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BGI Staff Prediction: Notre Dame vs. Nevada

Notre Dame will look to get back on track after opening the season with a 50-47 double overtime loss to Texas. The Wolf Pack opened the season with an overtime game of their own, coming away with a 30-27 victory over FCS opponent Cal-Poly.

The Blue & Gold Illustrated staff has broken down this weekend's matchup, and now it is time to make some predictions:


NOTRE DAME 48, NEVADA 20: I guess in Cliché World, this would be considered the classic trap game in September: between the emotional opener at Texas, now ranked No. 11, and the marquee home matchup at night versus No. 12 Michigan State. Add in a shorter week of preparation work and the hangover of a gut-wrenching loss, and some problems could arise.

Nevertheless, this is a game where Notre Dame’s offensive line, especially the left side that was called out a bit by head coach Brian Kelly this week, should assert control against a smaller and relatively inexperienced Wolf Pack defensive front. I could see Nevada staying competitive in the first half the way UMass did last year, but in the second half Notre Dame’s size, speed and depth take control.


NOTRE DAME 55, NEVADA 17: The worst thing that could have happened to Nevada was Notre Dame losing the opener to Texas. Notre Dame returns home in desperate need of a win, and any chance of the Irish overlooking Nevada is gone. Brian Kelly's squad is going to come out fired up against the Wolf Pack, and this one could get ugly very early on.

Notre Dame's offensive line is going to maul the Nevada front seven. Expect monster rushing numbers for the Irish offense, which should set up big play opportunities in the pass game. Its defense will once again struggle in the run game, at least early, but it will settle down and handle the Wolf Pack defense.


NOTRE DAME 55, NEVADA 20: Look for quarterback DeShone Kizer and running back Josh Adams to have career days for the Irish. Against a Nevada team that was taken to overtime against FCS Cal Poly in Week 1, Kizer will pad his stats against the Wolf Pack. Being the full-time starting quarterback and being tabbed “the guy” by coach Brian Kelly, I expect Kizer to find a rhythm early, and when he hands it off, Adams and Tarean Folston will have a field day. Notre Dame will lead the whole way and allow a few garbage time touchdowns late.


NOTRE DAME 45, NEVADA 13: Nevada lost a lot of starters from their front seven last season and will have a very difficult time stopping the Irish on offense. The Wolfpack can run the ball and give Notre Dame fits for a while, but it will not be near enough. Notre Dame’s defense will play with an extra edge as they will feel they have something to prove following last week’s loss to Texas. The Irish bounce back in a big way and continue to prepare for their big matchup with Michigan State next weekend.


NOTRE DAME 49, NEVADA 10: This one is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Not only is Notre Dame vastly more talented, but they’re also coming off a hard fought emotional loss to Texas, and will be looking to make an example out of someone as to why they are still one of the best team’s in the country. I don’t think a dominant win over Nevada will do much to prove that, but if nothing else, it will give the Irish some much needed momentum moving forward. Look for newly named starting quarterback DeShone Kizer to put up big numbers on the way to an easy, confidence-building victory.


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