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Predictions: Nevada at Notre Dame

| Friday, September 9, 2016

Notre Dame senior defensive lineman Isaac Rochell fights in the trenches during the 50-47 loss to Texas on Sunday.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Notre Dame senior defensive lineman Isaac Rochell fights in the trenches during the 50-47 loss to Texas on Sunday.

Alex Carson, Assistant Managing Editor

So, last week’s game happened.

When DeShone Kizer was on the field, the Irish offense looked great, so there shouldn’t be too much concern from Irish fans about the unit’s ability to put up points this week against the Wolf Pack. The real concern is whether or not the defense is able to handle anyone after surrendering 37 regulation points to Texas on Sunday.

But while Nevada will offer a better test for Notre Dame than Massachusetts did a year ago, the Wolf Pack aren’t good enough to mount much of an upset bid. If the Irish offense had 10 meaningful possessions, it could easily score on nine of those.

Notre Dame should be well ahead at halftime in a comfortable win, but don’t be shocked when Nevada comes through with a back-door cover.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 52, Nevada 28

Zach Klonsinski, Assistant Managing Editor

Consider my faith in the Notre Dame defense shaken.

Do I think it’s going to concede 37 points to Nevada on Saturday? The same Nevada team that barely squeaked by with 30 points against Cal Poly last weekend?

No. Theoretically Notre Dame plays angry after last weekend, too.

While Brian Kelly has said he’s going to drag the quarterback battle out another week, Notre Dame’s offense should be able to return to its second-half form against an inferior defense. Expect a lot of DeShone Kizer until the game’s in hand.

How the Irish respond will show us how much stock to put in this team. Anything less than a dominant performance should be worrisome for Irish fans everywhere.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 45, Nevada 24

Marek Mazurek, Sports Editor

Notre Dame clearly did not play to the level of its talent last week in Austin.

Missed tackles and blown coverages plauged a young defense and then came the increasingly customary calls for Brian VanGorder’s head.

This week, the Irish will win, but it’s going to be boring compared to last week’s drama. The Irish offense will grab a lead early and then they’ll sputter in the second half when the game is already out of reach. Nevada may get some garbage-time points, but Notre Dame will get back on track and the young defense will get a much-needed shot of confidence.

Look for the Irish to improve on the little things like, you know, guarding recievers and such.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 35, Nevada 24

Ben Padanilam, Associate Sports Editor

After its loss to Texas, Notre Dame made very clear that it has a lot of potential but isn’t quite there yet as a contending team.

Fortunately for the Irish, they get a chance to fix those problems against a Nevada team that’s coming off a game that saw it just get by Cal Poly in overtime.

That’s not to say the Irish should take the Wolf Pack lightly because, frankly, they’re in no position to take anyone lightly after a tough loss to start the season.

But I doubt that will be the case for Notre Dame anyways. They will come out ready to play, and their talent on both sides will take care of the rest.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Nevada 17

Renee Griffin, Sports Writer

The second half at Texas proved Notre Dame is capable of fulfilling the expectations set for its offense this year. The first half proved its defense was as vulnerable as many feared; it also proved that whatever two-QB system Brian Kelly envisioned for Week 1 was not sustainable.

Fortunately, Nevada is not nearly as well-positioned as the Longhorns were to take advantage of Irish weaknesses and stage an upset.

Notre Dame’s defense will fare much better against a middling Wolf Pack offense than it did against a high-tempo and fiery Texas, especially if defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder adjusts for last week’s struggles. DeShone Kizer and company shouldn’t have any problems scoring, either.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Nevada 20

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