College Football Pick
Only three weeks ago Notre Dame was considered a contender for the College Football Playoff. These days, the Fighting Irish are unranked and full of disappointment. This week, they’ll get a team that has looked nothing like the group that is coming off three-straight winning campaigns. And so, the Irish are currently a -20.5 point home favorite.
Notre Dame may be 1-2, but the line isn’t all that big, especially for the Irish. While their defense couldn’t hold down Texas or Michigan State, they did just fine in a 39-10 win against Nevada in their only win.
Duke has the same record, but their two losses may be against the worst team in the Big Ten (Northwestern) and the second-worst team in the ACC (Wake Forest). Their only win came against North Carolina Central if that says anything.
The Blue Devils haven’t played a good offense yet and are going to be in over their heads against DeShone Kizer. While the Irish just had their hopes dashed and may not play with the same determination, it’s hard to see Kizer taking his foot off the pedal. Kizer still has plenty of NFL scouts to impress and he’ll have a personal goal the rest of the season. In fact, he almost did it all against Michigan State, bringing back the Irish from a 36-7 hole.
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The Irish are 1-2, but Kizer has been solid, completing 63.3% of his passes for 9 TDs and 2 INTs, to go with 126 more yards and Four TDs on the ground. He still has solid receivers and a backfield with Josh Adams and Tarean Folston.
Duke’s defense hasn’t allowed many points yet, but the offenses they’ve seen, have been incompetent at best. Don’t forget Northwestern scored just seven points against Illinois State the week before dropping 24 on Duke.
The other side has been the bigger issue for the Irish and will likely remain to be throughout the year. But how much of a detractor will it be against Duke? Playing against a mediocre Nevada team two weeks ago, the Irish held them to 10 points.
The Blue Devils are rolling with a freshman at quarterback that hasn’t thrown a touchdown in back-to-back Games despite 96 pass attempts. There’s not much to like about this their offense, outside of running back Jela Duncan, who has 193 yards through three Games. But again, he has just 20 carries and 78 yards in the last two Games.
Notre Dame hasn’t been good defensively, but Duke doesn’t have the same kind of offense as ND’s previous opponents. Why can’t the Irish win this Game with the same Scoreline as when they took down Nevada?
Playing in South Bend, the Irish will still get some motivation from their fans, even if their preseason goals are all but shot. Duke doesn’t look good this year and could be in for some bad losses this year in the ACC. This one may be the start of the bad losses. Despite Notre Dame’s struggles and possible lack of motivation, they are surprisingly getting underrated against a bad team. Notre Dame -20.5