On September 2nd the Irish will head just a few hours south to take on the Louisville Cardinals in the Monday night season opener. Coming off their first CFP appearance, expectations are high for this year’s team, but there are also plenty of question marks. Here is how I see each game going this season.
Sep 2nd @ Louisville: Win, 45-21
Louisville is coming off a 2-10 season and now has a first year head coach. I expect the Irish offense to put up monstrous numbers with ease, and though we will see some weaknesses in the new Irish defense, this game will never be close.
Sep 14th vs New Mexico: Win, 38-10
The Irish will start with back to back blowouts, this time in the home opener against New Mexico, before heading to Athens for one of the biggest games in all of college football this year.
Sep 21st @ Georgia: Loss, 38-24
With brand new linebackers and interior d-linemen, the Irish will struggle to stop De’Andre Swift and the Georgia rushing attack. However, unlike many will predict, this game won’t be a full-on blowout.
Sep 28th vs Virginia: Win, 34-24
Bryce Perkins will give the Notre Dame defense trouble, but the Cavaliers aren’t quite ready to upset a top-tier team on the road.
October 5th vs Bowling Green: Win, 45-14
Another easy win for the Irish as they fine tune things before USC heads into town.
October 12th vs USC: Win, 38-31
USC will exceed expectations this season led by an incredible receiving core, but Clay Helton’s team will fall just short of upsetting Notre Dame on the road.
October 26th @ Michigan: Win, 34-31
In what will go down as one of the best games of the season, Notre Dame will retain bragging rights over Michigan for at least another few years. Why? Because Michigan will be banged up after playing @ Penn State the week before while the Irish get an extra week to prepare and rest for this game.
November 2nd vs Virginia Tech: Win, 35-20
This could be seen as a trap game coming off a big win vs Michigan, but at home, the Irish will be able to do enough to win this one.
November 9th @ Duke: Win, 31-21
Road games in November are never easy, but with Duke playing without Daniel Jones they won’t have quite enough firepower to take down Notre Dame in this one.
November 16th vs Navy: Win, 42-24
As any Notre Dame fan will tell you, games against Navy are never easy, but Notre Dame will keep their home win streak alive in this game.
November 23rd vs Boston College: Win, 35-26
AJ Dillon will have a good day against the young Irish run defense, but on senior night in South Bend, the older guys will play their best football, and Notre Dame will keep their playoff hopes alive before heading to Palo Alto.
November 30th @ Stanford: Loss, 31-28
In a heart-breaker reminiscent of the game in 2015, Notre Dame will fail to beat Stanford and solidify their case for making a second consecutive College Football Playoff. Brian Kelly has never won on the road against Stanford, and in late November on the road, the Irish will be tired and depleted and will fall short in this memorable game.
A quality record for Notre Dame, and one that will likely put them in a New Year’s Six Bowl game, but this season will be remembered for coming ever so close to making another playoff.