Notre Dame Coach Del Alexander played for USC
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Notre Dame-USC game is one of those games that means just a little bit more, not just to players and fans, but to coaches too.
Notre Dame wide receivers Coach Del Alexander played for USC from '93 to '94.
"It's where I grew up. You know, you pass USC every day going back and forth to school or places nearby and you just say, you know what, I want to do things at the highest level, this is right here at home," Alexander said.
Alexander had one touchdown for his career in a win over Oregon State.
As a backup to eventual superstar Keyshawn Johnson receptions were hard to come by.
Allison: Personality wise, Keyshawn would be the glitz, the glamour personality. How would that contrast with your personality?
Alexander: I'm a little bit more of a listener, a little bit more laid back and Keyshawn always has the floor.
Allison: How was he as a teammate?
Alexander: He was great. He studied. He made sure that everyone was on the same page, was committed to winning and he did that through his preparation.
In the late 80s, early 90s the Irish dominated the Trojans.
In 1993, led by head Coach Lou Holtz, Notre Dame beat USC 31-13.
But in '94 the game ended in a 17-17 tie, snapping an 11 game losing streak to the Irish.
"Two schools with great traditions. I know the intensity is a little bit higher when you're working your way into the Notre Dame/USC game. So, the level of energy is higher," Alexander said.
Alexander got his start in coaching at his alma mater as an assistant video coordinator and graduate assistant.
That opportunity led to 22 years of coaching for programs like Wisconsin and Arizona State and even a stop in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers.
Now in his 2nd season at Notre Dame, the Irish have combined for more than 2800 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.
Being on the other side of the rivalry, Alexander has advice for his Irish players.
"There's some you just say, everything goes here. You know, lay it all on the line, no matter what," Alexander said.
Alexander not only played football for the Trojans he was also a triple and high jumper for USC.