#11 NOTRE DAME VS. #17 DUKE PREVIEW: See what Brett Cagle has to say about Saturday's prime time game at #17 Duke and his score prediction.
Week Six: #11 Notre Dame (4-1) vs. #17 Duke (4-0)
With last week’s three-point loss to Ohio State, “the Fighting Irish” will look to rebound in a road matchup against ACC opponent Duke. After an emotional contest, Notre Dame will have their hands full with an undefeated Duke team. This Duke team has yet to give up more than 14 points this season and defeated Clemson at home in week one. Helping Duke get off to a fast start is second-year Head Coach Mike Elko, who led the Blue Devils to a bowl game last year and a 9-4 record. Elko was Notre Dame’s Defensive Coordinator in 2017 before joining Texas A&M. Currently Notre Dame is favored at online sportsbooks (-210).
Where to Watch: 6:30 on ABC
Location: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Gambling Line: -5.5 (Notre Dame)
After holding Ohio State to under 20 points the Notre Dame defense has been solid all year. Coming into this week Notre Dame currently ranks 10th in the nation in Red Zone Defense (NCAA.com). Duke will not have the offensive playmakers that the Buckeyes did, although Senior Receiver Jalon Calhoun has two touchdowns and over 250 yards on the season. Duke’s Quarterback Riley Leonard has more scores on the ground this year (4) than he does through the air (2). The Blue Devils offense has produced high-scoring games through four weeks, but they have not faced a defense close to the talent level of Notre Dame’s.
Only scoring 14 points last week was a low point for the Notre Dame offense so far this season. However, Senior Quarterback Sam Hartman has yet to throw an interception and could be influential in the Irish success this weekend. Hartman is very familiar with the Blue Devils' defense as he shredded Duke for 340+ yards and 3 touchdowns in both games he played against them as Wake Forest Quarterback in 2021-2022. These past performances should give Hartman a boost in confidence when the team travels to Durham, North Carolina this weekend.
Head Coach Marcus Freeman stated recently that the loss to Ohio State hurts because “We didn’t play at our best”. Coach Freeman will try to get the Fighting Irish back on track this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive. This could be a potentially dangerous game if Duke can get a lead early at home and work the clock with their running game.
Players to Watch (Notre Dame)
QB Sam Hartman: 14 Touchdowns, 1,236 Passing Yards, 0 Interceptions
RB Audric Estime: 591 Rushing Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 7.7 YPC
WR Chris Tyree: 241 Yards receiving, 2 Touchdowns.
Players to Watch (Duke)
QB Riley Leonard: 778 Yards Passing, 2 Touchdowns, 238 Rushing Yards
RB: Jordan Waters: 258 Rushing Yards, 7 Touchdowns
WR: Jalon Calhoun: 258 Yards Receiving, 20 Receptions, 2 Touchdowns
Prediction: 28-17 (Notre Dame)