Our writers are back for another week of Notre Dame football predictions.
Welcome to Week 3 of the 2018 Notre Dame football football season!
Our writers are back for another round of prediction how this week’s game will play out, including taking a stab at the final score. Last week, every writer predicted a Notre Dame win, which was not a surprise. None of us, however, came close to predicting the final score of the Ball State game.
Let’s see if we have better luck this week.
Here’s how the Slap the Sign writers see the Vandeerbilt game playing out.
After a sluggish victory last weekend over Ball State, we don’t really know what we’ll see this Saturday afternoon to be honest. If the offensive line plays even remotely better, the game shouldn’t be in jeopardy. If Wimbush doesn’t throw as many interceptions as last week — same thing.
I think the Irish get it done and cover the spread (-13.5).
Defensively, it’ll be a showing like Week 1 against Michigan, with a ton of energy and a few turnovers to go along with it. I don’t think they were pleased with last week’s effort, nor should they be.
I will not be surprised if we see Ian Book come in for a series or two if Wimbush is flat through the first quarter, and I would have no problem with that move if it were to happen. In the end, the Irish start 3-0 and get it done with a 30-13 victory to silence some doubters for a week heading into their first road game against Wake.
The Commodores defense is solid, but they haven’t seen an offense with as many weapons as Notre Dame. I see the Irish running backs gaining some ground this weekend and being a difficult issue for Vanderbilt to deal with. Notre Dame’s defense should be another issue for Vanderbilt and I don’t see the Commodores finding much success on the offensive side of the ball. 28-14, Notre Dame.
Last week’s performance was not the level of play this team is capable of. Vanderbilt is a better team than Ball State, but I think the Irish refocus and come to play Saturday. Irish win 30-17 in a nice bounce back game.
On the heels of a lackluster win over Ball State last week, predictions this week should be much more conservative. Notre Dame should win again this Saturday, but in order to do so, their offense will need to get back on track. I think Brandon Wimbush will get the job done with his legs, and the Irish defense will do their best to limit Kyle Shurmur and the Vanderbilt offense. Notre Dame 34, Vanderbilt 24.
Vandy is a tough team that can put up points in a hurry, so if the Irish defense doesn’t come out strong, we could be in trouble. Wimbush bounces back with a great performance this week, and we continue to see Jafar Armstrong succeed. Irish move to 3-0 with a 35-21 win.
I like Notre Dame to win but Vanderbilt to cover, mostly due to Brandon Wimbush’s issues with turnovers and Vanderbilt’s ability to stop the run. If Armstrong and Jones Jr. can’t get it going and Wimbush has to throw the ball 35 times, the Irish could be in trouble here. 31-27, Notre Dame.
Call me stupid after the Ball State fiasco, but this is a Vanderbilt team, much like most Vanderbilt teams, that simply can’t compete with the best teams in the country. Last year, many people thought they were bound for a good year after their first three games and that all changed when conference play started. That will begin against the Irish this season. The Irish offensive line plays with a chip on their shoulder and Brandon Wimbush carries Notre Dame to victory with his legs. It doesn’t hurt that Notre Dame should be motivated, both from Derek Mason’s comments from early in camp and coming off a bad performance last weekend. Notre Dame 38, Vandy 14.
After a sketchy performance last week, I am tentative to make any bold predictions about the Notre Dame offense. However, I do think it is only a matter of time before the offense comes together and fires on all cylinders. After the disappointing win last week, I see the Irish coming out of the gates hungry with a feeling they have something to prove. Even though the Vandy defense has played well thus far, they haven’t faced an offense with such a potential for explosive plays like Notre Dame has. Wimbush will clean up some of his mistakes, the offense will indeed have a few explosive plays, and the Irish defense will overpower a Commodore offense that has yet to be challenged. Notre Dame wins 35-17.
I think we’re going to see a very angry Notre Dame team after last week. Between the train wreck that was Ball State and the comments made by Derek Mason in the offseason, this could be a lethal combination that the Irish need, but Vanderbilt doesn’t want. 38-17 Irish.
I’m with Julian Love in chalking up the Ball State loss to a bit of overconfidence. This week, look for the Irish to come out not flashy, but fundamentally sound — especially on the offensive and defensive lines. I think you’ll see the Irish pass rush get after Kyle Shurmur early and often. Vandy’s is good enough on defense to slow down the Irish, but not stop the offense altogether. Gimme Notre Dame, 27-13.