Kickoff countdown: Irish ready for USC

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In just three days the Irish will have the opportunity to silence the critics and prove their number one status. A win against the Trojans would make the Irish the only eligible undefeated team in the country. ABC57 spoke with the players about what’s at stake.

With a ticket to the national championship on the line, a perfect season to finish plus a chip on their shoulder after last year's loss at home to the Trojans, the Irish hardly need more reasons to get hyped about this weekend's game.

"I'm going to go out there, I'm going to play within myself, within the system, and we're going to win this ballgame,” said Max Wittek, USC Quarterback.

That's a high level of confidence for a freshman with 9 career pass attempts and a grand total of 95 yards.

"You hear a lot of negative comments, you know. It's just something you look at and laugh about and put in the back of your head for motivation,” said Bennett Jackson, Irish Cornerback.

For a team that's dealt with its fair share of noise, the Irish are actually taking the young QB's comments in stride.

"I mean at the same time what do you expect? You don't expect him to say, we're going to lose, so I think people are making a bigger deal than what it is," said Kapron Lewis-Moore, Irish Defensive End.

"From their position, you would hope that a quarterback coming in and being a rookie and all would have confidence,” said Zeke Motta, Irish Safety.

"I mean you can take that either way, some guys could get hyped up about it, but I just kind of stay focused and run my course,” said John Goodman, Irish Wide Receiver.

The majority of the team may be dismissing the quote of confidence, that doesn't mean the guys aren't pumped for their upcoming battle on the gridiron.

"Me? I'm just fired up to be in the coliseum. This is my first time- this is my second time going to Cali but my first time in the coliseum so I'm just excited regardless,” said Louis Nix III, Irish Nose Guard.

The Irish will have practice Wednesday and Thursday before a team Thanksgiving dinner and then they head out to California on Friday afternoon.

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