Raiders.com College Football Matchup of the Week

Prior to donning the Silver and Black each Sunday, many of the Raiders players were wearing different colors on Saturdays, playing for their college teams and representing their respective universities.

This time of the year in particular college rivalries run deep, so we're here to highlight some of the matchups between current Raiders teammates, but former college football foes.

The Matchup:

This week's College Football Matchup of the Week highlights one of the best rivalries in the entire country, as Malcolm Smith's USC Trojans travel to South Bend, Ind., to take on Justin Tuck's Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium.

Background:

As we said earlier, this is one of premier rivalries in college sports, with the first matchup between the two programs coming in 1926. Heading into Saturday, the Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 45-36-5 and there is definitely no love lost between the two teams.

It has been rough going for the Trojans in 2015; they currently own a record 3-2 and are coming off the heels of a 17-12 loss at home to the Washington Huskies.

Not only that, they parted ways with Head Coach Steve Sarkisian earlier this week, so they fly into South Bend under the guidance of Interim Head Coach Clay Helton.

Conversely, the Fighting Irish have a record of 5-1 and still have aspirations of making it into the 2015 College Football Playoff.

The team was riddled with injuries in the early part of the season, but is now run by quarterback DeShone Kizer, who thus far has thrown for 1,143 yards, 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

A Walk Down Memory Lane:

Smith:After narrowing his college choice down to either USC, or interestingly enough, Notre Dame, the Southern California-native decided to stay close to home and major in economics at USC.

During his four seasons as a Trojan, Smith appeared in 47 games, registering 174 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 sack and 2 touchdowns.

Tuck:During his three seasons in South Bend, Tuck inscribed his name all over the record book for the Fighting Irish.

He set the school record with 24.5 sacks, and also set the school single-season record with 13.5 sacks, 73 tackles, 3 forced fumble and 19 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2003.

The business management major appeared in 36 games for the Fighting Irish and was selected to the All-American Dream Team by the NFL Draft Report as a senior.

Predictions:

Smith didn't want to predict the outcome of the game, but knows that Saturday is sure to be a good one, especially considering the turnover with the Trojan head coach.

"We have to get ready to play," said Smith. "It's a good opportunity for us to get things going in the right direction and hopefully Coach Helton has them ready to go. It'll be interesting to see after something like that happening. We've turned it around before, so we'll see if we can do it again."

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