Every Saturday, Notre Dame starting nose guard Paul Grasmanis, a Jenison,
Mich., native, will share his thoughts about the Irish's game that day. Today,
Grasmanis discusses last week's narrow victory over Army, today's game against
rival USC and his injury.
I'm 100 percent again and ready for the USC game after hurting my knee again
against Army last week.
I hurt my knee in the third quarter when somebody cut me from the side and a
little behind me.
I didn't really see it coming. At first, I felt it and it hurt a little bit,
so I basically took myself out of the game, because I didn't want to do
anything that might make me miss the USC game.
The Army game was tough. I'm going to have to give Army a lot of credit. I
think they had a good game plan and played a great ballgame.
Maybe we weren't as ready as we thought we were for them. They had two weeks
to prepare for us, and they did a good job with their preparation.
Defending the wishbone was tough, and the wet turf at Giants Stadium made it
tough to get off your blockers.
Their quarterback, Ron McAda, hid the ball well, carried out good fakes and
did a good job of executing the wishbone offense.
I think everyone is excited about playing USC. We know it's a huge game. We
know we can't do what we did last week against Army and expect to win.
We're real confident about ourselves and like our chances. We know we can go
out and beat this team, even though they're undefeated and ranked high (No. 5).
We've been seeing a lot of things that their players have been saying about
us in the newspapers.
A lot of USC players were saying, "Who cares about Notre Dame," and that
they weren't worried about coming here to play against us and things like that.
I guess their offensive line said they were going to blow us off the ball
and things like that.
We know we can beat the hell out of them up front, hang in there and win the
game. I think it's going to be a battle up front.
It's going to be a battle in the trenches and a matter of playing
smash-mouth football. It's all going to be a matter of who shows up that day.
We feel pretty good about this game. USC is a big game and part of a great
rivalry. We're always up for USC.
I don't care what they say about breaking their winless streak (0-11-1 in
their last 12 matchups) against us. I'm just concerned about keeping the win
streak going for us.
We figure we have to win this game to get a major bowl bid. If we lose and
end up 8-3, our chances of getting into a bowl game won't be as good.
Coach (Lou) Holtz said this USC game is a big game and a lot of people are
trying to get tickets to see it.
He said he even heard that O.J. (Simpson) was trying hard to get a ticket or
pass to be in South Bend for the game.
I think it would be great if he showed up. I think it would be cool.