The Notre Dame football team takes on Cal in Week 3, and here are some reasonable expectations for the Irish in the matchup.
In Week 3, the Notre Dame football team will take on the California Golden Bears in a must-win game for the program. The Irish have gotten out to an 0-2 record to start the campaign, which is a shocking development for a team many expected to challenge for a College Football Playoff berth this season.
Now, they set their sights on win No. 1 and will do so at home inside Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have the talent to win this game, a game they are favored in, but after the Marshall loss last weekend, anything is possible.
Here, we look at some reasonable expectations in Week 3.
Notre Dame football: Reasonable expectations for the Irish against Cal
Pyne shines in his debut
Drew Pyne is taking over for Tyler Buchner at the quarterback spot this weekend, this after Buchner suffered a season-ending injury in the loss to Marshall. For Pyne, the start could not have come at a better time, as, unlike Buchner, the Irish will be favored in his debut, and he should shine against the Golden Bears.
Pyne was a four-star recruit coming out of college, and many feel that he is going to step in and lead this team to victory. The one word to describe him this week has been ‘leader,’ and the program needs someone to take control and get them back on track in the worst way.
Irish cover the spread
Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Irish are currently 11.5-point favorites over the Golden Bears, and I believe that is a number that they can cover. Playing in front of a home crowd, and with their backs against the wall, I like the Irish to come out and punch Cal in the mouth, getting out to an insurmountable halftime lead.
Beating a team like Cal by less than two touchdowns should be easy for a team that many expected would challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff this season. They have had their issues, there is no doubt, but this is the week it all comes together, and the Irish send the fans home with a convincing victory.
Defense holds the Golden Bears under 17 points
Through their first two games, wins against UC Davis and UNLV, the California Golden Bears have averaged 27 points per contest. In their last time out, they were able to muster only 20 points against UNLV, a team with very little expectations going into this season, and they could fail to hit that number against the Irish.
The Notre Dame football team takes on Cal in Week 3, and here are five reasons the Irish will blow out the Golden Bears in this one.
This is a proud defense, one with potential first-round picks along the edge, and in the secondary, so you have to think this is the game they put it all together. The Irish cannot afford to allow the big play, something Cal quarterback Jack Plummer is capable of dialing up, and with a strong pass rush, they should keep Plummer and this offense in check all game long.