MIKEDROPSPORTS college football coverage
I went through all 838 games of the 2019 college football season, picking winners to project the record of all 130 FBS teams.
Players to Watch:
QB Ian Book played in 10 games in 2018 and replaced Brandon Wimbush in week 4 as the full-time started. Book completed 68% of his passes, throwing for 2,628 yards, 19 TD (plus 4 rushing TDs) and 7 INT.
Alohi Gilman is the centerpiece of the defense, at Safety. He finished second on the team with 94 tackles, forced one fumble, and had 2 interceptions.
Up front, Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem are a beastly duo at Defensive End. Okwara had 8 sacks, Kareem had 4.5 and the two combined for 23 tackles for a loss.
Since Brian Kelly took over as Head Coach in 2010, Notre Dame has gone 12-0 in the regular season twice – 2012 and 2018.
Projected 2019 Win/Loss
9/2 @ Louisville
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 1-0
Last meeting: 2014 – Tarean Folson ran for 134 yards and a TD and current Houston Texans WR Will Fuller caught 5 passes for 109 yards and a TD
Prediction: Win (1-0) – Cardinals were abysmal in 2018 and it will be a slow and steady rebuild in 2019
9/14 vs New Mexico
All-time series: No previous matchups
Notes: New Mexico Head Coach Bob Davie coached the Irish from 1997-2001, compiling a record of 35-25. He maxed out at 9 wins (twice) and went 0-3 in bowl games.
Prediction: Win (2-0) – Lobos have gone 3-9 each of the last two seasons
9/21 @ Georgia
All-time series: Georgia leads 2-0
Last meeting: 2017 – Georgia won 20-19 on the road. Georgia QB Jake Fromm made his first career start completing 16 of 29 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown and interception. Notre Dame RB Josh Adams ran for 53 yards and caught 6 passes for 60 yards, leading the team in both categories.
Notes: This is the second half of a home-and-home series. Georgia not only won in South Bend but also won the 1981 Sugar Bowl.
Prediction: Loss (2-1) – Georgia won in South Bend and they win at home. They will be highly motivated after feeling snubbed by the Playoff committee, despite the two losses to Notre Dame’s perfect record. This is payback.
9/28 vs Virginia
All-time series: 2-0
Last meeting: 2015 -Notre Dame won 34-27 on the road. Will Fuller had 124 yards and 2 touchdowns receiving. CJ Prosise ran for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Notes: Irish have averaged 35 ppg in both meetings.
Prediction: Win (3-1) – Close game. Cavs are my pick to win ACC Coastal and if this were at home I’d think differently, but Irish survive a scare against exciting QB Bryce Perkins.
10/5 vs Bowling Green
All-time series: No previous matchups
Prediction: Win (4-1) – Bowling Green is projected to be among the worst teams in the MAC in 2019
10/12 vs USC
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 46-36 (5 ties)
Last meeting: Notre Dame won in LA 24-17 to end last season and complete their 12-0 regular season. In that game, QB Ian Book threw for 352 yards and RB Dexter Williams ran for 97 yards
Notes: Irish have won 2 in a row and since Brian Kelly has been Head Coach at Notre Dame, they are 6-3.
Prediction: Win (5-1) – USC put up a strong effort in last year’s finale, but the Irish secured their 12-0 season. USC will put up another fight, but won’t have enough to beat the Irish.
10/26 @ Michigan
All-time series: Michigan leads 24-17 (1 tie)
Last meeting: In their first meeting since 2014, Notre Dame beat Michigan 24-17 in South Bend to open the 2018 season.
Notes: Irish won last year in South Bend. Brian Kelly is 3-3 vs Michigan as Notre Dame coach
Prediction: Loss (5-2) – Irish won the opener last season and I believe Michigan gets revenge at the Big House. Michigan offense is explosive, led by QB Shea Patterson.
11/2 vs Virginia Tech
All-time series: 1-1
Last meeting: In a primetime ABC game, Notre Dame beat the Hokies 45-23 last season. WR Miles Boykin had 117 yards receiving and scored twice, while RB Dexter Williams scored 3 times and ran for 178 yards.
Prediction: Win (6-2) – Hokies were expected by some to win last year’s game in Blacksburg. They got smoked. Irish win by 2 touchdowns at home.
11/9 @ Duke
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 3-2
Last meeting: Duke won 38-35 in 2016. Duke QB Daniel Jones outplayed Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer. Notre Dame finished that season 4-8.
Notes: This is just the second time in six meetings these teams will meet in Durham. The last time was a Duke victory in 1961.
Prediction: Win (7-2) – Duke has been pretty good in recent years but the loss of QB Daniel Jones to the NFL will set them back
11/16 vs Navy
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 78-13 (1 tie)
Last meeting: Notre Dame won 44-22 in a game played in San Diego. RB Dexter Williams ran for 3 touchdowns and QB Ian Book threw 2.
Notes: At one point, Notre Dame had won 43 games in a row between 1964-2006. Since snapping that streak, Navy has 4 wins since 2007, most recently winning in 2016.
Prediction: Win (8-2) – Navy should be better than their 4-9 record from 2018 but Notre Dame routinely dominates this matchup and will again in 2019
11/23 vs Boston College
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 15-9
Last meeting: Notre Dame won 49-20 in 2017 on the road. As a team, the Irish ran for 515 yards and all 7 touchdowns came on the ground. Current Philadelphia Eagles RB Josh Adams ran 18 times for 229 yards. QB Brandon Wimbush (UCF starter in 2019) ran for 207 yards and 4 touchdowns. 2018 starting RB Dexter Williams ran for 2 touchdowns
Notes: Irish have won 6 in a row, dating back to 2008. Before that, Eagles had their own 6 game win streak between 2001-2007.
Prediction: Win (9-2) – Boston College won’t have enough offensive firepower to stick with the Irish
11/30 @ Stanford
All-time series: Notre Dame leads 20-13
Last meeting: Notre Dame won 38-17 in 2018. QB Ian Book lit it up, in just his third career start throwing 4 touchdowns, completing 24-33 passes for 278 yards.
Notes: Irish’s win in 2018 snapped a three game losing streak, Stanford’s second such streak (2009-2011) and the longest win streak for the Cardinal in this series history.
Prediction: Win (10-2) – This might be a real toss up. But Irish went into USC on the final day of the 2018 regular season and won and will do the same at Stanford. Road games won’t intimidate the Irish.
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