Mid-term week, three consecutive prime-time games versus a ranked opponent and fatigue could all be valid reasons why Notre Dame fell to the outmatched Louisville Cardinals. However, that would hold true if the defense hadn’t shut down the Cardinals’ offense for much of the game. Louisville managed to score just seven points by halftime. In the second half, the Cardinals scored nine points on drives of 7, -4, and 8 yards, respectively. In all, the Irish defense surrendered just 330 total yards of total offense. Clearly, the defense wasn’t the problem on Saturday night. Instead, questions surrounded the offense with the offensive play calling and execution in particular.
Notre Dame’s offense managed just 20 points against Louisville, averaging 18.3 points in its last three games. The offense barely used any motion or creativity pre-snap, which left it so predictable that Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade could have seen the plays before they transpired, especially on the 3rd and short situations. Notre Dame converted 3-of-13 third-down attempts. The Irish also struggled to run the ball. The offensive line sometimes seemed overwhelmed, allowing the defenders to cause havoc in the backfield. The running back platoon finished with a second-rate 56 rushing yards. The passing game wasn’t much better, as a tight end and a walk-on wide receiver led the team in receiving yards.
TE Kevin Bauman and DE Aiden Gobaira are out for the season (ACL). WR KK Smith is out indefinitely (shoulder). WR Matt Salerno is out indefinitely (leg). WR Deion Colzie has a tentative return date of October 28th (knee).
WR Zachariah Branch and DL Korey Foreman are questionable (undisclosed). CB Domani Jackson is questionable (head).
Notre Dame Betting Trends
- USC is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games.
- The total has gone over in 13 of USC’s last 14 games.
- Notre Dame is 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight games.
- Notre Dame is 48-37-5 all-time against USC
Line (Point Sread) and Total
#10 USC (6-0) (2-4 ATS) at #21 Notre Dame -2 (5-2) (4-2 ATS)
Notre Dame will be playing its fourth-consecutive night game against a ranked opponent in USC this weekend. Luckily for the Irish offense, it will face a USC defense that ranks 109th out of 130 teams in total defense. Last week, it took the Trojans three overtimes to defeat Arizona, 43-41. The Wildcats’ offense racked up a whopping 506 yards and controlled the time of possession by 11 minutes. USC quarterback Caleb Williams was held to 219 yards passing on 14 completions.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s college football playoff hopes were given away at Louisville, 33-20. Notre Dame managed just 298 yards of total offense. Irish running back Audric Estime finished with 10 carries for 20 yards. Notre Dame’s defense held on for as long as it could with little help as the Irish offense coughed the ball up five times, including two fumbles and three interceptions. Notre Dame linebacker JD Bertrand tallied nine tackles, one sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss.
USC opened at -1 before the line moved to favor Notre Dame at -2. The total dropped from 62.5 to 60.5. This week, Irish offensive coordinator Gerad Parker could be coaching for his coordinating career at Notre Dame if the offensive struggles continue. The book appears to be begging bettors to take USC here with this line. Pick: Notre Dame
Behind Enemy Lines Week 7:
PICKS-Win/Loss on the year: 19-26-1 ATS
Navy -3 (2-3) (1-3 ATS) at Charlotte (1-4) (3-2 ATS)
Navy earned its second stripe of the season after defeating North Texas last week, 27-24. Midshipmen running back Alex Tecza rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Charlotte was trampled by the SMU Mustangs, 34-16. SMU running back Jaylan Knighton racked up 150 yards rushing and two scores. Navy is 1-4 ATS in its last five games. The total has gone under in six of Charlotte’s previous eight games. Navy is firm at -3 across the board, with the total coming in at 45. Pick: Navy
Norfolk State (2-3) (0-0 ATS) at Tennessee State N/A (3-2) (0-0 ATS)
Tennessee State defeated Kennesaw State 27-20.
NC State (4-2) (2-3 ATS) at #17 Duke -3.5 (4-1) (3-1 ATS)
Duke will enter this week fresh off its bye week after losing to Notre Dame the week prior, 21-14. Blue Devils’ quarterback, Riley Leonard, is listed as day-to-day. NC State survived a close one against Marshall, 48-41. Wolfpack quarterback MJ Morris started his first game of the season. He passed for 265 yards and four touchdowns, including three interceptions. NC State is 3-12-1 ATS in its last 16 games. The total has gone under in four of Duke’s previous six games against NC State. Duke is hovering around -3.5, with the total falling one point to 46.5. Pick: Duke
Akron (1-5) (2-4 ATS) at Central Michigan -11 (3-3) (3-3 ATS)
Last week, Central Michigan was tossed in the air like a rodeo clown by the Buffalo Bulls, 37-13. The Chippewas turned the ball over five times, including one fumble and three interceptions. The Akron Zips were chewed up and spit out by the Northern Illinois Huskies, 55-14. Akron possessed the ball nearly 13 minutes longer than NIL but only amassed 253 yards of total offense. Akron is 1-4 ATS in its last five games. In five of CMU’s last six games against Akron, the total has gone under. The line dropped two spots to -11, and the total dropped four points to 45. Pick: Central Michigan
#3 Ohio State -19.5 (5-0) (1-2-1 ATS) at Purdue (2-4) (2-4 ATS)
Ohio State protected its house against Maryland, 37-17. The Buckeyes defense limited Terrapins’ quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa, to 196 yards passing. Purdue lost its fistfight in Iowa, 20-14. The Boilermakers were held to 96 rushing yards. The total has gone under in four of OSU’s last five games. Purdue is 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games. The line is firm at 19.5, and the total fell to 49.5. Pick: Ohio State
#14 Louisville -7.5 (6-0) (2-2-1 ATS) at Pittsburgh (1-4) (0-4 ATS)
The Cardinals won their biggest game of the year last week after defeating Notre Dame 33-20. Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers suffered their fourth loss of the season at Virginia Tech two weeks ago, 38-21. UL is 2-6-1 in its last nine games versus Pitt. The total has gone over in eight of Pitt’s last nine games. UL opened at -9.5 before dropping to -7.5. The total also fell a couple of spots to 46. Pick: Pitt
Clemson (4-2) (2-3 ATS) – Bye week
The Tigers squeaked by Wake Forest last week, 17-12. Wake Forest was held to 239 yards of total offense. Next game: at #25 Miami
Wake Forest (3-2) (2-2 ATS) at Virginia Tech -1.5 (2-4) (3-3 ATS)
Wake Forest lost a slugfest at Clemson, 17-12. The Demon Deacons limited the Tigers to 338 yards of offense, including two lost fumbles, but it wasn’t enough. Virginia Tech was speared by the Seminoles, 39-17. The Hokies rushed for 209 yards worth of empty calories. The total has gone under in 10 of WF’s last 14 games. VT is 4-2 ATS in its last six October games. VT is -1.5 across the board. The total is sitting at 48. Pick: Virginia Tech
Stanford (1-4) (2-2 ATS) at Colorado -11 (4-2) (3-2-1 ATS)
Oregon embarrassed Stanford at home two weeks ago, 42-6. The Cardinal was limited to 222 yards of total offense. Colorado added its fourth win of the season by defeating Arizona State 27-24. Buffalos’ kicker, Alejandro Mata, kicked a 43-yard field goal to seal the victory. Colorado opened at -8 before climbing to -11. The total fell drastically from 64.5 to 59. Stanford is 2-0 ATS in its last 11 games. The total has gone under in five of CU’s last six games against Stanford. Pick: Colorado
*Notre Dame’s 2023 opponents are listed in bold.