SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — No. 13 Notre Dame will be without senior inside linebacker Greer Martini on Saturday night when it faces No. 11 Southern California.
Martini has a torn meniscus, and had arthroscopic surgery last week. He has started five games for the Irish (5-1) and has 39 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who had listed Martini day-to-day at his Tuesday press conference, said Thursday that Martini would definitely be held out against the Trojans (6-1).
“I think there’s a good chance we could have him back for N.C. State,” Kelly said about Notre Dame’s Oct. 28 home game. “He was moving around pretty good (Thursday), but we would be pushing it to get him back (for Saturday’s game).”
Martini’s replacement is junior Te’von Coney, who has the other start at the “Buck” linebacker spot and has shared time with Martini, making 42 tackles.
Southern California coach Clay Helton said backup running back Stephen Carr (foot) will miss the game. Already ruled out were nose tackle Josh Fatu (concussion protocol following car accident) and linebacker Porter Gustin (toe, bicep).
Brandon Pili, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Anchorage, Alaska, whom Helton called “a 340-pound dancing polar bear” following his play in the Trojans’ 28-27 victory over Utah last week, will replace Fatu. Gustin’s spot at outside linebacker likely goes to 6-foot-7, 270-pound sophomore Connor Murphy. Junior defensive end Rasheem Green (ankle) and offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn (pectoral strain) and Chuma Edoga (high ankle sprain) are expected to play.