The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are becoming the talk of college football after the last two weeks of play and a 5-0 record. Of course there are still plenty of doubters — and who can blame them. The simple truth is that Notre Dame still has to prove itself to us, the country, and themselves.
A really HUGE part of the proof is what happens this weekend against the Virginia Tech Hokies. As everyone knows, Notre Dame hasn’t won a road game against a ranked opponent since they beat the Temple Owls in 2015. Before that — it was the Oklahoma Sooners in 2012. So, yeah... it’s a tough stat to face, but face it we shall.
ON TO THE ANTI-PREVIEW!
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING?
There is no way to get around this... y’all got have an assignment. It shouldn’t be too hard. Everyone knows a guy or knows a guy that knows a guy that can get their hands on some real moonshine — White Lightening.
We could go the obvious route of some type of drink with Wild Turkey (or just Wild Turkey all by its awesome self) but seeing as how this is the most “southern” game we have this year (Wake is #goacc and Vandy is basically the Dartmouth of the SEC) we have to go full mason jar.
Here’s a weird video of Irish people drinking real moonshine for the first time.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING?
Yes, yes... of course we are going to be eating turkey. The Disney turkey leg is pretty famous, and with Notre Disney coming to take on the Fighting Turkeys of Blacksburg, there is only one choice.
Unfortunately there are a bazillion videos and recipes to make these. I chose this one because it was #2 and I ain’t got that kind of time boo boo.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE WEARING?
CAMO CAMO CAMO!!!! Can’t let those turkeys see you coming! If you’re going to the game, watch out for the striping VT has planned.
KEY(S) TO THE GAME
Forget Wake Forest, this is really Notre Dame’s first road test. Much has been made of the atmosphere for this game, and even though it’s the sort of thing I would normally adore (like a litter of corgi puppies) I’m too focused on the game itself.
- Notre Dame has to do the same thing — but not. While “blocking out the noise” would be a familiar sentiment, EMBRACING THE CHAOS is what makes teams great.
- Protect the ball at all costs. In this kind of game, mistakes have to be kept to a minimum, and early in the game they must be kept at ZERO.
- Set the offensive tone. Ian Book has been extremely accurate and is completing almost 75% of his passes. Chip Long must continue to call a game that is diverse, and lean on the rushing of Dexter Williams and Tony Jones Jr. with a steady diet of carries.
- Defensively, Notre Dame just has to keep doing what it’s been doing. Pressure the quarterback with their front four, and in particular with Jerry Tillery, Khalid Kareem, and Julian Okwara. Everything else will take care of itself with this linebacker group and secondary.
- MAX PUNT PROTECT. For real.
AT THE END OF THE NIGHT...
Notre Dame, much like last week, is just the better team. The Irish have had two legitimate tests this year, and have put both in the ground. This won’t be an easy task, but the efficient offense and the suffocating defense will stay on its upward trajectory. A close 1st half gets blown out of the water in the second half. Irish 35 - Hokies 20