Oct. 19, 2001

By Greg Ladky

Junior safety Glenn Earl is optimistic about this Saturday’s game versus USC.

Last year, Earl put himself on the national map with his game saving field goal block versus Air Force. But Earl wants more. He has battled through injury to rejoin the defensive back rotation. This Saturday, Earl and the rest of the defensive backs are primed to help continue the Irish winning streak.

“We have a great game plan,” Earl said. “They have ample speed and talent at the skill positions. Our only task is to execute. If we accomplish that task, we’ll be fine.”

USC is 2-4 on the season, a record that falls short of USC standards. However, Earl will not take the Trojans lightly.

“We won’t underestimate them at all,” he said. “They almost won at Oregon, at Washington, and at home versus Kansas State. They are a great team. But how they did versus other teams is relative. Winning comes down to proper execution on gameday, not how a team played versus previous opponents.”

The Trojans are certainly one of the more talented teams the Irish play this season. A win Saturday could be the jumpstart the Irish need.

“We’re currently in a hole,” Earl said. “It is imperative that we get out of this hole. A win Saturday would be a huge step in working towards a successful season. We are confident. We can finish the season strong, starting with a win on Saturday.”