first_img And don’t expect Carroll to make a big deal out of the “greatest intersectional rivalry” in the country. “For the fans and media it’s fun, but it has no bearing at all,” Carroll said. He even discounted the much-awaited Carroll-Weis matchup, especially since Weis was part of the coaching staff that replaced Carroll after he was fired by New England. “I think I’ve talked to him once in my life, maybe twice,” Carroll said. Where Carroll worries is about the more-sophisticated look Notre Dame offers under Weis, compared to former coach Ty Willingham or especially Bob Davie. “They’re just doing better stuff,” he said. “Everything they do is better for the quarterback. They have a nice wide-open attack. It’s really good stuff and different than college stuff. He’s got his mark all over it. There’s a nice little ring to it because of his NFL background.” USC lost 26-15 to Notre Dame in 2001, largely because of a botched play where Mike MacGillivray faked a punt and got tackled short of a first down. This year, the Trojans’ kickoff team is in shambles and Carroll wants to make immediate changes. He said starters he took off the kickoff team, like linebackers Oscar Lua and Thomas Williams, will probably return at the expense of reserves like Josh Pinkard, Fred Davis and Rey Maualuga. “In the past we’ve used more starters on kickoff teams, but we’ve been kind of thin this year,” Carroll said. “`We’ve given the young guys a shot, but it’s hard for them.” Notes: Tailback Reggie Bush is expected to undergo a magnetic-resonance imaging test on his sore knee today, but Carroll said preliminary tests Sunday revealed no problems. Bush is likely to rest today and return Tuesday, as he did two weeks ago after the Oregon game. Carroll ruled, not surprisingly, that Dwayne Jarrett caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that Jarrett bobbled. Replays were inconclusive. “He pinned the ball when his foot came down,” Carroll said. “I’m really surprised they didn’t replay it (for a review). It’s just as well. The game went smoothly.” Carroll said after watching game films that Leinart scored a touchdown on a play where he dove for the end zone, but was ruled out at the 1-yard line and also determined that tight end Dominique Byrd caught a pass where he was ruled out of bounds. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Obviously USC is a much better team than the one Carroll took to South Bend in 2001. But the Irish are ranked No. 9 and offer a little more complex offense with new coach Charlie Weis, who helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls. History is also an obstacle for the Trojans (5-0), who are going for back-to-back wins at Notre Dame for the first time since 1979-81, and only the third time in school history. With three straight 31-point victories over the Irish under Carroll, few appreciate that USC went from 1939-67 without a victory at Notre Dame. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 There’s so much history that Carroll took the Trojans on a tour his first trip there, which he later decided was a mistake. “We won’t be doing that again,” he said Sunday. However, this is a veteran USC team, so maybe the hoopla, not to mention the leprechaun, won’t be a factor. “Going in there the first time, you hear about it, all this stuff, but most guys have played there,” quarterback Matt Leinart said. “We aren’t worried. “We love going to that place, it’s a great stadium and it’s going to be rocking so we’re looking forward to it.” center_img LOS ANGELES USC coach Pete Carroll has produced some impressive statistics during his tenure. But one of the most extraordinary is associated with failure: Carroll’s biggest career loss is just 11 points. Only once in Carroll’s 56-game career have the Trojans lost by more than 10 points. But that loss came at Notre Dame Stadium, where No. 1-ranked USC returns Saturday. last_img