Now considered a legitimate playoff contender, Notre Dame football faces the tough road test of Virginia Tech.
Looking sharper than ever, Notre Dame has entered the College Football Playoff conversation. The Irish might already control their destiny with a couple of solid wins and everything clicking at just the right time.
Only five weeks into the season, there is much more football to be played. The next test for the Irish is a difficult one.
Ranked as high as No. 12, Virginia Tech cannot be undermined. A head-scratching loss to Old Dominion may have knocked the Hokies out of the rankings for a week, but they quickly bounced back. A convincing 31-14 win over No. 22 Duke demonstrates that the Hokies are a legit threat.
Aside from being a difficult opponent on the field, Virginia Tech’s home field advantage at Lane Stadium is one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
This is the first real game in Lane Stadium this season. The home opener of William & Mary was not enough to satisfy Tech fans. With an 8 o’clock prime time game and a chance to save the Hokies season, Notre Dame can expect an extremely tough environment.
There’s no need to remind head coach Brian Kelly or anyone in the Notre Dame fan base of what happened in the tough environment the Irish faced last season at Miami. This time Kelly says they will be prepared for the chaos.
With how the Irish have been playing, there is reason to believe him. Notre Dame looks dangerous after making the change to Ian Book at quarterback. The offense is clicking and the running back unit has provided an extra push as the Irish have lit up the scoreboard. On the other side of the ball, this could be the best defensive unit Kelly has ever had.
As Virginia Tech looks to get its season back on track and the Irish look to bolster its playoff resume, here are three bold predictions for Saturday night’s game at Lane Stadium: