What a season it has been for Notre Dame football fans. After their opening weekend win against the Michigan Wolverines had fans excited about the 2018 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team and their seemingly unlimited potential, back-to-back subpar performances had Irish fans come back down to reality.
In a span of only a few weeks, although the defense remained fairly consistent, quarterback play became an issue for Notre Dame once again. So, after escaping Vanderbilt 22-17 at home in week three, Brian Kelly decided to start Ian Book versus Wake Forest and the offense has taken major steps forward because of it.
Through two games, Book and the Irish offense have compiled 94 points, picked up a signature win against then the seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinals at home, and looked like a playoff contender in the process.
Aside from playing their best football of the season in recent weeks, the schedule is very favorable for the Irish. As it currently sits, they only face one more ranked opponent in the regular season, that being this weekend when they travel to Blacksburg to face the 24th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in a primetime showdown. Other notable games include a neutral site tilt against the Syracuse Orange and a matchup with bitter rival USC at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
The biggest threat to Notre Dame not making the playoffs this year is themselves. I believe that if they go into each week with the mindset that they are trying to go 1-0, then only good will come for them down the road. However, if they look, past opponents, they think they can simply breeze past, that is when trouble can arise.
All of the pieces are in place for this team to be special. The offense has a dual-threat quarterback, three solid running backs in Dexter Williams, Tony Jones Jr., and Jafar Armstrong, and receivers Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool are big targets for Book to distribute the ball to.
With an explosive offensive attack led by newly inserted starter Ian Book, a defense that makes life difficult for opposing offenses, and a schedule ahead in which Notre Dame will be favored in all of their remaining games, Brian Kelly has Irish eyes smiling with a potential College Football Playoff berth in sight.
Prediction for Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech
Although this will be a tough outing for Notre Dame, I believe they will come prepared for the challenge of playing in a hostile environment and come away victorious. Ian Book will handle the pressure of Virginia Tech’s defense very well, the Irish will hold the Hokies in check offensively, and Notre Dame will win by a score of 35-17.
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