Will Notre Dame Win Out?

usatsi_11913587-2.jpgCollege Football News

Since the close loss in the showdown in Athens a couple weeks ago the Irish have had two good performances with a 35-20 win against #18 Virginia and a 52-0 shutout against Bowling Green. Ian Book is starting to sharpen his play, and the defense is playing lights out in large part because of the play of the defensive line. Not only is the defense keeping teams out of the endzone, but they are continuously making big-time plays (ten sacks and nine turnovers in the last two games). With the defense looking like one of the best in the country, the big question mark for how good Notre Dame can remain on the offensive side of the ball. Luckily for the Irish, they are finally getting healthy on offense. TE Cole Kmet has scored a touchdown in all three of his games since returning from a broken collarbone, WR Michael Young is finally back to play opposite of Chase Claypool, and RB Jafar Armstrong is expected to return next week against USC to be the lead back for an Irish rushing attack that has looked just okay at times. Let’s take a look at the remaining schedule.

Oct 12: vs USC (3-2)

Oct 19: Bye

Oct 26: @ #16 Michigan (4-1)

Nov 2: vs Virginia Tech (3-2)

Nov 9: @ Duke (3-2)

Nov 16: vs Navy (3-1)

Nov 23: vs Boston College (3-3)

Nov 30: @ Stanford (3-3)

Though this schedule isn’t an extremely difficult one, not a single one of the remaining opponents has a losing record. VT, Duke, Navy, and BC all seem pretty safe to chalk up as a win, but USC, Michigan, and Stanford are all rivalry games for Notre Dame in which many fans will tell you to throw out the record books. With USC coming to South Bend and starting their third-string QB I would be shocked if Notre Dame lost so let’s call that a win, which leaves two remaining games. Brian Kelly has never won in Ann Arbor or in Palo Alto, and now to win out he must do both in the same season. Is that too tall of a task? I don’t think so. Michigan has been arguably the most disappointing team all season after starting the year with Big 10 title and college football playoff. Though they are still a very good team, Notre Dame leads them in almost every major statistical category. I believe Notre Dame will march into Ann Arbor and come away with a win. And with Stanford looking as bad as they have ever looked under David Shaw, it’s hard to imagine they will have enough firepower to beat Notre Dame especially when the Irish are fighting to complete an 11-1 regular season. In conclusion, Notre Dame will win out. However, if the Irish want to make the CFP, they will need a lot of help.

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