Frankie V’s Prediction: Notre Dame v. Georgia ’17

Notre Dame faces their biggest early season challenge of the year this weekend with #15 ranked Georgia coming to town to take on the #24 ranked Fighting Irish.  The Bulldogs will arrive in South Bend with a true freshman quarterback making his first career start in Jake Fromm. Quarterback play from Georgia won’t be the deciding factor in this one though.  The Bulldog ground attack and Notre Dame’s ability to slow it down will.

How Did I Do Last Week

Well, my concerns about the Notre Dame offense were overblown.  Yes the timing in the Irish passing game wasn’t quite there, but at the same time, the Notre Dame offense did not start slow like I thought they would and this game was hardly ever in doubt.  I expected a much closer, harder fought game from Temple, but their offense looks like it has fallen off more than I thought it would.  I predicted a 10 point Notre Dame win but instead they won by 32.  Sometimes I LOVE being wrong.

What Concerns Me This Week

Georgia’s Running Game.  Because well duh, of course it does.  Georgia features a pair of NFL bound running backs in the backfield and they will look to run the ball right into the heart of the Irish defense.  Even with a little bit a shaky line (more on that later), they will feed their backs over and over again until Notre Dame proves they can stop them.  Last week missed tackling was an issue for Notre Dame.  If that happens this week, 10 yard gains will turn into 30 or 40 by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.   Notre Dame did a good job stopping the run against Temple, but this ain’t the Owls.  Mike Elko has his hands full in his second game as Notre Dame’s defense coordinator.  Don’t forget though, Elko is used to scheming for the likes of Florida State and Clemson with Wake Forest talent.  He will be up for the challenge.

Notre Dame’s Safeties.  There was miscommunication on the backend of the Irish secondary last week against an inexperienced quarterback and it nearly cost Notre Dame deatly.  Against a first time starter with the aforementioned strong ground game, I worry that the safeties will get caught overcommitting and turn a Georgia wide receiver loose a couple of times.  If that happens, don’t expect Georgia to be as forgiving as Temple was with drops and missed passes.

Brandon Wimbush.  Love, love, love the kid’s long term potential at Notre Dame but he made a few throws last week that if he makes the same ones this week, they’ll get picked off.  It was his first start and first real game action in three years (2015 mop up duty doesn’t count) so maybe it was just some rust.  If he makes similar mistakes this week, Georgia has the athletes to make those mistakes turn into points in the opposite direction.

Trick Plays.  Not from Georgia, but from Notre Dame.  Notre Dame’s running game was dominant last week but the timing in the passing game was still a bit off and likely won’t be monumentally better this week.  It’ll improved some but will still probably need work.  That said, I fear Notre Dame will attempt some sort of trick play that backfires this week.

Georgia Fans Taking Over the Stadium.  I worry that we will be seeing another Sea of Red like with Nebraska in 2000 all over again.  Notre Dame needed a last minute surge in ticket sales to sell out last week against Temple in the first game of the”new” stadium and Georgia fans are reportedly ready to invade South Bend for the Bulldogs first ever trip to South Bend.  The combination of Notre Dame fans wearing every shade of blue, gold, green, grey, and white without and cohesion each week along with Georgia fans all decked out in red will make for some poor optics.

What Doesn’t Concern Me This Week

Notre Dame’s Offensive Line.  Georgia’s got a good defense no doubt, but Notre Dame has an elite offensive line.  Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson will still open holes on the left side of the line for Notre Dame’s own trio of talented running backs.  We might not see as many runs into open space as last week, but we will see Notre Dame have success running the ball.  SEC defense or not, Notre Dame will be able to run the ball this weekend.

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Alize Mack.  Last week was a forgettable return to action for Mack, but I am not ready to give up on the young man just yet.  I have a feeling that we’ll see Mack make at least one big catch this week.  Something where he gets the ball in space, makes a defender miss, and then gallups downfield for a huge gain.

Jake Fromm.  Everyone praising this kid all week long does remember after all that he was facing Appalachian State right?  He’ll make some nice throws at times this weekend, but he’ll also get baited into some big mistakes this weekend as well by my man Mike Elko.  I see Georgia moving the ball pretty well between the 20’s but once they get down close, I think Notre Dame ends up holding them to field goals because the Irish defense  will force Fromm into mistakes.

Gerogia’s Offensive Line.  While Gerogia will be able to run the ball at the middle of the Irish defense, they’ll have some problems protecting Fromm.  This ins’t a great Georgia line by any means and I see the Irish pass rush that showed real signs of life last week get into the backfield again this week.

Players to Watch

  • Jerry Tillery/Jonathan Bonner – Because  of that Georgia running game, how well these two hold up in the middle will determine how successful Notre Dame is at slowing down the Bulldog backs.
  • Nyles Morgan/Greer Marini – Have to clean up those missed tackles from a week ago.
  • Tommy Kraemer – Georgia will throw everything but the kitchen sink at the sophomore making his second career start.
  • Tony Jones – I have been a big proponent of Dexter Williams getting the second most carries behind Josh Adams for a while now, but this is a Tony Jones kind of week.  Notre Dame will need to be patient running the ball early and Jones is the back they have to do that between the tackles.  I hope we see Jones get a lot of carries early on before using Williams later on.
  • Drue Tranquill – Tough assignment for him this week if he stays at ROVER.
  • Kevin Stepherson – Will there be a sighting of the sophomore wide receiver, I mean he’s not suspended, right?
  • Jay Hayes – Does Notre Dame give him reps inside this week to provide more depth even though Kelly said in the pre-season they wouldn’t?
  • Equanimeous St. Brown – There will be a time and place this weekend that ESB has a chance to make a game changing play.  Will he make it this week?

Prediction Time

Two weeks ago I predicted every game of the season and had Georgia winning this game at the time.  Even without Jacob Eason I am still feeling the same way.  I think Notre Dame will slow Michel and Chubb early before eventually wearing down and dropping this one late in the game.  If this game were in two months or even one month from now I would like Notre Dame’s chances MUCH better.  I just didn’t see enough from the Notre Dame passing game last week to make me change my mind from then.

Sticking with my pre-season prediction here.  Lots of field goals from the Bulldogs as the Irish stay in the game with some good red zone defense.

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Georgia 29

Pre-Season Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Gerogia 29

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41 comments

  1. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Bruce,

    No way! You’re a straight shooter and one of the most clearheaded poster on here. I appreciate your criticisms of the powers that be.

    What I said was simply this: losing teams will find ways to lose games. That’s all.

    Nothing personal, Bruce.

    Peace.

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    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

      SFR,
      Gotcha. Maybe it just sounded different because I was really upset at the time with the “sellouts.” BTW: To some other poster – I doubt BJ EVER scalped a ticket in his life. Whatever else he might be, he’s no “sellout.”

      Bruce G. Curme
      La Crosse, Indiana

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  2. Dan MacDonald 2 months ago

    Post- game comment here.

    Your ultimate prediction was really good; lots of field goals, we lose late.

    My only real disagreement now with your predictions, and that this game showed me, is that our O line is not nearly as elite as we had hoped. We got pushed around badly. Wimbush ran for his life and got knocked around. No running game at all against a top flight defence. Wimbush showed good poise and I appreciate that, but we got dominated there. And very little pass rush without blitzes. We need to recruit a higher level of OL and DL to compete with the big boys.

    We are probably a second tier, 15- 25 ranked team this year.

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  3. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    So, Greg, your comeback is I didn’t make a prediction and the Stillers won’t win the SB?! Really?! That’s all you got to say about this game?

    You’re lame, man. Talk about what you saw. Good and bad.

    Bottom line is I saw ND lose another prime time game against a ranked opponent. Did you see something else? Did you see a big ND win?

    You may have “predicted” a ND win. The reality is ND lost. Yet again.

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  4. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Again, Greg, I don’t care about your predictions. All I care about are actual results. What don’t you understand?! English?

    I agree the Stillers won’t win the SB. Like ND they have a poor HC and front office. But at least they have six Lombardis. Unless you’re a NE fan, you pretty much don’t have much to say.

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  5. Greg Kelly 2 months ago

    SFR, So, you can’t can’t make predictions, so what are you? I may predict but never bet on college ball anyway. But, I will bet you your Stoilers won’t win the Super Bowl this year.

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  6. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

    The “O” line cannot play with an SEC defense. But our “D” can play with anyone…they were super. We couldn’t run the ball and we didn’t protect the QB. McGlinchey’s total whiff on the last play our offense ran just said it all better than I could ever say it. If our “O” doesn’t stand up and start protecting our QB we won’t have a QB pretty soon!
    Pathetic point output in the second half…very depressing.
    I still stand by my prediction of 9-3 this year…but Long needs to have a “meet Jesus” talk with our “O” line and our blocking back…and once again, as last year, I have to ask “where’s the fullback”? He’s the guy who wipes out McGlinchey’s misses before they even happen. Where is that guy?
    As for the “sellouts” – I’ll post who they are by position (not names) after I hear from everybody who posts on this site about the game…perhaps tomorrow. Mostly they are University employees…I’ll be more specific later…I need to throw up first just from thinking about them.

    Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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  7. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    That marginal late hit on Fromm changed the momentum of the game. I had a feeling it would. But the SEC refs called an even game.

    ND lost this game on their own.

    Losers will always find a way to lose.

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    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

      How dare you call any man (or woman) a loser who works as hard as these guys work? I left my career when “A Nation at Risk” came out early in the Reagan Administration to become a High School Physics teacher to put out engineers and scientists that our country called for in that report, and suffered financially and socially for it my whole life. I suppose that makes me a loser to a guy like you.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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  8. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Greg,

    Predictions, what for?! Who cares about who you think will win. All I care is about who actually wins. ND just lost another prime time game to a ranked opponent. Who cares what you thought before the game.

    Losers love to make predictions.

    BTW: If you made a prediction ND would win, then own up to your poor judgment.

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  9. IrishChan 2 months ago

    The offensive line is responsible for this game tonight.

    I don’t understand. Year in and year out we hear how amazing this offensive line coach is and how well he recruits lineman.

    Well. Here’s an upper middle SEC team who’s defensive front seven simply overwhelmed our o-line.

    Th defensive played lights out all night. They could t overcome the lack of production from the o-line.

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    1. Dan MacDonald 2 months ago

      IrishChan, good analysis. Our O line was not up to the challenge. Our run defence was pretty solid and our pass defence surprisingly okay.

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    2. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

      IrishChan,
      I agree. And I’d especially like to add that junior, senior and 5th year linemen, including TE’s, should carry a second game starting QB on their shoulders- not the other way around.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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  10. Greg Kelly 2 months ago

    Hey, SFR , wish you had the guts like Frankie, Jeff, Jack to make a pre-game prediction. Wimbush will be back, its a game of hard knocks.

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    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

      Greg K,
      ARA never made a pregame prediction that I was aware of…at least not a public one. LOU only made one public one I know of (I actually heard it myself). He said at the 88 MIAMI pep rally, and I quote, “we’re gonna beat the livin’ dog out of em’.” That’s it. No other pre-game public predictions on record that I know of for either. Were they gutless men for it?

      Bruce G. Curme
      La Crosse, Indiana

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  11. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Now let’s hear from the excuse makers about another moral victory!

    ND champion of moral victories!

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  12. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Better hold UGA to FG!

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  13. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Game, set, match if UGA gets a TD!

    Alize Mack sucks!!!

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  14. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Nope, I was right!

    Bad teams find ways to lose. ND has made a habit of finding ways to lose big games for over twenty years!

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  15. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    Late hit will cost ND points! Perhaps the game. Hope I’m wrong, though.

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  16. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    This O is really garbage! The O line is once more coming up small. What a bunch of overrated players!

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  17. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

    Well it’s halftime. Defense is playing super …lots of punting going on. “O” line is embarrassing us on the run game. They are stinking up the field…so pass the ball…pass blocking is good. We are getting eaten alive on kickoff returns…just start kicking it out of the endzone dude! Quit farting around with their return guys. Thank the Good Lord that Yoon has showed up!
    Two turnovers by Fromm. He’s pretending he isn’t fazed by it – so sting him some more! Let’s go IRISH!
    I’ve got something to say about where all those “sellout” tickets to the RED TEAM came from… and it’s NOT from contributing alumni…I’ll tell all in a post later after the game. I’m so sick of those damn sellouts…they make me want to vomit.

    Bruce G. Curme
    La Crosse Indiana

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  18. SteelFanRob 2 months ago

    This ND O isn’t anywhere near good enough to compete against college football’s elite.

    The D is playing well against a one-dimensional UGA O. But give them credit for bailing out the O.

    If UGA finds a passing game in the second half to go along with a good running attack the Dogs win going away.

    IF ND finds a way to convert a third down and get the passing game going, assuming the D continues to play well, the Irish can pull this off.

    What an embarrassment to see so many UGA fans in the stands! ND might as well schedule elite games on neutral fields.
    This is an indictment of where this program is now. Sell-out fans to go along with teams that can’t win big-time games.

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    1. Dan MacDonald 2 months ago

      This pretty much sums it up.

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  19. Greg Kelly 2 months ago

    only six and a half hours till kick off and here is what we all think
    Notre Dame points 244
    UGA points 197

    Only 8 posters put up their predictions Final score Notre Dame 30
    UGA 24
    Can’t wait to see my nephew on TV there at the game with his three wee little Leprechauns! Future Domers

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  20. Jeff 2 months ago

    24-13 Georgia

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  21. LL 2 months ago

    I may still be drunk from last Saturday, but I think you are still living in the disappointment of 2016. I think ND wins by more than 10, Georgia is exposed, and the talk of next week is that ND may be back for real this year!

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  22. Brad 2 months ago

    I’m all about doing the right thing and making these WR’s earn it. When they are ready, please get Claypool, Stepherson, McKinley etc. on the field

    Finke, Canteen, Smith aren’t cutting it. We need playmakers out there next to ESB.

    If a true freshman can come in and win a night game at Notre Dame Stadium, it’s gonna be a long year and get rid of everyone.

    ND 27 Georgia 24

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  23. Tim Murphy 2 months ago

    old Notre Dame will WIN overten to the song and you won’t be wrong! Murf GO IRISH!!!!!

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  24. ChrisJ 2 months ago

    Would you all still be saying the same thing about our passing game if both Mack and St. Brown would have caught their passes?? Wimbush put those balls on the money and both could have easily been TDs to go along with his other two. I also think you all are underestimating our run game. I know it was Temple but they aren’t that bad. We rushed for over 400 yards. ND will definitely score more than these crazy predictions of under 30 points. The real question is can our defense keep GA under 30. I think so….ND wins outright and even pulls away in the 4th quarter!!! Go Irish!!!

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  25. David 2 months ago

    Jerry Tillery finally has a monster game and is unblockable. Constant inside pressure disrupts Georgia’s run game and stymies fromm’s first start. Georgia turns the ball over 4 times and Notre Dame wins going away 45 to 21.

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    1. Jack 2 months ago

      Davie as much as I would love to see Tillery dominate inside, I just don’t see it happening. He didn’t dominate Temple and he isn’t going to start this week.

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  26. Jack 2 months ago

    I wasn’t impressed with the Irish run defense last week and Temple left some points on the field. Georgia controls the clock with tgeir running game and force the Irish to throw. ND loses by two scores 34-24

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  27. FXM 2 months ago

    I don’t disagree with your score. But it is hard to believe the Irish lose if McGlinchey and Q are effective. Are their backs really that much better than ours? I know Wimbush was a little off last week, but I think that was from being too amped up from his first start. That shouldn’t occur this week, although I could easily see him throwing a pick six. I see other sites saying, “Fromm has ice in his veins.” Based upon HS I guess. A true frosh backup QB shouldn’t come into your house and beat you unless the talent disparity across the board is huge. So, I agree we lose this game until I see our O line be physical with a strong opponent.

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  28. Damian 2 months ago

    I’m more 50-50 for this game. I know that’s a bit of a cop out but there are just too many unknowns. If they play like the did last week, get their passing game more in sync and protect the secondary better, they have a good shot. But if they don’t do that and for some reason take a step back in the ground game, or if the defense gets overwhelmed, this will likely be a loss. I’m happy with last weeks result and felt it was exactly what they needed. But I’m not yet sold that last years debacle of a season is behind us.

    I do love the media. Fromm is suddenly an elite QB and I just saw an article today about whether there will be a QB controversy at Georgia. Frank is right. He played part of the game against Appalachian State. Not exactly an elite team. Just like I won’t get carried away about a dominant win over Temple, a team at this point whom we don’t know what kind of year they will have, Georgia shouldn’t get too carried away with Fromm yet. He looks to have all the right tools, but he has yet to face an elite CFB team (which ND is not at this point–but ND will be a tougher test for them as well compared to AS).

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    1. southside 2 months ago

      Damian , I agree with you. This game is 50-50 , a toss up. I give Irish the edge , if they score early , play mostly turn over free and avoid costly penalties. This game might be going down to the wire in 4th quarter. That is a good thing facing an SEC #15th ranked team. Irish need a big win Saturday whether by 1 point or whatever it takes. Just win — Go Irish.

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      1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 months ago

        Damian and Southside – I basically agree with you guys again! There are too many unknowns and intangibles to try to call a winner in this game. I will say this again: a score in the mid twenties to low thirties wins it. But Lord God Almighty – we “outsiders” don’t even know the true strengths and weaknesses of our own team yet, let alone those of Georgia! Both ARA and LOU were masters at hiding their teams true weaknesses until midway through a season or later! Coach Kelly isn’t like that. We will know a lot more about ourselves after this game…and a lot more about Georgia with Fromm – hell…I doubt Georgia’s coaches know for sure how their QB is going to be playing by the second half. If they really believed he was such a completely ready superstar as they claim…wouldn’t he have STARTED against AP?
        No, I will not predict a score or a winner here. Let’s see who cracks under the pressure created by the other team. Our “new” ND team seems to have adopted the old “we have no breaking point” adage (and they are wearing ARA on their helmets)…so do it guys…BREAK them…JUST WIN, BABY!

        Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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  29. Greg Kelly 2 months ago

    Frankie, Brilliant assessment, lets hope you’re wrong. You forgot the intangibles, Notre Dame 36 Gerogia 27

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  30. Dr Paul Kindlon 2 months ago

    Frankly, Frank you are wrong. Irish by ten points 34-24

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 2 months ago

      Very much hope you are correct and I am wrong.

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  31. Bob 2 months ago

    fix the title asap!

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