going to make the game winning FG. Coin toss and Vegas is saying the same thing with the opening line.

    • papadec - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      fnc – I think they’ll both score at least 20. First team to 24 wins.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM


      vegas sets the spread tight for a bitter rivalry game like this one to get tons of action from the rich, egomaniacal degenerate gamblers on both sides, and to keep the same amount of action on coming from both sides to keep the spread from having to be adjusted closer to kickoff. believe me. i’ve watched casino at least 3 times, and i once wrote an essay about moe green and his management style. i know alllllll about vegas.

      as bearcat noted, USC isn’t that good. they haven’t played anybody, and the teams they have played in the PAC-12 are no good. in fact, beyond oregon and stanford (sort of) the PAC-12 is no good and stanford will lose at least one more before it’s all said and done.

      sure, “ND is no good” i can hear the nattering nabobs of negativism beginning to chant, but ND’s upside is much greater than USC’s.

      USC’s rush defense will be exposed. ND will run the ball effectively (sigh) and throw the ball just fine. whether ND will stop the run is more of a concern, especially given the forecast for general rain and crappiness.

      i’m looking forward to watching ND hammering USC with 8-10 play drives with the image of a mud-covered CMC singing the alma mater only adding to his mystique.

      • nudeman - Oct 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        “nattering nabobs of negativism ”

        We just don’t get a lot of Spiro Agnew talk here anymore
        Well done

      • papadec - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Not that I’m a fan of ucla – but, they don’t look too shabby this year.

      • irish4006 - Oct 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        ” i’ve watched casino at least 3 times, and i once wrote an essay about moe green and his management style. i know alllllll about vegas.”

        That was hilarious. I should print and frame the quote. Do I have your permission, good sir?

        • 4horsemenrideagain - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM

          it’s all yours. glad you enjoyed it. i’ll be here all week and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        UCLA could be the real thing, and i like their QB but the teams they’ve beaten don’t jump off the page at you.

        i’m guessing they drop this weekend’s game to stanford and struggle to get by UW later on.

      • bb90grad - Oct 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Agree with nude, love the alliteration. Was about to Google it in the hopes it was not Rush Limbaugh.

  7. mtndguy - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I hope that Marquis plays. I prefer to beat a team at their best. Winning because the team you’re playing is without a key player is certainly a win, but beating them with their best players on the field is much sweeter.

    • papadec - Oct 14, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      I don’t care who they’re missing – we’re missing players too, like Golson.

  8. getsome99 - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Don’t forget ASU put up like 100 points against this USC defense. We should feel confident about this one. ND is still a pretty damn good football team.

    • viktory2013 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Yeah and Purdue’s defense gives up a million points to EVERYBODY and loses by 30+ to EVERYBODY. Doesn’t mean a lot in a game like this. You can bet those guys will be flying around like crazy.

  9. nudeman - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Wish I’d thought of this

  10. mediocrebob - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:58 PM


    Meaningless banter as usual. Find another team.

    • dickasman - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Bob speak for yourself. I care deeply about fnc and his feelings unlike you jag bags. Like it or not, he is one of us and His opinion counts just as much as yours.

  11. yaketyyacc - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    Beware the Trojan Horse! Never mind who will or will not play, this new coach Orgeron has USC realizing that their only problem was their former coach. As “nude” pointed out, they are better then us in almost every stat. Ok, we shocked ourselves in beating ASU, and we also realize something, we are far better then those stats
    my prediction: Notre Dame will leave the Trojan Horse so lame that when they get back to California, the only merciful thing to do will be too shoot it. We have a damn good team and its name is Notre Dame!

  12. don74 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I hope Anthony Davis doesn’t play.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Or Pat Haden because you know he’s gonna be there.

    • mayo1010 - Oct 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      I hope he does, Have you seen him lately? He’s pushing 400lbs!!! I was shocked when I last saw him.

  13. cpfirish - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I will agree with who ever said that some if our loses were because of the coaching! (Brian Kelly)..! He has made some calls that I am like WTF ARE U DOING!! And I don’t see him being any better than the others we have had in the 15 years. And the next NFL team interested him in I say don’t let the door hit you in the ass! Next man in. Go Irish!

  14. 1historian - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    This game is make or break for this team. Throw out the stats, throw out everything – this is US mfing C.

    It’s a simple matter of physics – you can’t score a touchdown, you can’t intercept a pass, you can’t tackle somebody – anybody – when you’re lying on your grass-stained butt looking up at the night sky of Northern Indiana courtesy of the guy opposite you wearing the blue and gold uniform.

    I’ve said a few times that we haven’t seem how good this team can be.

    It’s time.

    • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      I hope it all comes together this week. USC will bring their A game for sure, I wish Kiffen was still there because they would have a better chance of quitting. ASU put up ridiculous numbers on them and 62 points. It’s uncanny how teams come to ND stadium and play out of their minds.

    • oldestguard - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      I can tell you’ve got quite a number of these rivalry games under your belt, wise Historian.

      These games usually do not disappoint when it comes to stiriing up the shit.

      Let’s see if we can find our “Identity” .and point this team toward a decent bowl game.


      Been too quiet on the recruiting trail….a stirring win could help.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        well said.

        i remember as a youngster, watching todd marinovich come in as a true frosh and took a really good ND team to the wire, including some ill-advised taunting by marinovich that scott kowalkowski happily paid him back for.

    • irishwilliamsport - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      I agree, they have to be turnover free though and get off to a fast start for the first time this year.

  15. getsome99 - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Michigan State was a better team than ND in 2010. They went undefeated through 8 games and were ranked as high as #5 before losing on the road to Iowa for their lone regular season loss.

    I would also say FSU was better than ND in 2011 at the time they played. We coulda, woulda, shoulda won but give FSU some credit too. Neither opponent was “obviously” better as evidenced by the comments here, but they were better nonetheless.

  16. ndirishfan63 - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Notre Dame 31 Cum catchers 13. Go Irish!!!!

    • dickasman - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Ahhhhhhhhahahahahahaha, lololololololol ROFLolololol!!!

    • dickasman - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Hott! So it’s gonna be like watching a porno? Suweeeeeeeeeet! Can’t wait babe!

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