Staff Predictions for Notre Dame vs. Michigan

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 21: Notre Dame Fighting Irish players react on the sideline in the first quarter of a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 21, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 21: Notre Dame Fighting Irish players react on the sideline in the first quarter of a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 21, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Slap the Sign staff took a crack at predicting the final outcome of tomorrow’s Notre Dame – Michigan game.

On the eve of the Notre Dame season opener, I asked our staff writers to give their thoughts on the final score of tomorrow’s game against Michigan. Here’s what they had to say:

Carlee North

Notre Dame has another dog fight on their hands — this isn’t a surprise.  Wimbush gets it done not only with his arm when it counts, but dominates on the ground. He goes for over 100 rushing yards while also throwing a pair of touchdowns to Finke and Claypool. The defense has to adjust with a difference maker under center in Michigan’s Shea Patterson, but in the end snag a turnover or two to seal the victory. Irish win 27-16.

Chase Eyrich

It will be a close battle with not a ton of give either way. I think Te’von Coney and Justin Yoon make some clutch plays down the stretch to make the difference. 17-13, Notre Dame.

Connor McJunkin

About two months ago, I predicted Notre Dame winning 31-17. Now I still have the Irish winning Saturday night, but I don’t see them putting up 31. I see this game being a defensive battle, especially in much of the first half as both offenses try to find traction vs. tough defenses. In the end, it will go in favor of the good guys, 20-14.

Jack Leniart

My prediction for the final score of this game changes almost every time I am asked to provide one. That should indicate just how confident I am in this most recent pick. Like most, I think this game will be dominated by both defenses and end up with a relatively low point total. For me, the timing and location of this game are ultimately what tipped the scale in favor of the Irish. Notre Dame, 20-19.

Mason Plummer

I see this game being a bit higher-scoring that most people think. I don’t see Notre Dame having too much of a problem working the ball up and down the field, but red zone efficiency will be key. Ultimately, the bright lights will get to transfer quarterback Shea Patterson and the Irish seal it with a costly, late turnover. Notre Dame 31-24.

Nathan Erbach

The score will be higher than people are expecting, partly because it’s the first game and partly because of the rivalry (at-night aspect). I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a surprise score or two. Wimbush will find some running room and the Irish length on the outside will prove to be the difference. Notre Dame 30-23.

Paul Walsh

Everyone keeps talking about this game being a defensive slug fest. And while I don’t think it’s going to be a shootout, I don’t think it will be a 10-7 ball game either. I think Notre Dame’s offense starts off slow but catches some steam as the game progresses. They march down the field late in a tie game and kick a field goal to win 24-21. The winning drive not only gives the Irish the win, but also instills in Wimbush the confidence he needs to help make this a special season for Notre Dame.

Sonny Martinez

I think this is going to be a low-scoring battle due to the quality of both defenses. I don’t expect a ton of big yardage plays. I think whoever can put together a long, sustained fourth quarter drive will pull the game out. Notre Dame, 17-13.

Ben Belden

I think this game is going to be a little more high-scoring than people are thinking. Both teams’ defense will put their (potentially struggling) offense in good positions to score with short fields. There’s a solid potential that Notre Dame’s offense puts them in some bad positions. But Notre Dame’s defense is designed to “bend but don’t break” and I believe they will do that enough times to hold Michigan to field goals. Notre Dame wins 24-23.

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J.P. Scott

Let’s not beat around the bush — we’re all homers here and this game is essentially a pick’em. The difference to me is the home crowd and the fact that the Irish simply have more weapons on offense than the Wolverines do. Notre Dame’s offensive line will be the wild card against a defense that will dominate a lot of the teams it face. I like the Irish to win 24-12. Michigan gets to that point total on four field goals, failing to punch the ball into the end zone against Notre Dame’s extremely underrated defense.