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Notre Dame Football

TaRiq Bracy & Notre Dame Secondary Confident Heading Into Road Trip to USC

November 23, 2022

Notre Dame hasn’t played at LA Memorial Coliseum since 2018 and cornerback TaRiq Bracy is one of the players who has logged snaps on the historic field. 

Bracy was tasked with stopping Michael Pittman Jr., Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns that night and on Saturday night, the California native will lead the Irish against another loaded USC receiver unit. 

“The standard never changes, so it’s going to be a good game,” stated Bracy. “A great challenge for us and our DB corps.” 

USC receiver Jordan Addison won the 2021 Biletnikoff Award (at Pitt) a year ago and has put up big numbers while battling injuries this year. Entering Saturday’s game, Addison has recorded 51 receptions for 765 yards and eight touchdowns. 

The big numbers and star names don’t matter much to the Notre Dame defensive back room. There is a great deal of respect, but the Irish also have plenty of reps against talented offenses this year, which gives Notre Dame confidence heading into the regular season finale. 

“We’re a confident group,” explained Bracy. “We know being able to play teams like that and have that under our belt definitely brings some confidence, but I feel like our confidence is internal. I think we’ll be fine against USC.” 

Confidence should be high as the Irish defense has done a good job of limiting Josh Downs, Zay Flowers and Marvin Harrison Jr. this season. 

It’s not a secret limiting Addison and Kyle Ford will be key to Notre Dame’s success as every team has the same names at the top of the board. 

“Any receiver you want to limit their explosiveness and the impact they can make on the game,” stated Bracy. “But there’s certain receivers we’re looking at like, ok, this is their guy. If we’re able to limit him, there’s always a good chance of being able to win.” 

One can make a strong argument Notre Dame will face the three top quarterbacks in the country this season as the Irish have already played Drayk Maye and CJ Stroud. USC quarterback Caleb Williams could very well be the best of the bunch as some feel he leads the Heisman race entering this weekend. 

Williams’ ability to make any throw provides a challenge, but the sophomore can also extend plays with his legs and that leads to big plays. 

“It’s a little difficult, especially when you’re able to see the quarterback moving out of the pocket and he has some space to run,” Bracy said. “You’re thinking, is he going to run it, is he going to pick up and throw it? We’re stressing being able to plaster first and then when crosses the line of scrimmage being able to get him down.

“It’s something we have to practice on throughout the week.” 

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