Notre Dame vs. Duke Prediction, Game Preview

    Notre Dame vs. Duke prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Fighting Irish and Blue Devils in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday.

    September 19, 2016

    Notre Dame vs. Duke prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Fighting Irish and Blue Devils in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday.


    Notre Dame vs. Duke Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – 3:30 p.m. ET

    Where:
    Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN

    TV Broadcast:
    NBC

    The Fighting Irish and the Blue Devils will meet for the fifth time in series history, with ND holding a 3-1 mark. Brian Kelly’s squad is coming off of a rough outing against Michigan State, which essentially knocked the Irish out of the College Football Playoff conversation. Meanwhile, David Cutcliffe’s squad is coming off of a 24-13 loss at Northwestern, which has left the Blue Devils with a 1-2 record.

    The last time these teams met was in 2007, when Notre Dame freshmen Jimmy Clausen, Robert Hughes and Duval Kamara led the Irish to a 28-7 win in South Bend.

    What To Know About Notre Dame

    The Irish are a wounded bunch right now. Their national championship dreams could have remained by running the table, but mistakes hurt the Irish all night against Sparty. The opening kickoff return for a touchdown by C.J. Sanders was called back on a holding penalty, a punt hit Miles Boykins and was recovered by MSU, and Sanders fumbled at the end of 19-yard catch that MSU recovered. Meanwhile, the Irish defense allowed 260 yards on the ground, while the offense was held to just 57.

    What to Know About Duke

    The Blue Devils had problems finishing drives last week in the loss to Northwestern. A well-executed fake punt failed when Erich Schneider slipped and fell despite being wide open. An interception at the Northwestern 22 and a missed AJ Reed 48-yard field goal were other offensive woes. Against a wounded Irish defense, the Blue Devils will look to consistently close out drives with points.

    Advantages

    Offense: Notre Dame. The Irish need to effectively run the football against the Blue Devils after being stymied by Sparty last week.

    Defense: Even. The Blue Devils allowed Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson to throw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, while Justin Jackson rushed for 94 yards.

    Special Teams: Even. Both ND and Duke had plenty of special teams woes in last week’s losses.

    Coaching: Even. Cutcliffe has made Duke a solid ACC program, while Kelly has taken the Irish to a BCS title game.

    Intangibles: Duke. Both teams are at lows in the season, but the Blue Devils can make up for it by stealing a game in South Bend.

    Matchup To Watch

    Daniel Jones vs. ND secondary

    Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 279 yards last week against Northwestern, and he has done a solid job since taking over the starting gig after Thomas Sirk was re-injured. But he completed just 56.3 percent of his throws against the Wildcats, so he will need to be much more efficient against an Irish secondary that is wounded.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Notre Dame -17.5

    Over/Under:
     N/A

    Notre Dame vs. Duke Prediction

    The Irish won’t give up on their season despite being out of the CFP race. Kelly will have his team ready to put on a strong performance, as they look to get back on track. Duke will be able to move the football and finish drives, but Kizer and the Irish offense will play much cleaner football and pull away in the fourth quarter.

    Notre Dame vs. Duke Score Prediction: Notre Dame 37, Duke 24

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 4

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