Notre Dame Football: A Look At The Toughest 3-Game Stretch in 2018

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Cameron Scarlett
PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 25: Cameron Scarlett /

Notre Dame football will face a challenging series of games at the end of September and early October.

We’ve written ad nauseam about the strength and difficulty of the Notre Dame football schedule in the last couple of months. Quite simply — it’s brutal — but there are stretches of the 2018 slate that are more challenging than others.

Recently, ESPN decided to rank the toughest three-game stretches in the country for the 2018 season. Nothing from Notre Dame’s schedule made their list. You can look at that as a positive or a negative.

One thing is for sure, Notre Dame’s omission from ESPN’s list doesn’t mean we couldn’t find a pretty challenging three-game stretch on the 2018 Irish schedule.

Wake Forest

Beginning on September 22nd, Notre Dame travels to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons won eight games last year — including a shootout win over Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl. They return a talented offense full of veterans at both the skill positions and the offensive line. Defensively, the unit will have had a year to adjust to the new scheme and should be better than they were in 2017.


A week later, the Irish will host Stanford. We all know Bryce Love might be the best offensive player in the country. The Cardinal also return their starting quarterback and most of the offensive talent from a season ago. Word on the street is that — on paper — Stanford could be down defensively. That said, we all know that David Shaw reloads and develops as well as anyone in the country.

Virginia Tech

One week after hosting Stanford, the Irish will travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to face the Virginia Tech Hokies. Personally, I think this will be Notre Dame’s toughest test of the season. An explosive offense led by a dynamic quarter, a perennially dangerous defense and perhaps the most hostile crowd in the country all make for some pretty big hurdles for the Irish to overcome.

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Altogether, these three Irish opponents logged 26 wins in 2017. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in 2018, but it speaks for the overall caliber of the three programs.