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NCAA Football Preview and Prediction: New Mexico and Notre Dame

The Lobos go into South Bend
Source: AP News

Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2:30pm EDT
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend

For the first time in the 150-year history of college football, the New Mexico Lobos will travel to South Bend to battle the Fighting Irish. New Mexico is coming off a 39-31 win over Sam Houston State and Notre Dame took care of a scrappy Louisville Cardinals team 35-17. The interesting thing about this game is the return of former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie, and trust me that would have been the only thing of interest in this seeming mismatch, and now thats gone as Coach Davie will not make the trip.

Keys to the game

Irish defense against the Lobos offense

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The Lobos had a great offensive showing against Sam Houston State as they piled up 485 yards of total offense, including 340 yards through the air. The Lobos have been known as an option team in previous seasons, but last year new OC Calvin McGee switched them to a spread offense. That change has sparked the Lobos offense and has made them a much more dangerous team. The Lobos quarterbacks are inconsistent but against Sam Houston showed the ability to hit the big play. With the Irish defense, they run into one of the top secondaries in the entire country and I look for the Irish to cause multiple turnovers when the Lobos throw the ball. If the Lobos can establish the run they may be able to hang with the Irish for a half or so but I do not see them running the ball against the Irish either.

Can the Lobos defend the Irish

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If last year is any indication the simple and obvious answer is no! The Lobo defense was atrocious last year as they allowed 36.2 ppg and 473 ypg. It will be taking its lump this year as well, as just two starters are back from that group. Maybe losing all of those starters from a bad defense really helps? I don’t know how they could be much worse. The Irish struggled on offense against Louisville, but with a veteran signal-caller in Ian Book that will get straightened out in short order, I am sure.

Prediction: As Clubber Lang said in Rocky 3, the prediction here is PAIN for the Lobos!

Irish 44 Lobos 17

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