#7 Cincinnati at #9 Notre Dame is going to be the biggest game for both teams. They are both coming in without a loss. The team that wins is going to have the best chance at making the College Football Playoffs. Will Notre Dame’s defense show up? Or will we see Cincinnati have a great game?
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame is coming into this game after a monstrous win against Wisconsin. Their defense has been having a great couple of games, and the Wisconsin game was nothing different. They had five turnovers, and four of them were interceptions. The defense also had two pick-sixes. In addition, 24 out of the 41 points scored against Wisconsin were off of turnovers. Their defense has been the part that has been holding them up and carrying them in the games. They have already racked up 11 turnovers in the four games.
The biggest thing to come out of this game was that Drew Pyne might be the answer for the offense. Notre Dame needs a mobile quarterback, and Jack Coan is not that. Pyne will be able to escape the pocket because the offensive line is not playing that great as of late.
Notre Dame has to continue the defensive dominance. In addition, they need to create turnovers and score off them. It means, Their defense is going to be a tremendous factor in winning this game. Notre Dame’s offense needs to figure out a better rushing game. They have to rush early in the game to set the tone and set many plays up. It will be the toughest game for Notre Dame this year. It will likely push them into the top four.
Cincinnati is coming into this game after having last week off. It definitely could be a significant factor in how the game goes. The last game Cincinnati played was against Indiana, and they won 38 to 24. This was a closer game than it seemed. Just like Notre Dame, Cincinnati’s defense created four turnovers in the game. The defense though seems to struggle sometimes. They let up 376 total yards against an Indiana team that seemed to have struggled this season on offense. If they keep the offense on the field by creating turnovers then their chances of winning will go up.
Their offense seems to not be able to find their identity. Cincinnati does not know if they want to be a passing team or a rushing team. In addition, Desmond Ridder seems to get fewer and fewer passing yards and touchdowns each game. However, their rushing game seems to be a little bit of the opposite by scoring more touchdowns each game. Their running back, Jerome Ford, is a great running back. He is averaging 100 yards a game and already has six touchdowns in three games.
Cincinnati will have to continue the dominant running game. Notre Dame has been able to stop the pass but does not seem to have an answer for teams that can run. Ford will have to be able to rush for over 100 yards and score. Desmond Ridder can not have a slow game because Notre Dame’s defense will continue what they have been doing all year. The biggest thing going for Cincinnati is that they are going into this game having an extra week off.
The game will define the season for both teams. A loss for either team will knock them out of the top 10. Cincinnati has the luck of being off a bye, but it is at Notre Dame, which will be a factor as while. It is the biggest and most important game for both teams. It will be a hard-fought game and might start slow in the beginning.
My Prediction: Notre Dame 24 to 21.
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