Frankie V’s Prediction: Can Notre Dame Make Another Playoff Statement?

Notre Dame is playing their best football at the best time. As we head into the regular-season finale, the Irish are an ascending team with their playoff hopes firmly alive, sitting at #6 in the current rankings. While some things still need to break Notre Dame’s way, a return to the playoffs looks very possible. Standing in their way is rival Stanford, who limps into this game, a shell of their recent former self and looking more and more like the doormat we all had grown accustomed to before Jim Harbaugh. Will the Irish be able to take advantage of another bad opponent and deliver a message to the committee?

What Worries Me This Week

Another Oregon performance from Stanford

The only thing that concerns me this week is Stanford channeling whatever they found against Oregon to upset the Ducks earlier this season again tonight. Otherwise, there isn’t much the Cardinal does that is worrisome. While Notre Dame is trending up, Stanford is trending down. Very, very down. Since upsetting Oregon, they’ve lost six straight games and have only scored 45 points in their last four games.

Stanford’s formerly stout defense has been a sieve the last month, giving up 52 points to Utah and then 41 last week to a very meh Cal team. Their vaunted rushing offense? Vanished Their leading rushing on the season, Nathaniel Peat has just 401 yards heading into tonight. You read that right. 401 yards.

This is by far the worst Stanford team that Brian Kelly has faced during this time at Notre Dame yet Stanford still somehow managed to beat Oregon this season. So, there is some talent on the Stanford roster.

What Doesn’t Worry Me This Week

Stanford’s lack of a pass rush

Stanford doesn’t blitz a whole lot, and when they do, they aren’t overly effective. Stephen Herron leads Stanford in sacks this season. He has 3.0 on the season. Rylie Mills had three sacks against Virginia for Notre Dame. The one way for Stanford to slow down the Irish offense is to pressure Jack Coan, and they have not shown the ability to do that to an opponent all season long. As a team, Stanford has 14.0 sacks on the season. Notre Dame has 37.0

If Stanford gives Coan time to pass tonight, the Irish offense should match up and down the field just like we saw a week ago against Georgia Tech.

Stanford’s running game

It wasn’t long ago that Stanford had a great running game procuring backs like Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. This Stanford team is not like that at all. I already mentioned how their leading rushing has just 401 yards on the season. Stanford would need to limit Notre Dame’s possessions and play some ball control offense to beat Notte Dame. They aren’t built to do that. They are a much more pass-happy offense than we’re used to seeing. Even with the injuries to the back end of the Irish defense, that shouldn’t concern Notre Dame fans this week.

Players to Watch This Week

Chris Tyree – We saw a little more of him last week, and this feels like the perfect time for the Tyree breakout game we’ve been waiting for all year after seeing him break off long run after long run in 2020.

Isaiah Foskey – He had his breakout game at the Farm in 2019 and should have another big night tonight unless Stanford doubles him every play as Virginia did.

Jordan Botelho – Jack Kiser should be available to play today, but we still might see more of Botelho at linebacker tonight.

Kyren Williams – This could be his final regular-season game in an Irish uniform. He needs just 72 yards to top 1000 yards on the season. He’ll have that by half-time.

Lorenzo Styles – It looked like Styles might be a focal point of the offense in the second half of the season, but it’s been a relatively quiet few weeks for the freshman. Maybe that changes tonight.

Jack Coan – Coan thrives when he has time to pass the ball, and Stanford rarely blitzes. That could make for a great night at the office for Coan in his final regular-season game with the Irish.

Ramon Henderson – After a breakout against Virginia, he had a quiet afternoon while the Irish shut down Georgia Tech. Playing in his home state, I think we’ll see more of him this week.

Prediction Time

Stanford is a bad football team. We’ve covered this by this point. The only worry this week is if the Cardinal catches lightning in a bottle for a second time this season and takes down another top-10 team as they did Oregon. Well, lighting doesn’t strike twice. Notre Dame is playing great football right now, and they are just starting to peak. Last week was the most complete performance we’ve seen from Notre Dame all year long, and I expect them to build on it and look better this week. The Irish defense continues its streak of not allowing a touchdown and makes it a perfect November. Will another rout of a lousy team be enough to win over the playoff committee? Who knows. An 11 win season during a transition year should have every Notre Dame fan happy, though.

Notre Dame 45-9

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  1. An 11-1 Notre Dame squad has earned a major bowl bid with an outside shot at a top four playoff bid. The team improved a lot in the second half of the season and should have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons.

    On Tuesday night, here is the rankings I believe the playoff committee will release to the public:
    1. Georgia
    2. Michigan
    3. Alabama
    4. Cincinnati
    5. Oklahoma State
    6. Notre Dame
    7. Ohio State
    8. Baylor

    I said last night that Alabama shouldn’t be a top four team based on the last month and a poor resume. The last month’s results were 20-14 home victory over a 6-6 LSU team. A 50 point victory over a Division II team, 42-35 home victory over a 4 loss Arkansas team. Then a 4 OT away victory over a 6 loss Auburn team with a horrible QB. These results are heavily unimpressive. I know those on this message board would be voicing their displeasure if Notre Dame had the same results against the same teams that Alabama played.

    If I had a vote, then here is what I would have:

    1. Georgia
    2. Michigan
    3. Cincinnati
    4. Oklahoma State
    5. Alabama
    6. Notre Dame

    If Notre Dame had a stronger resume or if certain teams had a better season that ND played/beat, then ND would have ever right to be ahead of Alabama. History can only take you far enough till you have to ask questions.

    1. Since it matters not what either of us has to say, this is what it should be on Tuesday night, Ga, Cincy, Mich, Ala, ND, Okl St.
      But after Mich loses to Iowa, Ala loses to Ga, Ok St just gets past Baylor final top four will be Ga, Cin, ND, OkSt. Now to make the dream a reality, all we need is a mobile QB who can also pass.

      1. Ok St. > ND. Not likely good enough to emerge the champion, but if it beats Baylor, they have certainly earned a playoff spot.

        Cincy will not have played NEARLY as tough a schedule as OSU, but it received early recognition — and still excessive credit — for beating an overrated ND on the road.
        But the voters locked-in that error a while back.

        Thus, my rank as of today: 1 Georgia, 2 Ok St. 3 Cincy, 4 Alabama
        The SEC championship will obviously change this.

        With only 4 spots available in a very flawed system, ND has NOT earned a shot at becoming National Champion in 2021.
        A major bowl seems a just reward, and a competitive game much more likely.

      1. If I recall, Rhonda used to have intense fantasies about Mike Tomlin, the only other football coach as over-rated as BK. I guess Rhonda is into bug eyes and Affirmative Action hand outs.

        Happy Kwanza to you brother “david”!

  2. The BK game clock shit show goes on and on and on….!

    This is an over-rated 11-1 team as you will ever find. They can’t run the ball. They can’t cover. The STs suck. The coaches are full of themselves.

    They will be totally exposed on Jan. 1!

    1. ND is what it is because its fans don’t expect or demand any more.
      Today was the most exciting day of college football in years….and Notre Dame had nothing to do with it.

      1. And this site proves you’re right week in and week out. The excuse-making for mediocrity and BK is nauseating. But that’s what you get around here, as you have come to know well.

        We’ll no doubt hear from the pie-in-the-sky folks about what a dominating win this was. It wasn’t! A truly great team beats Stanford by fifty going away and playing backups all the 4th quarter. ND needs a last minute TD to barely crack forty and gives up three TDs (I’m counting that one called back on a BS penalty on Stanford).

        This isn’t a true top 5 team, even by this season’s standards. No way, no how….

        Regardless, GO IRISH!

      2. SFR: ND is 11-1 because this year’s opponents turned out to be an utter shit list.
        FSU, Wisconsin, USC, Stanford, Virgina sans QB, ….almost half the season was garbage games.

        Purdue, UNC, FSU, Navy….THAT’s the “bones” of a resume to go against an SEC rep in the playoff?? Seriously ?!

        Just one genuinely solid opponent…Cincinnati.
        You’ll never guess how it turned out.

  3. ND playing itself right out of any PO consideration with this no-style-points win over a bad Stanford team.

    This isn’t a top 5 team. ND is smoke and mirrors. They have had a soft schedule. They haven’t beaten anyone worth a darn, and lost to the only good team they played. Wisconsin isn’t good. Heck, Purdue is probably the best W of the season, and that was a close one.

    the ND D is soft, especially the pass D. The O is unexplosive with Coan.

    ND will not make the POs. My concern is that they will get killed by any of the top 10 teams they face on Jan. 1

    1. style points matter. oklahoma state beat a team by 4 and move up two spots. notre dame beat a team by 31 and dropped one spot. for this team to go 11-1 kelly should be coach.

  4. And the start of the second half proves this team isn’t a top 5 team!

    What a joke this team is. The O line is putrid. Can’t run against one of the worse rushing Ds in the country! Coan is just so mediocre it’s painful to watch. The D is soft. It’s played no one in Nov.

    This team will hold on to win this game and then limp into a Jan. 1 beat down by tOSU, OK, OK St., etc.

      1. You’re right Rob about the sarcasm. I want Notre Dame to play the best possible team in a bowl game so Kelly is forced two coaches ass off or get exposed.

      2. Jeff, here’s a …less narrowed down… version of your sarcasm:
        “I would love to see a [Top 10 team name here] vs ND bowl game”.

  5. The problem is now ND might get killed by tOSU or OK or OK St. in a Jan. 1 bowl.

    ND needs to call its shot as far as a bowl game. There are teams that would expose ND’s D. They include almost any of the top 15! ND needs to find a team they can keep up with. Wake’s D is not great. I think ND might be able to score enough to beat the Demon Deacons (whatever that is!).

    I just don’t like this team’s running game or pass D.

  6. Hardly a statement made. The O line getting no push in the running game. The D has not been dominant. A bogus penalty saved the D’s ass after a bonehead penalty by Bauer. What Bauer did was inexcusable! Bumblett gets off a usual shitty punt. Almost cost the Irish. I’m so glad he’s leaving!

    This team just is uninspiring even winning a “game” like this. They need to put up at least fifty and give up no more than 3 or 7. I’m not sure even Frankie V’s prediction is impressive enough. Not that I want or think that this team belongs in the POs, mind you.

    Is there any doubt tOSU would be up by fifty at the half against these bums?!

  7. Notre Dame has only played nobody’s and should not make the final four regardless of how they play Stanford. It’s easy to get a good win-loss ratio when playing nobody’s. But some ND fans are gluttons for punishment and enjoy seeing their team get crushed in a playoff they don’t belong in . Go figure.

  8. If your season is on the line having to execute MULTIPLE 2 point plays in OT, who would you rather have been coached by all year:
    Nick Saban?
    Or Brian Kelly?

    Trick question. Kelly would never have even made the game close, let alone gotten to OT.

    1. If Auburn had a QB, an average QB, then Auburn wins that game by three touchdowns.

      Alabama is not a top 4 team. They have been a disgrace the last month of the season. They should be out of the top 4 if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma.

      1. I agree, but Bama under Saban has earned the benefit of the doubt.

        That’s exactly what ND under BK hasn’t earned. The opposite, in fact.

        A two-loss Bama team will make it in over a one loss ND team every time!

      2. …and if your uncle simply declared it, he’d be your aunt.
        (I update the orginal saying for our woke time)

  9. OSU Beavers just experienced losing via a “Brian Kelly Special”.
    With 10 minutes left in the 3rd Qtr, they chased 2 points and failed.
    25 minutes left in the game. Utterly mindless.

    And after a physical, emotional, even vicious rally as time was winding down, OSU was left 1 point short of having at least a puncher’s chance to tie via an onside kick .
    Coach Smith is only in his 4th year as a head coach…so he’ll probably learn from it.
    Unlike, say, a guy who’s “been at this now for 94 years”.

  10. Expect the trees to come out w/ their leaves on fire.
    ND may come out flat.
    ND wins on a late score 28-24.

    Still wouldn’t be surprised if Cinci is out on loss to Houston, Bama is out on big loss to GA and possibly Auburn.
    ND Will sneak in to #4 position and face Georgia even after a lame performance tonight!

  11. As of now, if the results hold, then Georgia, Michigan, and Cincinnati are in the playoffs. I imagine that Oklahoma State jumps Notre Dame if both Oklahoma State and ND win tonight. That would put Oklahoma State at #4.

    If Notre Dame wants to get in the playoffs, then Michigan needs to lose next Saturday and Georgia needs to beat Alabama. I think the Big XII winner gets in, even Baylor, with two losses, gets in over Notre Dame. A 1-2 loss Alabama team gets in with an SEC Title win over Georgia. Though Alabama beating Georgia next week doesn’t looks likely. Notre Dame beating Georgia is very unlikely too if ND played Georgia in the playoffs.

    1. This season, ND has played almost no one, and beaten exactly no one, that would support it being chosen for the playoff.
      And for ND to take the place of a team that has would be twice as wrong.

  12. The Fighting Jurkovecs lose to Wake 41-10

    Jurkovec goes 3 for 11, 19 yds, 1 TD, and 2 INTs

    To put that into perspective: Army’s QB, Jabari Lewis went 9 for 11, 140 yds, and 3 TDs (0 INTs) against the same Wake defense in a 70-56 lose.

    If things go bad for ND tonight, where the QBs are not producing, then spare us the Jurkovec would be doing better post. Jurkovec is clearly an inferior QB.

    1. Jim Harbough, who has been on the verge of being fired for the past 4 seasons, just won his 3rd game agianst Top 10 programs in his 7 seasons at Michigan.

      Brian Kelly, now a ND “legendary coach”, has 4 such wins. In 12 seasons.

      Maybe that tidbit deserves a bit more discussion on this board, moreso than burn booking a pretty
      good kid who wanted to play for ND.

  13. Great day for football in Palo Alto, Ca. Game time temperature will be 65 with 5mph winds. I usually make the 3 hour drive North for this game but this matchup is not what it used to be. Notre Dame should win this one easily. 35-14

    1. Going by the W-L records of opponents, ND should win many of its games easiliy.
      Last week was a very rare example of it actually happening.

      If you haven’t already, Google Saban’s fan rant this week…some sage warnings in there that could apply to this game….from a great coach who knows better than to sleepwalk into such traps like an idiot.

  14. Master Burgundy makes an excellent point. Super job Frank.

    I’m pulling for another day without an opposition TD. Regardless of playoff outcome, the future looks bright for this program.

    1. Seriously!?!
      Anyone with a brian should know better ths to use the term ‘master’!! Rhonda’s ancestors probably lived through unspeakable experiences as plantation slaves.
      C’mn man!

      1. Sorry, mate. Just some site satire.
        Ol’ Rhonda claimed to be black last week.
        She’s just a gobshite cracker.

    1. Lies have convinced Americans that fantasies are fact in many things. Why not this?

      Hit the roof lights on Grace Hall !
      Georgia used NFL players!
      tOSU injects steroids labelled as vaccines!
      There is no such city as “Cincinnati”!

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