USC’s two main rivals, UCLA and Notre Dame, aren’t very good (so far)

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The UCLA Bruins and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the two teams USC fans want to beat every year, received a lot of positive offseaon hype.

UCLA could be dangerous in the Pac-12 with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet coming back for yet another year behind a veteran offensive line. Notre Dame had Marcus Freeman recruiting up a storm and aligning the program the right way in South Bend. Enthusiasm soared heading into a top-five Week 1 matchup against Ohio State.

Fast-forward three weeks. After three games played in the 2022 season, it’s really hard — maybe even impossible — to say that either UCLA or Notre Dame are good. They’re not.

UCLA was outplayed by South Alabama for much of the day in Week 3. Had South Alabama not gotten cute and tried a fake field goal late in the fourth quarter, the Bruins might have lost that game. As it was, they drove downfield and kicked a walk-off field goal for a 32-31 victory.

Notre Dame struggled with Cal — and itself — in a game which wasn’t decided until the very last play involved a Hail Mary which glanced off the fingertips of multiple Cal receivers in the end zone. Notre Dame’s offense was below average, and its defense was less than great. Marcus Freeman does not have a good team on his hands. He and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees seem to be fighting an uphill battle with their roster. They’re not getting the most out of their talent.

Chip Kelly’s defense looks entirely unprepared for the offenses it will soon see in the Pac-12. South Alabama scored 31 on UCLA. What happens when Utah, USC, and Washington get a crack at the Bruins?

UCLA and Notre Dame aren’t good. This is not a controversial point. It’s actually very obvious. We’ll see if things change, but right now, that’s the clear reality in college football.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire