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Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech

, , , , and | Friday, November 19, 2021

Notre Dame has two games left to impress the College Football Playoff Committee. Members of the Observer Sports Staff sat down to give their picks for the Irish’s home finale against Georgia Tech.

Aidan Thomas – Associate Sports Editor

Honestly, these last two games on the Irish schedule feel more ceremonial than anything. The Irish need to go out and dominate both Georgia Tech and Stanford. They should be able to and then Irish fans can root for some chaos to crack the CFP field. That being said, Georgia Tech is a tough team to blow out. They’ve lost six of their seven games this year by 9 or fewer points, and they feel like a team on the brink of success, despite a four-game losing streak.

With little to play for, I expect them to treat this opportunity in Notre Dame Stadium as their Super Bowl for the 2021 season and attempt to spoil the Irish’s Senior Day. Jahmyr Gibbs is a special talent and one that could give Notre Dame some major troubles. However, the Irish defense is playing their best football of the season, and the offense has continued to improve. I think this one could be close for a little bit, but ultimately Notre Dame pulls away late in the first half or early in the second.

Notre Dame 37, Georgia Tech 17 

Nate Moller – Sports Writer

After dismantling a respectable Virginia team, the Irish will travel back home to South Bend. They’ll have a Senior Day matchup against a 3-7 Georgia Tech squad that has struggled mightily all season. Despite these struggles, the Yellow Jackets have been able to keep games relatively close most of the year behind an offense that averages nearly 30 points a game. This offensive success has been led mostly by running back Jahmyr Gibbs who has rushed for nearly 700 yards and tallied nearly 500 receiving yards on the season.

I expect Gibbs and the Yellow Jackets to give the Irish some issues early on, but the Yellow Jackets are a bit banged up at the quarterback position and offensive line, and I expect the Irish defense to exploit these injuries. On the other side of the ball, the improved Irish offense should be able to find enough success to pull away in the second half of this one against a Yellow Jacket defense that surrendered over 500 yards to Boston College last week.

Notre Dame 44 Georgia Tech 20

Mannion McGinley – Sports Editor

The Irish will take on Georgia Tech for this year’s final home game as they celebrate this year’s Senior Day. With a weak offensive line right now and a questionable quarterback situation, Georgia Tech has come up with a 3-7 record on the year. Because of that, the Irish need to run away with this game. The Navy game was a showcase for Notre Dame’s run defense and was followed by a definitive win over Virginia. This game should be a cakewalk.

The only force the Yellow Jackets have that may outwit the Irish will be Jahmyr Gibbs. His capability can only go as far as his teammates can create around him. So with weaknesses in the line and confusion at QB as he tries to face off with Kurt Hinish, Jayson Ademilola and the rest of the Irish defensive line, Gibbs will have some trouble. The Irish offense really has found its pace over the last three weeks. They’ll be able to keep that momentum this week, without a doubt. There should be a distinct lead throughout the game so long as the Irish get off on the right foot.

Notre Dame 42, Georgia Tech 13

Jimmy Ward – Associate Sports Editor

The last two games remaining on Notre Dame’s schedule figure to be pretty easy ones. The Irish will host a Georgia Tech that hasn’t been able to find their bearings all year. Dare I also mention the Irish have won 23 consecutive regular-season games against ACC opponents. There is a reason Notre Dame remains an Independent so they are able to play teams like USC and Stanford. But with the only two opponents remaining on the Irish schedule looking weak and with the Irish outside looking in on the playoff picture, it begs the question of whether the strength of the Irish schedule is viable on a year-to-year basis. That further comes into question if the CFP remains in the current format. Phil Jurkovec shredded the Georgia Tech defense last week. I think on Senior Day in front of faithful Irish fans, Jack Coan and company will do the same.

Notre Dame 42, Georgia Tech 21

Emily DeFazio – Associate Sports Editor

With all the buzz surrounding CFP rankings, if Notre Dame wants a chance at making the playoffs, they will need to dominate this Georgia Tech team. They cannot simply win; they must blow their competition out of the water. There can be no close call to a 3-7 Georgia Tech that has played inconsistently all season. With a weak offensive line that has not gained its stride, it should be a fairly strong game for the Irish defense. However, regardless of their record, Georgia Tech has managed to keep games closer than they were probably expected to, which is what the Irish need to look out for. If given the chance, the Yellowjackets could give Notre Dame a run for their money. Give me a pick-six to swing the momentum in the first half and never look back.

Notre Dame 45, Georgia Tech 17

Colin Capece – Assistant Managing Editor

Let’s just start by saying it’s surreal this will be my final home game as a student. I’m a little biased, but there really is nothing like a Notre Dame football Saturday. I’ll never forget the season-opening Michigan game my freshman year, and I sure won’t forget this game against Georgia Tech. Thank you immensely to Mannion and Aidan for letting me be a part of the football beat this year. It’s been one heck of a ride at The Observer, and covering my favorite team in my senior year was a heck of a way to top it off.

On to the prediction… I think this game is going to be a lot closer than people think. Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs is no joke. He’s a true dual-threat out of the backfield and has racked up 687 yards on the ground to go along with 469 receiving yards. He might be the best back the Irish have faced all season, and linebackers J.D. Bertrand, Drew White and Jack Kizer will have to tackle in space to keep him contained. However, Notre Dame’s rushing attack has also been impressive since the team’s bye week, with Kyren Williams and Logan Diggs forming a formidable pair for opposing defenses. Georgia Tech’s run defense has been bad all year, which plays right into the hands of the Irish and their newly revamped offensive line. Notre Dame will control the time of possession in this one, forcing the Yellow Jackets to throw more than they would like in the second half. The Irish will grab a couple of turnovers in the third quarter and pull away quickly, allowing them to cruise to the finish line on Senior Day.

Notre Dame 31, Georgia Tech 21    

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About Aidan Thomas

A junior marketing and ACMS major at Notre Dame, I've countered the success I've enjoyed as a New England sports fan with the painful existence of a Notre Dame football fan.

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About Jimmy Ward

Jimmy is a senior at Holy Cross College, where he studies English and sports management. He is originally from Westfield, Indiana. Currently, Jimmy serves as an associate sports editor at The Observer. You can find him at @jimmyyward on Twitter.

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About Colin Capece

Colin is a senior at Notre Dame, majoring in political science and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He hails from the great state of New York and currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can sometimes find him on Twitter at @ColinCapeceND

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About Emily DeFazio

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About Mannion McGinley

Mannion McGinley is a junior American Studies and Sociology major with a Journalism minor. She is a member of the Glynn Family Honors program and is Sports Department Editor at The Observer.

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

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