Skip to content

USC’s backup QB guarantees a win over No. 1 Notre Dame

Colorado v USC Getty Images

With senior quarterback Matt Barkley out with a shoulder injury this weekend against No. 1 Notre Dame, the chances of the Trojans pulling the upset (and inflicting further BCS anarchy) took a hit.

No worries, says backup quarterback Max Wittek. Appearing on ESPN radio in Los Angeles, Wittek wasn’t just confident that the Trojans could defeat the top-ranked Irish this weekend, he was 100 percent sure.

It’s the right approach — the only approach, really. Wittek has played limited snaps this season with only nine passing attempts, but he’s been more than efficient with just one incompletion and a touchdown. He’s also not faced a defense as good as Notre Dame’s. Will Saturday be a breakout game for Wittek and a break from the disappointment for USC?

Wittek sure seems to think so.

Permalink 50 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Independents, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, USC Trojans
50 Responses to “USC’s backup QB guarantees a win over No. 1 Notre Dame”
  1. muir6 says: Nov 20, 2012 7:37 PM

    Mantei u listening

  2. thekatman says: Nov 20, 2012 7:39 PM

    Wittek will surprise everyone to ND’s dismay.

  3. papabush88 says: Nov 20, 2012 7:39 PM

    Barkley: 6’1″
    Wittek: 6’4″

    Arm strength: Wittek > Barkley

    Mobility: Wittek > Barkley

    Other things worth noting:
    Wittek was #3 pro style QB in his class
    Wittek was MVP of Under Armour Game in 2011

  4. zemaniak says: Nov 20, 2012 7:45 PM

    Great to hear! So i gather we won’t hear from USC fans that we won only because Barkley didn’t play, right? Yeah, thought so…

  5. pacific123ocean says: Nov 20, 2012 7:45 PM

    Ben, stop with this nonsense. This is a non-story. Max Wittek is just a kid trying to show confidence in himself and his team. Don’t take it for anything more than that. And, he never used the word guarantee…that was Ben who added that word.

    I believe all of the SC players think they will win…and, all of the ND players think they will win. As they should!

  6. joerymi says: Nov 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    This can be called the overrated bowl.

  7. kiopta1 says: Nov 20, 2012 7:49 PM

    Well isn’t that special.

  8. addict2sport says: Nov 20, 2012 8:02 PM

    What a freaking non-story. The kid said his team was gonna win. USA Today blew it out of context by using guarantee in their heading and now this site is doing the same. I’ve coached football for over 20 years. I also manage a sales staff. I hope all my players go into game thinking they’re going to win and I hope my staff goes into a presentation thinking they’re going to close the sale. There are plenty of good stories out there. No need to fabricate anything.

  9. piratey says: Nov 20, 2012 8:06 PM


    I love your stats! Try these ones:

    Matt Barkley- 36TDs this year(116TD career)
    Max Wittek- 1TD(1TD career)

    Matt Barkley- 3273yd passing(12327yds career)
    Max Wittek- 95yd passing(95yd career)

    Matt Barkley- 47 starts
    Max Wittek- 0 starts

    Average rank of USC opponent scoring defense: 63rd
    Notre Dame’s scoring defense rank: 1st

    Have fun!

  10. techvet says: Nov 20, 2012 8:29 PM

    #7 and #9 will be meeting at the QB with help from #55.

  11. thefiesty1 says: Nov 20, 2012 8:35 PM

    Don’t be a dumb ass. Just beat them.

  12. irishking says: Nov 20, 2012 8:39 PM

    With all this USC pre-game hype, I am sure that Coach Kelly is using it as motivation for his players.

  13. mrlaloosh says: Nov 20, 2012 8:40 PM

    Lane Kiffen is a ‘mo.

  14. thekatman says: Nov 20, 2012 8:56 PM

    Wittek cslls it, judt like Namath did and will come away with the win, too.

  15. dumbpollack says: Nov 20, 2012 9:00 PM

    Pappabush88, are you saying Barkley is as overrated as Lane and the whole SC team?

  16. vader7176 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:01 PM

    Yeah, he’s just a kid showing confidence. I’m sure that’s how ND is looking at it mom. I hope he does well but showing confidence and having confidence are two entirely different things.

  17. rsmeans says: Nov 20, 2012 9:02 PM

    I am not a fan of either but I would make the following observations. USC has only faced one team with a defense as good as ND–Stanford. ND has never faced an offense as good as USC even with the back up. The game is at USC. ND seems to play better on the road. Back up QB’s with talent usually do better than expected in their first start. In summary USC loses little if any at QB in this game. I think it is a 50 50 tossup that will probably be determined by turnovers and special teams.

  18. normtide says: Nov 20, 2012 9:25 PM

    This happens almost every year during iron bowl week. A player from the underdog team says his team will win. Why is it such a big deal? This kid should expect to win! If not, he has already lost.

  19. beerbudsnbevo says: Nov 20, 2012 9:34 PM

    Now USC fans have two excuses if they don’t win….

    Bad Calls by Refs…(as always when they lose)

    Freshman QB….

  20. db105 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:36 PM

    Sounds like a future NY Jet.

  21. irishking says: Nov 20, 2012 9:41 PM

    If big mouths won college football games, USC would be ahead 56-13. However, that is not what will win on Saturday evening…hard smash mouth will.

  22. huskersrock1 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:54 PM

    Now I gotta root for Notre Dame, thanks alot!

  23. barroomhero80 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:58 PM

    Kids big mouth is gonna bite him in the ass

  24. bozosforall says: Nov 20, 2012 10:17 PM

    Your team is an even bigger joke than either of the two teams here. You need to just STHU and crawl back to your mommy.

  25. jgater1981 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:38 PM

    ND might not have all the 5* that USC has, but because of the cheating, USC doesn’t have nearly the depth ND has. I’m obviously biased, but ND subs a lot on D because they can. USC doesn’t have that liberty. I also can’t see Te’o and company coming out flat against a team they despise. I hope I’m right.

  26. kozbee says: Nov 20, 2012 11:51 PM

    This will be a good game but cant figure who to pull for,lets see.Kiffin and his daddy have always been a couple asses,caught the midnite train from knoxville to Southern Cal,one of the biggest cheats in the game (kiffin) and his wife wears pink panties.Now ND i have never ever had any love for the Irish @ ND and wish they be the last to leave out of their conference so they can be alone and know no one is going to beg and kiss their ass to join another conference.So if i have to pick i will pull for SC.Piss on the Irish.

  27. fjc1109 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:56 PM


    Super, I love it. And, trust me here, folks, Witteck ain’t no Joe Namath.

    Here come the Irish of Notre Dame!

  28. uscatjerseyshore says: Nov 21, 2012 12:04 AM

    Perhaps the comment (exaggerated as it was to be called a “guarantee”) will end up on the ND bulletin board and perhaps it will be used by Brian Kelly as a motivator. ESPN also used the title so this isn’t isolated. In this case I think that the ND team would hardly get too excited about something said by a USC red-shirt freshman getting his first start who doesn’t have any history vs ND. Now if Matt Barkley said the same thing and he was starting that would be a different story. To Wittek’s credit, he needs to approach this game with confidence. USC has some great offensive players and even though the season hasn’t gone as anticipated no one can say that USC didn’t play out the games that they lost.

    The pressure is on ND and they should have plenty of motivative as they need to win this game to advance to the NCG game. Should ND lose to what is now an unranked team and they’ll drop precipitously. Penalties and turnovers were the margin of difference in all 4 of USC’s losses this year. Combine the offensive mistakes with a team defense ranked at #58 and as seen by this year’s record this is not a formula for success by any measure.

    Notre Dame has been MIA from the top group of college since Lou Holtz left back in 1996. It is good to see them ascend back into relevancy. While there are those that don’t care for him Kelly is the real deal as a coach which he proved at GVSU, CMU and Cincinnati.

    Fight On!!

  29. aglawman says: Nov 21, 2012 12:20 AM

    Johnny Football wants to pad his stats against ND…and USC.

  30. jimw81 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:29 AM

    is a pac12 crew doing this game or is it a big ten crew ready to screw over Norte dame?

  31. infrno says: Nov 21, 2012 12:50 AM

    Good grief, I really had nothing against ND until listening to their fans. Now I’m starting to hope USC beats them, and I really can’t stand USC.

    Won’t matter, either Alabama or (hopefully) Georgia will be the National Champions this year.

    Yes, I hate Alabama too.

    And also yes, Manti Te’o is a great player. Kevin Minter (LSU) has better numbers against stronger opponents.

    Look it up 😉

  32. cosanostra71 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:29 AM

    I like Wittek. He did a good job replacing Barkley at Mater Dei, he should do a good job at USC! Of course he said we are going to win, its not like he’s gonna say we’re going to lose.

    I don’t know if we will beat Notre Dame, but it would certainly be a very satisfying end to an otherwise disappointing year.

  33. soundsofsuccess7 says: Nov 21, 2012 2:41 AM

    member of a team, “we are going to lose”

    said no one ever.

  34. stoutfiles says: Nov 21, 2012 8:03 AM

    People aren’t annoyed that he predicted a win, it’s that he’s a freshman talking to the media. Freshman playing in their first game aren’t supposed to be talking for the team, giving their opponent bulletin board material.

  35. omniusprime says: Nov 21, 2012 8:46 AM

    Good to see Wittek is confident, but let’s hope not over confident to the point he embarrasses USC fans. I’ll be cheering on USC to beat notre lame, the worst possible #1 team ever. Beating a bunch of creampuff teams doesn’t make a number one team. Besides I want to see touchdown jesus and his fans cry, just like when Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone for a winning score. Go USC!!!

  36. irishking says: Nov 21, 2012 8:50 AM

    I’ll be very surprised if USC can stop ND’s running attack. Once ND settles down on the field and starts to roll, it will be all over for the Trojans.

    As for ND’s defense, it should be able to handle USC’s passing game. Pressure, pressure and more pressure will be brought on that young quarterback.

  37. irishking says: Nov 21, 2012 11:32 AM

    I just love the ND-USC rivalry. That is what helps to make college football one of the greatest sports on the face of the earth. There is a lot at stake in Saturday night’s game and I am sure that USC would love nothing better than to rob ND.

    Well, here is the good news for Irish fans. ND is not going to be robbed or denied. It will be a game of hard-hitting smash mouth football and the better team will walk away with the ‘W’.

  38. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 21, 2012 12:10 PM

    I heard something on the radio the other day that made me think.

    This kid Wittek is not some scrub off the street. he got a scholarship to play at USC just like Barkley, and Palmer, and Leinert. He’s not as seasoned but how many times have we seen a QB come in provide a huge change of pace and shock another team that’s looking the other way.

    (Look at Chad Henne in Jacksonville last week vs Houston)

    I’m just saying that ND shouldn’t book their tickets to Miami just yet. They still have to beat USC in LA. (If i had to bet my house though, I’m still taking ND)

  39. normtide says: Nov 21, 2012 12:38 PM

    Actually, this game could hold more than just a shot for the title. If ND wins, it strengthens their independence.

  40. irishking says: Nov 21, 2012 12:41 PM

    Yes the new kid for USC can come in to give the team an added new spark. That is something that ND’s defense has to focus on early in the game. That kid needs to be chased, harassed and rattled hard so he can’t even spot an open receiver. A few early sacks would help get the job done. I believe that USC will probably rise or perish fast in this contest. In fact, the game could be decided by the end of the 1st quarter. However, I recall one USC-ND game back in the 70s that looked like it was decided in the first half but then completely went USC’s direction in the 2nd half.

  41. rcali says: Nov 21, 2012 1:45 PM

    This guy was a solid Highschool QB.

  42. pdcooper08 says: Nov 21, 2012 2:29 PM

    @uscjersey: Great points made, I agree completely.

    To all you domers out their feeling your oats, I love it. I give you credit, you’ve found a way to win all your games and you have a great defense. With Barkley out, no doubt you should win this weeks game. The problem is, while you are talking big and bad, most of you with a long term memory ake each morning feeling that giant pit in your stomach.

    While you know you should win this one, you just can’t forget about the past. You wake every day thinking about the six prior times SC has beaten your team when they where undefeated. History seems to have a way of repeating itself. I hate to see that happen on the last game of your season.

    Frankly, I’m not to concerned about it, the best team will win, and domers if it’s you, I give you an early Congrads and good luck to you in the Championship game.

    One last thought, back in 1996, I believe it was coach Lou’zers last game, and it was in LA. Domers should have won, but did not. I recall all the domers on their way out of the stadium that afternoon. It as a sad sight, but this is probably one of my fondest Football memories. I can feel a repeat of that day.

  43. eviltwin007 says: Nov 21, 2012 4:39 PM


    Spoken like a true University of Sucky California fan. Notre Dame has the toughest schedule this year according to ESPN (of course this is at the beginning of the season). It’s not there fault as the season progressed all of the good teams (on their schedule) started to lose including your USC. I wouldn’t call teams like Oklahoma and Stanford creampuff teams. If you throw in Michigan and Michigan State (both by the way play well in the beginning of the season) and Miami (which by the way was played in Chicago and not in South Florida and that helped us alot due to cold temps) are tough teams to beat. Looking at the USC schedule looks like your schedule looks pretty easy minus Oregon and Stanford.

  44. eviltwin007 says: Nov 21, 2012 4:44 PM

    db105 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:36 PM

    Sounds like a future NY Jet.


    Love the comment…made my day!

  45. 808raiderinparadise says: Nov 21, 2012 5:16 PM

    Rex Ryan has this kid on speed dial already.

  46. 808raiderinparadise says: Nov 21, 2012 5:20 PM

    rcali says:
    Nov 21, 2012 1:45 PM
    This guy was a solid Highschool QB.


    What an intillegent comment. Thanks for your amazing contribution.

    Anywho he threw 25 TD to 15 INT.

    15 picks? really?

  47. metalhead65 says: Nov 21, 2012 9:20 PM

    how is saying they are going to win the game guarantying anything? what was he suppose to say when asked about the out come of the game would be, I think we will lose? there is a big difference between saying we will win and saying I guarantee a win ala Joe Namath.

  48. fjc1109 says: Nov 26, 2012 12:14 AM

    Hey, Max, how’s it hanging now? Dumb freshman comment.

  49. hor2012 says: Nov 26, 2012 4:07 PM

    How’s those words working for you now freshman. This is why most coached don’t let freshmen talk

  50. thekatman says: Nov 26, 2012 4:30 PM

    At least the USC QB had the guts to say what every sportsman thinks and feels… and that’s to win the game, otherwise, go play for Jim Mora Jr at UCLA, who tanked their game against Stanford, in order to not have to play Oregon in Eugene for the Pac-12 Championship.

    UCLA will still lose to Stanford in Palo Alto.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!