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Duke Game Predictions: Hangover Game for Irish?

By Writer: Mike Stacey

Twitter (X): @MikeStaceyIT

IG:@mikestaceyit

Photo Credit: Notre Dame Athletics


Well Irish fans, does it still hurt? I know for me personally, today is the first day I have been able to think about football without getting nauseous, so, progress? But what's most important isn't how we feel, but how the team feels. It goes without saying that last week was incredibly disappointing. There were a myriad of self inflicted wounds that cost the Irish a huge victory that was well within their grasp, but you learn more from losses than you do wins. This doesn't just mean X's and O's but something that I think is even more important, and that is character. To be a championship caliber team, you need to be able to handle adversity. No National Championship team goes through an entire season without it, but what separates them from the rest is they don't crumble under it, they harden instead.


If Notre Dame is truly a playoff contender, they will come out this Saturday playing with their hair on fire and make a statement that they aren't going anywhere. If they aren't, they can be in for a very long night against an extremely well coached team that is playing terrific football. Either way, as always, we will learn more from last week's loss. I just hope it's favorable.


But enough of that, let's get to what we came here for, some predictions. (Let us know your player/game predictions in the comment section!)


Offense:


Sam Hartman:

Getting back to my opening comments, the Irish need resiliency in the face of adversity, and the best place to find it for the Irish is with Sam Hartman. Hartman has been around the block, and should be the most vocal person in the locker room at this time. However, talk is cheap, Hartman also needs to lead by example and go out and ball on Saturday. I expect Sam to take matters into his own hands after a modest night against OSU and hopefully give the Irish a big spark.


Prediction: 25-31/ 310 yards/ 3 TD


Chris Tyree:

With Jayden Thomas Doubtful, and Deion Colzie and Matt Salerno already ruled out for Saturday, the Irish need a thin WR group to step up in a big way. I think Chris Tyree is one of the prime candidates to assume this role. Look for the Irish to try to exploit Chris' speed and for him to put up some numbers in Durham.


Prediction: 5 catches/ 110 yards/ 2 TD (One end around for a big first down)


Mitchell Evans:

Mitchell Evans had a bit of a coming out party last weekend against OSU. He had 7 receptions for 75 yards including an unbelievable one handed grab that should be a candidate for catch of the year. I think that game was a big confidence booster for Mitchell and should carry over to Saturday, especially with some receivers out. Look for Mitch to continue to roll.


Prediction: 6 catches/ 70 yards/ 1 TD


Defense:


Jordan Botehlo:

Jordan was a potential breakout player for the Irish coming into this season. Last year he showed flashes of dominance and with him moving into a starting role this year I expected him to take off. So far, not so much. After a disappointing performance last week against OSU, look for us to see the Jordan we know exists against the Blue Devils.


Prediction: 4 Pressures/ 2 Sacks


Marist Liufau:

Marist has been a bit of a roller coaster ride so far at Notre Dame. Last year, many expected him to be a breakout player, but it never materialized. This year, with another year of Golden's system under his belt, Marist has been playing fantastic football. That is, until last weekend where he did not record a single tackle. In his defense, it was reported that he was banged up going into this contest so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I am hopeful he will turn things around this weekend, assuming he is healthier.


Prediiction: 7 tackles/1 fumble


DJ Brown:

DJ Brown has been having a very good year for the Irish so far this season. Unfortunately, he had a potential game ending interception go right through his hands on OSU's final drive last weekend. DJ is getting more blame than he deserves for that play, but I think this will be a motivator for the experienced leader. Look for him to show up big this Saturday and shut some people up.


Prediction: 2 pass break ups/ 1 interception


Game Prediction:

Another College Gameday appearance for an Irish game in consecutive weeks. These kind of games simply don't happen for Duke football, so you know both players and fans alike are going to be excited and bring an electric environment to Durham. However, what Notre Dame has over Duke in this type of game is experience. For the first time, all eyes will be on Duke football and not their basketball team. Now, they have a great coach and have been very impressive so far this year, so I wouldn't be shocked if coach Elko has them prepared for this moment. However, I suspect some nerves will be in play early, and hopefully Notre Dame will do a better job of dealing with theirs, with last week serving as proper practice. Getting off to an early start will be vital in this one, as the Irish try to show what they are made of. This is a make or break game. If they let last week's hangover last then Duke will absolutely win this game, there isn't a doubt in my mind, but if the Irish come out looking for revenge and to make a statement, it can be a long night for the Blue Devils. I am hoping the latter occurs.


ND-38

Duke-17

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