The loss of sophomore receiver Michael Floyd is a big blow for Notre Dame. Floyd likely will miss the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone last week in a win over Michigan State. Floyd was excelling this season, with 13 catches for 358 yards and five touchdowns.
With Floyd out, the Irish will turn to junior Duval Kamara (4 catches, 29 yards) and senior Robby Parris (4 catches, 26 yards, 1 TD) to emerge. ND also hopes freshman Shaquelle Evans (2 catches, 15 yards) can contribute. Still, no one will be able to replicate Floyd.
Golden Tate is a terrific receiver, but at 5-11, 195 pounds, the junior lacks Floyd's size (6-3/220) and can't battle for jump balls like Floyd. Tate leads the Irish with 19 catches for 301 yards and three scores. Look for him to draw more double coverage with Floyd out.
Clausen's foot OK
An MRI on Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen's right foot came back negative, as it looks to be just a case of turf toe. That ends rumors that Clausen had a broken foot. He hurt his foot while getting sacked in a win over Michigan State last week. Still, keep an eye on how well Clausen moves this weekend at Purdue.
Who's USC's QB?
USC quarterback Matt Barkley practiced Monday and looked sharp, according to reports, taking reps with the first team. But Trojans coach Pete Carroll was non-committal on if Barkley would start against Washington State on Saturday. The true freshman missed last week's 16-13 loss at Washington with a shoulder injury suffered in the Trojans' win at Ohio State.
Aaron Corp started in the loss to Washington and struggled. USC finished with its fewest passing yards ever (110) under Carroll. Corp completed just 13 of 22 passes with an interception, and USC went 0-for-10 on third-down conversions. Still, Corp will continue to prepare this week as though he will start, but Carroll won't name a starter until game time as he did last week.
USC can beat the Cougars with Corp, but the Trojans likely will need Barkley the next two weeks, when they travel to Cal and then Notre Dame.