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Just toss the South Florida loss on the pile with recent losses to Tulsa, Connecticut, Navy and Syracuse.

But before Irish fans go into full blown panic mode about that storm-delayed 23-20 defeat, it’s worth stressing this: Notre Dame outgained USF 508-254. The Irish committed five turnovers to USF’s zero.

The Bulls’ victory was flukey and Notre Dame is still a team that can win eight to 10 regular-season games depending on injuries and a few bounces of the ball.


LOOKING AHEAD: It doesn’t get any easier for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame goes to Michigan to play the first night game in the history of the Big House.

No. 2 Alabama goes to Happy Valley to face Joe Paterno’s Penn State team. The Crimson Tide seemed to take it easy on JoePa last season in Tuscaloosa, beating the Nittany Lions 24-3.

Penn State should put up a better fight this time. Or the Crimson Tide might just show no mercy.


Ralph D. Russo can be followed at