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Looking Ahead: Irish Opponents in Week Four

The Irish strength of schedule took a small hit, as ND's opponents struggled during week 4.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Irish Schedule Opponent Score Season Record
Texas Longhorns Oklahoma State Cowboys L 30-27 1-3
Virginia Cavaliers Boise State Broncos L 56-14 1-3
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @Duke Blue Devils L 34-20 2-2
UMass Minutemen @Notre Dame Fighting Irish L 62-27 0-3
Clemson Tigers Open Date N/A 3-0
Navy Midshipmen @UConn Huskies W 28-18 3-0
Southern Cal Trojans @Arizona State Sun Devils W 42-14 3-1
Temple Owls Open Date N/A 3-0
Pittsburgh Panthers Open Date N/A 2-1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Indiana Hoosiers L 31-24 2-2
Boston College Eagles Northern Illinois Huskies W 17-14 3-1
Stanford Cardinal @Oregon State Beavers W 42-24 3-1

Irish Opponent Week 4 Record: 4-5   Irish Opponent Season Record: 26-17

Irish opponents had a tough week four going just 4-5, but none had a more frustrating loss than Texas. For the second week in a row, a special teams gaffe led to a Horns loss down the stretch. With less than a minute on the clock and the game tied at 27, Texas punter Michael Dickson fumbled a snap deep in UT territory, and could only recover to punt the ball ten yards giving Oklahoma State excellent field position. Cowboys kicker Ben Grogan knocked in a 40 yard FG with six seconds left to give the Cowboys the win. The Texas offense took a step back this week, but the Horns defense looked much improved scoring two TDs on a pick-six and strip sack.Texas has another tough test as they travel to TCU next week. UVA lost to another difficult OOC opponent in Boise State at home Friday night. The Hoos offense struggled going for fewer than 300 yards, and had five turnovers. The defense wasn't much better, but had to frequently defend short fields due to the turnovers. The Cavaliers will open conference play on the road next week against future Irish opponent Pittsburgh.

Last week's opponent Georgia Tech struggled in their ACC opener, falling 34-20 at Duke. The broadcast mentioned the Duke staff using lots of tape from ND's defense against the Yellow Jackets, and they must have found something as the Blue Devils D held GT to under 200 yards rushing. Tech QB Justin Thomas struggled as a passer throwing for just 143 yards with a 6-21 line. Georgia Tech also allowed a kickoff return TD immediately after scoring a TD of their own that cut Duke's lead to six in the third quarter. The Jackets will host UNC in Atlanta next week. Navy was one of the few Irish opponents to pick up a win on Saturday when they knocked off Bob Diaco's UConn Huskies in Stoors. The Midshipmen triple option offense racked up over 300 yards on the ground, and added a TD through the air from QB Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds had three scores rushing against UConn, and needs just four more to tie Wisconsin RB Montee Ball's career rushing TD record of 77. Navy hosts Air Force next Saturday before travelling to South Bend the following weekend. Southern Cal blew out Arizona State on the road late last night in Tempe. The Trojans jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but he Sun Devils had a chance to get on the board just before halftime. With less than thirty seconds in the half, Sun Devils QB Mike Bercovici fumbled at the USC five yard line, and the ball was returned 94 yards for Trojan TD. ASU then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and allowed Southern Cal to score another touchdown right before halftime making the deficit 35-0. Cody Kessler had another strong game for the Trojans racking up 375 passing yards and five TDs, two of which went to Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster. The Trojans host Washington in the Coliseum next weekend.

Wake Forest lost a close game at home against undefeated (yes, undefeated) Indiana. Deacons QB Kendall Hinton struggled against the Hoosier defense. He managed to rack up 245 passing yards, and throw for a score, but had an INT and was under 50% passing (19/46). He was also largely ineffective as a runner needing 22 carries to reach 57 yards rushing. The Wake Forest defense could do little to stop IU's Jordan Howard who went for 168 yards and a TD on 33 carries. The Deacons host Florida State next week. Boston College continues to struggle on offense, but did enough to beat NIU 17-14. The Eagles failed to crack 100 yards passing as QB Troy Flutie went 5/11 for 92 yards with TD and one INT. The Eagles did rack up 234 rushing yards, but did so at just 3.7 YPC. Their defense was exceptional, however, and held the Huskies to just 153 total yards. The Eagles travel to Wallace Wade Stadium to face a tough Duke team next week. Lastly, Stanford had few problems with Oregon State Friday night in Corvallis. The Beavers defense did little to slow down the Stanford rushing attack as Christan McCaffery had over 200 yards on the ground, and Barry Sanders finished just shy of 100. QB Kevin Hogan didn't need to throw much, but was a solid 9/14 for 163 yards with two TDs and one pick. Oregon State struggled running the ball against Stanford, but Beavers QB Seth Collins found some success passing against the Cardinal defense. He threw for 275 yards on 20/36 passing with no INTs, but had just one TD. The Cardinal hosts Arizona next week.