The Notre Dame football team battles Cal on Saturday afternoon inside Notre Dame Stadium, and here are some bold predictions in the matchup.
The Notre Dame football team hopes to begin a climb out of an 0-2 start against the Cal Bears on Saturday afternoon. The Irish, in a previously scheduled promotion, will wear green jerseys – a color that perfectly describes the faces of many fans when watching this year’s iteration of the club.
After swinging, foul tipping, and, ultimately, striking out on all three of the bold predictions last week (Kevin Bauman almost scored), here are three bold predictions for this week’s tilt against Cal.
Notre Dame football vs Cal: Bold predictions in Week 3
Notre Dame will force multiple turnovers.
The Fighting Irish are among eight teams in the FBS yet to force a turnover. After two contests last season, Notre Dame notched four takeaways. If the Irish offense continues to struggle, the defense needs to pick up the slack.
Returning an interception or fumble for a touchdown is ideal but stepping the offense up with a short field would also help tremendously. The coaching staff emphasizes turnovers. Unless the players completely ignore their teachings, turnovers eventually will happen.
Cal and former-Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer threw interceptions in each of the Bears games this year.
The Fighting Irish will score more than 20 points.
This prediction represents one of two that would have appeared absurdly obvious prior to the start of the 2022 campaign. However, with the lack of skill position depth on the Notre Dame football roster, scoring more than 20 points constantly figures to become a challenge for the entirety of the year.
Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees will force-feed his playmakers early and often on Saturday. Although the Irish are still deficient in some areas, a focus on getting Michael Mayer, Chris Tyree, and Lorenzo Styles will help the Notre Dame offense muddle through on Saturday afternoon.
Non-offensive scores help the Irish get over the 20-point mark as well. As stated above, Notre Dame will force multiple turnovers that could turn into points for the Irish. Perhaps the only bright spot for Notre Dame against Marshall was the play of the special teams.
First-year Head Coach Marcus Freeman previously stated that he wanted to be aggressive. This aggression could lead to a Notre Dame score as well.
Marcus Freeman will score his first victory as Notre Dame football coach.
Again, Freeman landing his first victory three weeks into the season seemed absurd. Regardless of what happened in Columbus, Notre Dame would certainly bounce back against Marshall. However, the first-year coach from Dayton, Ohio has the dubious distinction of being the only Irish coach to open their tenure 0-3. Freeman and the Irish now find themselves in a must-win situation.
If Freeman fails to win on Saturday, his next opportunity to win a game at Notre Dame Stadium is Oct. 15. The latest first home victory for any new coach was in their second season by…Knute Rockne. Rockne only played a single contest at home, Cartier Field.
The Irish tied Great Lakes Navy, 7-7. He picked up his first home victory on October 4, 1919, in the opener against Kalamazoo. In “modern” Notre Dame football, Charlie Weis took the longest to pull down a home victory. Despite a very solid team, Notre Dame lost their first two home games to Michigan State and No. 1 USC. Weis snared his first home win against BYU on October 22, 2005.
Home or away victories do not make a difference for Irish fans. They just want Marcus Freeman with one.