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Notre Dame VS Tennessee State Predictions

Written by Mike Stacey|Writer|Twitter (X): @MikeStaceyIT

IG: @mikestaceyit

Photo via Sports Illustrated

This Saturday the Irish will look to keep their momentum going as they play their home opener against Tennessee State. This will be a historic game as it is the first time the Irish are playing against an FCS and historically African American college in school history. The Tigers are coming off of a 4-7 season last year and are lead by former running back and both college and NFL hall of famer, Eddie George. George will be in his second season with the Tigers and is looking to improve after a rough year in his first go.

The Tigers offense only averaged 18 points per game last year so they will look to vastly improve that number this season. They hope they can do this with the return of Senior Quarterback Draylin Ellis. Ellis is a dual threat quarterback with 5,705 career passing yards and 41 touchdowns. His performance last year has earned him a spot on the Big South-OVC Watch List. On defense, the Tigers welcome several talented transfers whom they hope will improve an already successful defense from last season, who only allowed 363 yards per game and fewer than 200 yards passing.

The Tigers may have some talent, but it simply does not compare to what Notre Dame has on the other sideline. The Irish, on paper, should win this game handedly. The biggest concern Irish fans should have is if the Irish play like they expect to win easily. The last thing you want to do is give a team like this hope early on in the game. Hopefully, the Irish have the same attitude they had last week, and put this one away early. A game like this will tell us how mature, well coached, and well focused this team is. Marcus Freeman recently said they had a terrific practice on Wednesday, so hopefully they will maintain that focus throughout the week and into Saturday.

Okay, to the fun part where I will inevitably be completely off and get bashed on Social Media for it on Sunday....PREDICTIONS!

Offensive MVPs:

Sam Hartman: I predict Sam will have another big game, but will see far fewer snaps due to an early pull. (I hope) I predict he will go 17-23 for 275 yards and 3 TD's, and will be benched near the end of the 3rd quarter.

Audric Estime:

I think Estime will continue to show off his dominance and will have a little chip on his shoulder after his fumble last week. Much like Hartman, I expect him to do his damage early before being sat down in the 3rd quarter. Final tally, 14 rushes for 110 yards and a TD.

Tobias Merriweather: :Says a quick prayer:

Okay, I may be willing this more so than believing it will happen. The only downside to last week's performance was the "Where's Waldo" act regarding Tobias. He had a drop and a pass defended (It was pass interference, but he could have played it better) and no catches. I firmly believed the Irish will need him to have a big year to be at an elite level this season. At the end of the day, it is one game, no reason to sound the alarms. That being said, until we see him put up a big performance, we are simply relying on potential to give us hope. I think he shows everyone what he is capable of Saturday . (I Hope) 5 Catches for 90 Yards and a TD.

Defensive MVP's:

Jordan Bothelo:

All we have read about all spring is how much Jordan Bothelo has matured and become a leader on this team. We always knew the talent was there, but now the mindset seems to have followed suit. Jordan played very well against Navy, but their style of offense limited what he is capable of and expected to do best, sack the quarterback. I think Jordan comes out like a rabid dog on Saturday and makes Draylin's day very miserable. 3 Sacks and 3 TFL.

Cam Hart:

Cam seems to fly a bit under the radar with all the attention that Benjamin Morrison gets, but make no mistake, Cam is a stud. I think in an effort to avoid Morrison, Cam will see more targets and will take advantage of the opportunity. 3 Passes Break Ups, 1 interception, and a little more national respect.


I think Notre Dame continues this week the way they started it last week, with focus, energy, and stellar execution. I expect Notre Dame to get more reserves in at the 2nd half of this one, and Irish fans can hopefully have a stress free Saturday and great start to the long weekend!

ND: 52

TSU: 10



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