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Marqise Lee Says He’s Ready for Return vs. Irish

USC WR Marqise Lee

Following a disappointing 3-2 start and the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin, 2013 was appearing to be a season full of turmoil for the USC Trojans. However, things started to take a positive turn after the Trojans earned a big win over Arizona last week and there’s no doubt that the return of their best player this week against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish would be another big shot in the arm for the program.

Standout receiver and 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee hadn’t even practiced since suffering a knee sprain in a game against Arizona State on September 28, but he returned to the field this week and after a workout on Tuesday, said he will be ready to go this weekend.

“I’m good and I had a great day today,” Lee said on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com. “I think that I’m coming around pretty good. I think by Saturday afternoon I’ll be OK — 100 percent.”

Lee, who still leads the team with 30 receptions and 385 yards this season, said he hadn’t caught a ball in more than two weeks prior to Tuesday’s drills. Still, if it were solely up to him, he would be suiting up for Saturday’s game.

“From my point of view, I’m going to play,” Lee said. “But for Coach [Ed Orgeron], it’ll depend, I think, on how I feel. But I’ll let him know the truth, and right now I feel OK. I think I had a great practice … came out here doing what I’m supposed to do.”

Fortunately for Lee and for Trojans fans, Orgeron liked what he saw from the star receiver, although, he didn’t say for certain whether Lee would start on Saturday or not.

“I didn’t know he was going to come out and do the things that he did,” Orgeron said. “Obviously, he looked a little bit better.”

Most odds makers have the Irish listed as a three-point favorite this weekend, but the availability of Lee for USC will almost certainly have a large affect on that line. Lee’s mere presence on the field will increase offensive production for USC, as he commands attention from defenders and opens up teammates in the process. If he ends up playing, I wouldn’t be afraid to take the Trojans on the moneyline in this game and I would definitely like them at +3 points.

Considering how confident Lee is about playing and the fact that the 4-2 Trojans need him more than ever for this big non-conference showdown, I would take advantage of this line now and bet on USC to cover +3 against Notre Dame.

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