Frankie V’s Prediction: Can Notre Dame Deliver a Blowout on Senior Day?

Notre Dame plays its final home game of the 2021 season tomorrow by hosting the 3-7 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. With a high of 45 degrees tomorrow afternoon, all the makings are there for the Irish to coast to an easy win against a bad opponent from a warm-weather area. Still, this year, there have been other times that everything was lined up for a blowout, only for the outcome to be much closer than it should have.

What Worries Me This Week

Jeff Sims having the one game where he finally puts it all together

We are still not 100% sure who will be the quarterback for Georgia Tech this weekend. Still, if it is Jeff Sims, the one way Georgia Tech can make this game interesting and annoying for Notre Dame fans is if Sims finally has his “put it all together” game. Sims has a lot of raw talent, but he has not been very good this year. Some thought he’d build on his impressive freshman season and have a breakout year, but that hasn’t happened.

We’ve seen this story before, though, haven’t we? Super athletic, talented quarterback comes into South Bend struggling but somehow manages to have the game of their life. I don’t think that will happen, but this game could get annoying in a hurry if it did.

Jahmyr Gibbs

Gibbs is Georgia Tech’s best offensive player and has the ability to have an afternoon if the Irish don’t tackle well. He leads Georgia Tech in rushing yards, receiving yards, and receptions this year. I have faith in Marcus Freeman having a plan for him, but if there’s an offensive player on Georgia Tech who has the ability to have a big game without it being a surprise, it’s Gibbs.


Please, no more. With two games left in the regular season, Notre Dame simply needs to get to the finish line with two more wins and no more significant injuries. Of course, that could mean some less aggressive play against a weak team than some fans would like, but at some positions, we’ve already reached the breaking point.

What Doesn’t Worry Me This Week

Emotions of Senior Day

This might have been a worry in the past, but Notre Dame has done a good job of not letting emotions on Senior Day lead to close calls. The Irish did start slow last year against Syracuse but ultimately won 45-21. In 2019, the Irish dispatched Boston College 40-7. In 2018, Florida State froze their way to a 42-13 beatdown. That’s 40 points or more on three straight senior days for the Irish.

The only compounding matter this year on Senior Day is whether or not it is – or isn’t – the final home game for so many seniors because of the free COVID year of eligibility.

Notre Dame’s ability to score points

Georgia Tech has a bad defense even though Geoff Collins came to Atlanta with a reputation as a defensive-minded coach. The Yellow Jacket defense still isn’t there, though. They gave up 41 points to Boston College last week, 48 to UVA a few weeks ago, and 52 to Pitt earlier this season. The Panthers had 42 points at half-time in that game.

Will this be the game Notre Dame finally puts all the pieces together on offense and has a truly dominant performance? I don’t think so. I just don’t think we’ll see one of those this year, even with two bad defenses to end the season. I still see Notre Dame scoring a lot of points and drives only ending because of Irish miscues versus Georgia Tech stopping the Irish much.

Brian Kelly channeling Lou Holtz to build up Georgia Tech

Brian Kelly channeled his inner Lou Holtz earlier this week when talking up Georgia Tech. Holtz was famous for making even winless opponents sound like the ’85 Bears each week. Kelly did that on Monday when he tried saying that this 3-7 Yellow Jacket team was actually a lot better than their record. They really aren’t. They are a 3-7 football team for a reason.

This is a team that Notre Dame should handle with relative ease this weekend.

Players to Watch This Week

  • Bo Bauer – He’s developed into Notre Dame’s best cover linebacker this season – one of the biggest surprises on defense. He will be needed to contain Gibbs this week.
  • Kyren Williams – Cherish every single Kyren Williams carry/reception/return this week, but it’s probably his last in Notre Dame Stadium unless he pulls a Travis Etienne and surprises everyone by coming back.
  • Braden Lenzy – In what could be his final home game, can we please dial up another deep shot for him like we saw in abundance at the beginning of the year?
  • Lorenzo Styles – Remember when he was becoming a focal point of the offense just a few weeks ago? Let’s get back that.
  • The Ademilola Twins – It could be their final home game – though Jayson has one year left and Justin has two. If it is, hopefully they go out with a bang.
  • Jack Coan – Coan hasn’t been the second coming of Joe Burrow as a transfer QB, but he’s been solid. In a perfect world, Notre Dame gets a big lead and lets Buchner get a ton of snaps, but the staff might also leave in Coan longer than necessary since it’s his last home game.
  • Ramon Henderson & Houston Griffith – Henderson had a monster game last week, but it’ll be interesting to see how reps are split this week since in all likelihood, this is Houston Griffith’s last game in Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Chris Tyree – We’ve barely seen him since the Virginia Tech game and the turf toe injury. It’d be nice to get a glimspe of the dynamic running back we saw last year before the season’s over.
  • Isaiah Foskey – He’s been quite the last two weeks. It feels like a big Foskey game could be coming – especially with Georgia Tech’s offense.

Prediction Time

While Georgia Tech isn’t very good, we haven’t seen the Irish just blow the doors off of anyone this year. The Wisconsin game was close until the pick-6 palooza in the fourth quarter. The Irish had just 17 points entering the fourth quarter against Navy. Last week was the closest to a true rout, with the Irish building a 21-0 half-time lead, but the 28-3 final felt closer than the game was. I’d love for Notre Dame to come out and put up a 50 burger on Senior Day, but I think we might still see them settle for some field goals and/or stall a drive because of some sort of miscue. Still, I suspect we’ll have a relatively stress-free Senior Day.

Notre Dame 41, Georgia Tech 13

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  1. It was time to see a game like this. Yes, GR is not good, but, the number of inferior teams ND played and could not dominate has been frustrating. It will be interesting to see what Diggs and Estime will be like next year along with Buchner at QB. I think the game to see would be OSU-Georgia. I am not convinced ND is a CFP team and frankly would like to see ( with a win next week) them get a NY6 bowl and then win it.

  2. Well well well…a ND blowout. Frank should have bet the farm.
    But it is the tOSU blowout that has settled the issue.

    Georgia – tOSU is now the championship game EVERYone wants and expects.
    And that’s the one game that could provide a brief respite from the onslaught of attacks on the current, increasingly fragile college football arrangement.

    Who gets to lose, likely doing so looking like the hapless Washington Generals? All things being equal, I’d like to see two programs that would be far more helped by the money and media exposure than being damaged or set back by being destroyed on the scoreboard.

    Based on that, I’d really like to see Cincinnati and OK State make it in.
    And for the same reasoning, I genuinely hope ND does not.

  3. If resumes and eye test are considered by the committee of 12 boneheads, then Alabama should not be in the top 4. I haven’t been more unimpressed with a contender. Their defense is just drifting, given up big plays left and right. I think the committee just makes up the process as they go.

  4. First to admit I was wrong about this one.

    ND has looked dominant in all phases!

    Play starters through first half. Score another TD. Keep the shut out. Then put in the backups for the second half. Unless you really want to run up the score for style points, that is.


  5. The Fighting Jurkovecs are losing badly to a 4 win Florida State team. The same Florida State team that Jack Coan had his one great performance this season. Maybe the franchise QB isn’t all what some make him out to be.

  6. Right about now would be a good time to TuneIn to the Ohio State versus Michigan State football game. Take a good look at how talented Ohio state is on the offensive side of the ball. At the end of the year they will have three receivers with over 1,000 yards receiving a running back with well over 1,000 yards rushing and a freshman quarterback with well over 4,000 yards passing. Aside from olave all of those skill-position players will be back for them next year. Notre Dame will have their work cut out for them next year when they faced Ohio State.

  7. I think ND must do whatever may be necessary to neutralize Jahmyr Gibbs, who IS Ga Tech’s offense. As far as I’m concerned, that can include squib kickoffs if Doerer can’t get them into the end zone.

  8. It’s time to win a NY6 Bowl…I don’t care if it’s a playoff game or not. If we go 10-2, we go to the Tangerine bowl against a 5 loss Iowa State team again. Our pact with the ACC is feast or famine. It’s a bad, and unfair arrangement…amongst the mountain of evidence showing that is the scheduling of bye weeks before most of our games It is nothing short of unsportsmanlike. Ditto for the officiating up until the last few games anyway. Play this game today under Black Flag rules…just to make our displeasure with the ACC’s antics crystal clear.

    BGC 77 82

    1. In playoff, ND’d probably play either tOSU or Georgia.
      Ending the season be being humilaited is a trait that ND is dangerously close to being synonomus with……
      That would seal the deal with a bow.

      A NY6 game would be hard enough, but at least offers hope.

  9. Regardless of whether G tech is or isn’t as good as there record indicates some of us on this site realize Notre Dame is most definitely NOT AS GOOD as there record indicates. But all you can do is beat the team in front of you and ND has done a pretty good job at that mostly due to a weak schedule. Poor coaching and preparation cost them an undefeated season and a playoff berth but most of us know that would be another disaster. ND would beat Cincinnati at this point in the season but kudos to the Bearcats coaching staff for preparing their team. ND on the other hand was a shitshow early on and probably should have three losses. ND finishes the season 11-2 following a blowout bowl game loss and we travel to Ohio state early in 2022 season knowing very little about what we have in Tyler Buchner. Another fine job by Brian Kelly.

    1. Hey, Jeff,

      My guess is ND struggles early as usual only to pull away late and garner yet another unimpressive win.

      MSU will drop out of PO contention by the end of the day. If the Utes upset the Ducks, then ND might find itself on the verge of a PO berth. The end result will be another embarrassment on national TV against either UGa, Bama, or tOSU.
      I don’t know what top ten team this ND team stacks up well against. I’m not sure even OU would be all that favorable. Perhaps a NY6 bowl game against MSU might be a good match up for ND.

  10. Hey Frank: If you’re in a mood to exert a little guidance and authority over the board…

    How about telling Rhonda to either give up her pointless political trolling, or take it to the Open Forum where that stuff belongs? That’s what it’s for, right?

    Her contributing anything football-related isn’t gonna happen, so I’d expect that might effectively shut her up.

  11. Disregrading the typical, smug arrogance of the headline premise…..

    In the Kelly era, no ND team has ever known how to finish off opponents.
    The only throats Brian Kelly ever stepped on are those of his own players, in post-game press conferences.

    There are very legitimate reasons to score more points, besides the obvious ensuring the win:
    players’ confidence, playing time for underclassmen, protecting and resting starters, impressing the voters.
    Quite sensible stuff.

    But with Q4 leads… with his career….Brian Kelly prefers to just quietly watch the clock run out.

    1. Pour yourself some Rittenhouse Rye, sit back and relax and celebrate the Irish and the greatest country on earth.

      1. Shtick shift alert!
        Regina George’s burn book has pibvoted to a hybrid Proud Girl trolling /unsolicited Dear Abbey column.
        Hell, anything but football, right ?!

        Pound sand, Brandon.

  12. Love Frank’s line about struggling QB’s coming to ND and looking like all-stars. ND does have an uncanny ability to make bad QB’s look like Heisman candidates. One thing I worry about ironically is feeling like this would be a rout. It should be on paper, but sometimes those are the games ND struggles in for some bizarre reason. It’s important for the team not to let their guard down. Sure, all arrows point to a pretty easy game for the Irish. But make sure they execute. If you give GT any little bit of hope they might find a way to make things click and give ND a hard time.

    I think ND would have to actually work to lose this game. But don’t let it be closer than it should be.

    1. ……Frank’s line about struggling QB’s coming to ND and looking like all-stars…..
      Yes, it’s a funny quip…but it was not coined in this article.
      It’s unfortunate that it’s not a tad more hyperbolic, and a little less true.

      1. It’s time to win a NY6 Bowl…I don’t care if it’s a playoff game or not. If we go 10-2, we go to the Tangerine bowl against a 5 loss Iowa State team again. Our pact with the ACC is feast or famine. It’s a bad, and unfair arrangement…amongst the mountain of evidence showing that is the scheduling of bye weeks before most of our games It is nothing short of unsportsmanlike. Ditto for the officiating up until the last few games anyway. Play this game today under Black Flag rules…just to make our displeasure with the ACC’s antics crystal clear.

        BGC 77 82 p p

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