Notre Dame Football Primer: Irish host Georgia Tech on Senior Day

After a 28 to 3 victory on the road, the Irish are back in South Bend for their final home game of the season.

After making the College Football Playoffs in two of the past three seasons, Notre Dame is right in the middle of the playoff hunt. Brian Kelly’s team is #6 in the AP Poll and will likely move up one spot in this week’s playoff rankings. Led by tremendous coaching, the program continues to improve each week and will face the struggling Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech on Senior Day. If the Fighting Irish can take care of business these next two weeks, anything can happen.

Essential Game Info:

  • Game Time: Saturday, November 20th at 2:30 PM ET on NBC
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
  • Matchup History: The Irish are 29-6-1 all-time against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Last Meeting 2020: Notre Dame won 31 to 13)
  • Current Odds: Notre Dame -15.5

Weather Forecast

The current forecast for GameDay shows a 20% chance of rain with a high of 43 degrees and a low of 35.

Georgia Tech Details:

  • Conference: ACC (Coastal Division)
  • Head Coach: Geoff Collins
  • 2021 Record: 3-7 (2-6)
  • 2020 Record: 3-7 (2-6)

Georgia Tech Storylines:

Georgia Tech Football is stagnant. I had to do a “double take” when I noticed the Yellow Jackets have the exact same record from a year ago. Geoff Collins is 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the ACC. It has been a challenging transition from a program that ran the triple option attack under coach Paul Johnson before Collins took over.

The Yellow Jackets quarterback situation is unclear. The Georgia Tech Offense is headlined by Jeff Sims who is 113 for 188 (60%) this season, with 12 passing touchdowns and 7 interceptions. On the ground, Sims has 70 attempts for 372 yards (5.3 yards per carry) with 4 rushing scores. The Yellow Jacket Quarterback was out last week, and freshman Jordan Yates took his place.

Like last week against Virginia, it is not certain which quarterback will be under center against the Irish this week. Yates is 69 for 109 (63%) this fall with 6 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions. In the rushing department, Yates has 47 attempts for 90 yards (2 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns.

Notre Dame Storylines:

Brian Kelly and the Irish are rolling. Notre Dame has won 5-games in a row and besides a 3-point victory at Virginia Tech, the other four victories have been by two scores or greater. Even with many injuries over the course of the season, the team has continued to improve in all areas of the game.

Jack Coan was 15 for 20 last week, with 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 0 sacks. Fans all talk about Jeff Quinn when things go wrong, but it is time to give him well deserved credit with improving the offensive line and fantastic recruiting this fall.

The Notre Dame Offense is using a variety of weapons. On the ground Kyren Williams, Logan Diggs, Lorenzo Styles Jr., Chris Tyree, and Braden Lenzy all had over 30-yards. In the receiving game, Michael Mayer had 7 receptions, Kevin Austin Jr. tallied 3 catches, Braden Lenzy added 3, and Kyren Williams had 2 receptions. Brian Kelly has been using a lot of younger plays due to their talent and necessity, the offense has not skipped a beat.

Marcus Freeman gets the job done without several starters. Kyle Hamilton’s status for the rest of the season remains in doubt, but right before the Virginia game the Irish lost captains Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Drew White. Yes, the Cavaliers were without star quarterback Brennan Armstrong, but their offense consists of 10 other players and Notre Dame absolutely dominated.

The Fighting Irish held Virginia to 3-points and tallied 7 sacks.

Head-to-Head Matchups:

Notre Dame Offense vs. Georgia Tech Defense: Notre Dame is averaging 32-points per game, while Georgia Tech is allowing 30-points per contest. Tommy Rees and the Irish scored 28-points on the road last week and it could have been even more if they wanted to keep their foot on the gas.

The Yellow Jackets gave up 31-points last week to Boston College. Notre Dame has the clear advantage in this matchup.

Advantage: Notre Dame

Georgia Tech Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense: The Yellow Jackets are averaging 29-points per matchup, while the Irish are surrendering 21-points per game. Geoff Collins has lost four straight games and it is uncertain which quarterback will be starting in South Bend this weekend.

On the other side of the ball, Marcus Freeman’s unit has not allowed a touchdown in the last two games.

Advantage: Notre Dame

Special Teams: The Georgia Tech kicking game is headlined by Brent Cimaglia, who is 11 for 15 this year with a long of 37-yards. Conversely, Jonathan Doerer is 13 for 17 with a long of 51-yards.

The Irish have played great on special teams this fall and have the superior athletes in this category.

Advantage: Notre Dame

My Prediction:

Since 2017, I have been beyond impressed with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With the ups and downs of college football, Brian Kelly just continues to win. Yes, he has not brought a national title to South Bend, but the consistency of the program the last five seasons is only matched by a select few programs.

Notre Dame is superior to Georgia Tech on both sides of the football, and I expect them to take over again this week. It is crazy to think, the Irish Defense has not allowed a touchdown since North Carolina.

I predict the Fighting Irish to win this game by several scores and it just depends on how many points they want to put up in the second half.

Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Georgia Tech 13

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