NCAAF Week 5 GotW: Virginia @ Notre Dame (-11)

ND Logo     Welcome to Week 5 of College Football.  There does not appear to be many high profile games this week but there are some hidden gems.  Additionally, the weeks without many top 25 matchups usually carry the most excitement to include potential upsets!  The biggest game on the docket for this weekend is the Virginia Cavaliers traveling to South Bend to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The Golden Domers second big game in as many weeks.

Taken on face value, the Virginia Cavaliers do not appear to have played the toughest schedule.  Dig a little deeper though.  The Week 1 opening win against the Pitt Panthers, once considered a pushover, looks much better after Pitt defeated the UCF Golden Knights last weekend.  Old Dominion has two close losses to the state’s flagship schools and may be better than they currently look.  The offense has been fairly stale but paired with the 30th ranked defense, Virginia has been able to average 36 points per game.  This is a team that leans heavily on their defense and discipline, a direct reflection of their Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall.  Expect this team to be prepared to play hard.

Notre Dame is an upper echelon team and they proved that on the field last week.  The Irish gave the Georgia Bulldogs all they could handle, dropping an emotional game on the road.  There is no doubt that this group is one of the best in the country and the statistics prove that.  The offense is about 60 yards per game and 3 points per game better than Virginia while the Defense is slightly worse but not as far behind as you may think.  The worry for the Fighting Irish is what the mindset will be following a draining road game.  South Bend is home sweet home but will that be enough to carry a weary team past a hungry Cavalier team?  Tune in this weekend to find out.

The crew at Elldee Sports think that home-field advantage, sheer talent level, and a great game-planner in Brian Kelly will be enough to propel Notre Dame to another victory.  The game will not be a cake walk though, as the Elldee Sports Formula is predicting a low-scoring slugfest with Notre Dame hanging on and winning late.  Until next time, good luck!

Notre Dame 9 – Virginia 8

Virginia (+11) and Under 50.5

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Notre Dame: Is a Second Straight CFP Appearance in the Cards?

ND Logo     They say football is a game of inches.  That may be true but it is also a game of chance.  For a team to have a shot at glory many things must line-up, such as schedule strength, home v. away games, returning starters, and stability in coaching.  Does Notre Dame have what it takes to make a run at the College Football Playoffs for a second straight year?

Notre Dame went undefeated in the regular season last year and earned a shot at the Clemson Tigers last year.  The results were not pretty but they reached heights that few teams have managed to reach.  Of course, that is not a new feeling for the Fighting Irish as they are #6 in all-time wins and #2 in National Championships in the poll era.

The team returns seven starters on offense for Coach Brian Kelly.  This includes star quarterback Ian Book.  Once he was inserted in the offense last season, the Irish finally looked like they could be competitive on both sides of the ball.  The defense returns 6 starters and should be serviceable enough for a solid season.  The schedule is manageable but does include the regular cast of characters such as Stanford, Navy, USC, and the ACC matchups.  Where the problem lies for this squad is they have a monster matchup in Athens, Georgia against the highly-rated Bulldogs in the third game of the season.  They also must travel to Ann Arbor Michigan for the first time since renewing this rivalry against the hated Wolverines.

Despite their best efforts, the Elldee Sports Formula is predicting close road losses to both Georgia and Michigan.  This will send a top-tier Notre Dame team into the bowl season at 10-2.  Two losses this year will be too much to overcome and prevents the Irish from making the playoffs for a second year in a row.  Until next time, good luck!

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