It didn’t go the way many of us would have liked it to last week, but the season rolls on. Up next, the Irish travel to Virginia Tech to take on the Hokies in a raucous night environment. This contest won’t be easy by any means, as VT was once ranked before losing on the road to West Virginia in their third game. They rebounded two weeks ago beating Richmond, but not very convincingly, 21-10. The bye week bodes well for the Hokies but the Irish are hungry after the loss to the Bearcats. Here are five bold predictions for the Irish on Saturday night.
Isaiah Foskey brings down Braxton Burmeister twice
Sep 18, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey (7) celebrates after a sack in the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Foskey has been absolutely awesome so far this fall and Saturday night will be no different. He’s been living in the opponents backfield and will do the same against the Hokies. The team leader in sacks with 4.5 will continue his breakout season. Burmeister has been sacked 10 times in just four games and the Irish defense end will be hunting for the VT quarterback all night.
Braden Lenzy goes over 100 yards and scores twice
Someone is going to have to step in this group and Lenzy is going to be the guy. A very good performance against Cincinnati, his first score of the year has his confidence booming. With Michael Mayer dinged up and Joe Wilkins out for the year, Lenzy will get many more targets. He’s going to produce with the extra opportunities and have a very impressive
Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Braden Lenzy (0) catches a touchdown pass as Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) defends in the second half of the NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. Cincinnati Bearcats defeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish 24-13.Cincinnati Bearcats At Notre Dame Fighting Irish 218
Kyle Hamilton picks off Burmeister
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton (14) plays against Purdue during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 27-13. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
This will be a direct correlation with Foskey’s terrorizing of Burmeister, he’s going to have to speed up his reads and going to make a mistake. Hamilton will be the benefactor of that mistake. The All-American candidate had a very quiet game against Cincinnati but will have a loud one against the Hokies. Not only will he pick off a pass but he’ll register 8 tackles, against showing everyone why he’s going to be a first day selection in this coming NFL Draft.
Jack Coan struggles, but Drew Pyne saves the day
Sep 25, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne (10) looks to pass against the Wisconsin Badgers during their football game Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Mandatory Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like a broken record now, but Brian Kelly seems determined to give his senior transfer Coan the benefit of the doubt. He struggled mightily in the first half last week and didn’t see the field in the second half. Pyne helped the Irish win the second half, but the hole dug was too deep to get out of. Coan should get the start, but the Hokie defense is on par with Cincinnati’s. He’ll struggle again, and Kelly won’t bring in Tyler Buchner, it’s just too obvious that he’s going to run the majority of the time. Pyne comes in before the half and leads the Irish offense to a very solid road victory.
The path to the College Football Playoff will play itself out
Many of us gave up hope, well that doesn’t include me. Multiple teams during the course of the CFP have made the final 4 with a loss. The Irish have a good loss but the problem currently is that their loss to Cincinnati means they might be slightly behind the Bearcats. The good news, no Group-of-5 team has ever made the CFP and it’s hard to see that changing in the near future. As long as the Irish continue to handle their own business, they’ll play themselves right back in the conversation and that’s all they can hope for right now.