top of page

Notre Dame 23' Game Predictions

By Writer: Mike Stacey

Twitter: MikeStaceyIT

IG: mikestaceyit

Graphics By: Ruben Kelly Ysasi


Yeah I know, it's only July, we still aren't sure what the depth chart is going to look like with 100% certainty come this fall, but who doesn't like a good preseason schedule prediction regardless of what time of the year it is. So you may take it with a grain of salt, but here is my schedule prediction for each game this season. Please feel free to scream, yell, and throw obscenities my way if you disagree....I'm ready for it....I think....


Week 1: Notre Dame vs Navy in the motherland

When: Aug 26th/2:30PM

Where: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Navy is coming off of a disappointing 4-8 season and is entering this year with new head coach, Brian Newberry. Newberry was previously the Defensive Coordinator for the midshipman and comes into the position with thoughts of revamping the offense. Even with Navy returning 17 starters, however, Brian has a lot on his plate in year 1. Navy is dealing with a new coach, changing offense, and coming off of a really poor year. I get it, it's still a Navy game which gives all of us ND fans heart burn, but I think this game is Sam Hartman's official coming out party and the Irish win comfortably.


ND-45

Navy-21


Week 2: Notre Dame vs Tennessee State Tigers

When: Sep 2nd/3:30PM

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Notre Dame will make history in it's season opener as it will face for the first time a historically black college/university. It will also be the first time that ND has played an FCS opponent. Although this game will not help their strength of schedule, the sentiment behind it is aimed to be the bigger focus. As far as the game goes, this one should not give the Irish any trouble. Tennessee State is coming off of a 4-7 season, and once again, they are an FCS opponent. The talent level simply does not match, nonetheless the Irish need to come in focused. This is the type of game that can tell you the maturity of your football team. If the Irish come in here to take care of business, this one should be out of doubt early. I don't envision us running up the score like some other teams might, but I still expect a route.


Notre Dame-56

Tennessee State-7


Week 3: Notre Dame at NC State

When: Sep 9th/12PM

Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC

Watch: ABC


The Irish should get their first real test in their first real road trip in week 3. NC State is coming off of an 8-5 season, however there is some excitement in the program with recent transfer QB Brennan Armstrong coming to town. Most of you will remember Armstrong for his brilliant 2021 season at Virginia. However, Brennan was unable to recreate that same kind of production last year and found himself in the portal this offseason. However, not only has NC State landed Armstrong, but their offensive coordinator is the same coach Armstrong had in 2021 at Virginia, Robert Anae. NC State is noted for their defense and that should not be much different this year. They do need to replace some studs at linebacker and safety, but the Wolfpack should once again be stout on the defensive side of the ball. This will be a tough test, but NC State has some questions at receiver which make me wonder if Armstrong can be the QB they expect/want him to be this year. I think this is a slug it out game, but the Irish pull away late.


Notre Dame-34

NC State-20


Week 4: Notre Dame vs Central Michigan

When: Sep 16th/2:30PM

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: Peacock


Notre Dame returns home in week 4 to square off with the Chippewas of Central Michigan. Central Michigan is coming off of a 4-8 rebuilding season but there is hope for improvement this year. They return a lot on a defense that actually played well last year considering how turnover happy their offense was, giving up 28ppg, and their coach is regarded as one of the best outside of the Power 5, but they simply can not match the talent that ND has on the other side of the ball. The biggest concern I have about this game is the fact that Ohio State comes to town the following week, so this has all the makings of a dreaded let down game. But as I mentioned earlier, these games tell you a lot about your teams mindset and maturity. I expect this one to start out slow for ND, but things will get rolling in the second half.


ND-42

CM-17


Week 5: Notre Dame vs Ohio State (Green out)

When: Sep 23rd/7:30PM

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Well boys and girls, week 5 is the first HUGE test for Notre Dame of the season. This game will give us a good idea whether or not this team is a contender or a pretender. We all remember coming close but falling short to Ohio State last year in Columbus. This year the Irish will look to avenge their loss against another extremely talented Ohio State team who comes into the regular season ranked #1 in ESPN' preseason poll. No way to sugarcoat it, the Buckeyes are EXTREMELY talented. Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best wideout in the country and has a great chance to be drafted #1 in next year's NFL draft. Running Back TreVeyon Henderson is an absolute stud and also returns for the Buckeyes. They will not be short of explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball, that is for sure. Jim Knowles in year 2 should only make a solid Ohio State defense even better this year. But, the Buckeyes still have to replace CJ Stroud which is no easy task, and as of now have not named a starter for the opener which is a battle between Kyle McCord or Devin Brown. For this reason, and the fact that I think Notre Dame is going to be highly motivated with a much improved offense, I think the Irish stun the Buckeyes in South Bend. If I am right, this will be a major win for the program and the legacy of Marcus Freeman's young coaching tenure. This is the kind of win that could help define a season.


ND-34

OSU-28


Week 6: ND at Duke

When: Sep 30th/TBA

Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC

Watch: TBA


This one can get tricky. Notre Dame will travel to North Carolina to play Duke in week 6. This game will be played with Notre Dame coming off of an extreme high or extreme low following the Ohio State game. These games typically can lead to some let downs, and although Duke is better know for basketball this is not the type of team you can afford a let down game against. Duke went 9-4 last season under first year coach Mike Elko. Yes, the same brilliant defensive coordinator who coached at ND for one season followed by 3 years with Texas A&M. His first year was a huge success as Duke had only won 10 games in their previous 3 seasons. In year two, I would expect Duke to continue to make strides under coach Elko making this a very intriguing game for the Irish. One of the things I love about Coach Freeman is the message he continues to preach to his players about the "bumpy road to getting better". He tells them they need to stay in the middle, they can't get too high, and they can't get to low. Stay in the moment and do not let the past dictate your future. That message will be perfect for this game, and I am sure Coach Freeman will have it on loop during practice that week.


Notre Dame-27

Duke-17


Week 7: ND at Lousiville

When: Oct 7th/TBA

Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky

Watch: TBA


The Irish continue their ACC road trip in Week 7 at Lousiville. The Cardinals went 8-5 last season, but there is a lot of buzz surrounding this season as Jeff Brohm returns home to take over the head coaching position. Brohm saw some success at Purdue, including playing in the BIG 10 Championship game last year. With more weapons to work with at Louisville, it is expected that Brohm can bring improved success to the Cards. Ville had veteran QB Jack Plummer, who previously played under Brohm, transfer onto the team and will likely be the starter this fall with hopes of improving the passing game. Ville had a stellar defense last season but they will have to replace a lot up front, with most of the help coming from the transfer portal. I think this can be a VERY tricky game for the Irish, and another example of them needing to be focused at the task at hand and not looking ahead (USC) however, I think the Irish get the job done in one that may not be for the faint of heart....


ND-38

Ville-33


Week 8: ND vs USC

When: Oct 14th/7:30pm

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Get your popcorn ready for October 14th. Night game, one of the biggest rivalries in sports, playoff implications likely on the line, and painted fingernails....All of these are likely in play for this game and I for one can't possibly be more fired up/revenge hungry for it. We all remember how USC easily took us down last year as Caleb Williams had an incredible performance that was only overshadowed by his behavior and now infamous painted fingernails which would have got him 3 Hail Mary's, 2 Our Father's and likely a suspension had he been playing for Notre Dame. However, if any good came from that game, it was that the rivalry has been amplified. For too long this rivalry has been a one sided affair, with Notre Dame being in the driver's seat over the last 5 years, but now with USC back on the rise this rivalry should be as intense as in times past. USC enters this season as a playoff hopefuls will their Heisman QB, the before mentioned Caleb Williams, back for a quest to win a National Championship. Forget the stats, forget the record, forget the recruiting stars next to a player's name, this game is going to come down to who wants it more. Both of these teams are talented, and both have plenty of fire power to upend the other. This will come down to attention to detail and heart. After what USC did last year, and HOW they did it, I would be shocked if the Irish do not have some serious bulletin board material for this game. Although I am going back in forth in my head on this one, I just can't pick USC to win. And if Notre Dame has the heart I think it will under Marcus Freeman, the Irish should come out of this one victorious.


ND-42

USC-30


Week 9: ND vs Pitt

When: Oct 28th/3:30pm

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Yet again, this is a game where ND will be coming off either a huge win or disappointing loss. So once again, this game will come down to the Irish staying focused at the task at hand and staying in the middle of the road. Pitt always seems to be a tough game for the Irish, regardless of the records. Add to the fact that former Irish QB Phil Jurkovek is now with the Panthers, a player who has had no issue with talking about his former team, and there will be plenty of motivation for coach Narduzzi and his squad to take down ND in South Bend. Pitt will 100% be up for this game, the Irish will need to follow suit. Once again, I don't care about records going into a game like this. It is going to be a slug it out, who wants it more situation. The Irish have the talent, but will they have the mindset to continue to avoid the let down game? I sure hope so....


ND-28

Pitt-24


Week 10: ND at Clemson

When: Nov 4th/TBA

Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC

Watch: ABC


Once again we have a SERIOUS matchup for the Irish on the schedule, this one taking place in the first week of November down in Clemson, SC. Last year the Irish had one of their most memorable victorious this decade when they absolutely destroyed the Tigers in South Bend. The Irish looked like a team possessed, as they man handled Clemson on both sides of the ball. It was the type of performance we got used to seeing happen to Notre Dame in past big games, but not on this night. The Irish showed that they have the talent to play with the big boys. Even though Clemson finished the season 11-3 and ranked in the top 15, it was a down year for them. I fully expect Dabo Sweeney and his team to come out swinging this year, and get their way back into the playoff discussion. Much like Notre Dame has against USC, Clemson has plenty of bulletin board material after their embarrassing loss last year in South Bend. That ammunition, along with a very talented team lead by Cade Klubnik who was the #1 QB in his class coming out of high school, who now has some experience under his belt is going to make this a VERY dangerous game for the Irish. Are the Irish good enough to go into Clemson's house and get a W? Absolutely. Will they? Unfortunately, I do not think so.


Clemson- 34

Notre Dame-21


Week 11: ND vs Wake Forest

When: Nov 18th/3:30pm

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

Watch: NBC/Peacock


Notre Dame will get a much deserved bye week before returning to action at home against Wake Forest. Sam Hartman will be facing his former squad as the Irish look to finish strong on senior night. Wake Forest finished last year with an 8-5 regular season record. The Demon Deacons started the season 6-1 before losing 4 of their last 6. Similar to last year, their schedule will be much more difficult on the back end, with games against FSU, Duke and NC State before they travel to South Bend. Wake Forest has improved in recent years, currently riding a 7 consecutive season winning streak, and the Demon Deacons project to have one of the best wide receiver cores in the ACC, but they will have a new starter replacing Sam Hartman at QB and a defense that allowed 28 ppg last season. I think the difference in skill level, coupled with a grueling end of the schedule for Wake vs a rested Irish team on senior night will prove too much for the Demon Deacons.


ND-56

Wake Forest-23


Week 12: ND at Stanford

When: Nov 25th/TBA

Where: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA

Watch: TBA


Last season's loss to Stanford at home was almost as bad as the Marshall loss. Stanford was straight up abysmal last year, going 3-9 and finishing tied for last place in the PAC-12. The fact the Irish lost to THAT team on their own field was beyond a head scratcher, especially after we thought they had started to right the ship following the Marshall debacle. This season, Stanford doesn't project to be much better with David Shaw out and new coach Troy Taylor stepping into a program that is in rebuild mode, especially after taking some big hits in the transfer protal. I fully expect the Irish will avenge last year's loss against their rivals and take back home the Legends Trophy to end the season on a positive note en route to a playoff birth! (I hope...)


ND-52

Stanford-14


Comments


Like Our Content?
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
bottom of page