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Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Ball State Cardinals: Staff Picks


NCAA Football: Michigan at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We are all geniuses. Well... most of us. What looked like a large mass of homers getting together to talk about how awesome we are, and taking awesome shots, and having an awesome time — turned out to be a clinic in how to pick a BIG win.

Alright, alright... enough of the bullshit. Let’s get to WEEK 2!

This season, instead of everyone picking five or six games with little to no explanation, the staff will pick the Notre Dame game AND one other team they have each chosen to follow this season, and will give predictions for that game as well.

I highly encourage you (our loyal readers) to do the same. In the comments below, give your prediction for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish AND take another team to follow and predict. Maybe you watch the Wisconsin Badgers on the side, or the Washington State Cougars or the Army Black Knights — whoever. Join in and expand your love of Notre Dame Football into college football as a whole.

Here we go...

Wes Sweigert

Notre Dame 49 Ball State Cardinals 14

I don’t think there is much to say here, other than Ball State is outclassed in virtually every area of this game from roster down to the type of pre-wrap they use when taping their ankles. I expect Wimbush to have a pair of rushing touchdowns to compliment his two passing TDs, as well as three more TDs under the direction of Ian Book. While BSU put up 42 points against the mighty Central Connecticut Blue Devils, I suspect they find the Fighting Irish defense slightly more formidable, and at least one of their two touchdowns comes in mop-up time.

Memphis Tigers 42 Navy Midshipmen 27

It hurts my heart to predict a loss for the Naval Academy this week in their home-opener. While their offense did Navy things against Hawaii last week, racking up 326 yards on the ground, their defense was absolutely torched by Heisman dark-horse Cole McDonald. It’s almost as if they could use Alohi Gilman! With Memphis going for 5 TDs in the air last week, my gut says the air to surface (or water, in this instance) missiles will be fired often and with precision from the Tigers.

Jeff Czerniakowski

Notre Dame 45 Ball State Cardinals 17

I think the Irish dominate this game and are up 4 touchdowns going into the final quarter. It should be a good week for Brandon Wimbush to get some confidence in the passing game.

Toledo Rockets: Bye week

Austin Gallagher

Notre Dame 45 Ball State Cardinals 9

The Irish shouldn’t have much of a struggle here. Notre Dame should run up the score pretty quickly in this one, while not giving up much to a very clearly inferior opponent.

Washington Huskies 56 North Dakota 7

This should be a breeze for the Huskies. North Dakota is a middle of the road FCS program - unlike their rivals at North Dakota State - and will be extremely outmatched against Chris Petersen’s squad. Expect this one to be over quickly.

Lisa Kelly

Notre Dame 35 - Ball State 14

After last week’s prime time home opener against Michigan, Notre Dame should have a good opportunity in this week’s game against Ball State to fine tune some issues that presented themselves last weekend. This is the perfect game to work on the run game, special teams, and to shore up Brandon Wimbush’s passing game. I don’t foresee the Irish having any problems securing a win this week. Grab your hoodie as you head to the game, the high will only be 72F. GO IRISH!

Arkansas Razor backs 42 - Colorado State Rams 10

Arkansas came out full speed ahead last week in their game against Eastern Illinois. The debut game of the new Arkansas head coach, Chad Morris, proved to be a successful one lead by his junior quarterback, Ty Storey. Storey and his offense had a prolific passing game last Saturday, and I expect to see that again this weekend. With Colorado State’s lackluster run defense (ranked 106 in the nation), this week’s game will be the perfect time for Arkansas to work on their run game. The Razorbacks need to use every snap between now and week four to get all of their ducks in a row before they head to Auburn. WOO PIG SOOIE!

Joe Londergan

Notre Dame 34 Ball State Cardinals 10

I really loved what I saw out of Notre Dame’s offense against Michigan in both the passing and run game. On all fronts, Notre Dame is just vastly more talented than this Ball State group. I like their quarterback Riley Neal enough that I think he will get them within shouting distance of the end zone a few times, but that beatdown they put on Central Connecticut State last week didn’t exactly strike fear into my heart. I think the Irish start really strong, but take their foot off the gas enough late for BSU to get a few points on the board.

Oregon State Beavers 28, Southern Utah 14

The obvious hope is that the Beavers win this game by more, but there are some concerns with the quarterback and lingering injuries to the defense. But running back Artavis Pierce and the rushing offense actually looked pretty solid last week in a 77-31 loss to Ohio State, despite the score, and Southern Utah are not exactly the Buckeyes. As Oregon State still finds their footing with the new coaching staff and a young roster, I think that program gets their first win in over a calendar year.

Billy Gorman

Notre Dame 49 Ball State Cardinals 21

If Notre Dame can avoid a let down following their win over Michigan this one should be over early. Even if they can’t avoid a let down this one should still be over with enough time to give the subs some game time. Ball State probably makes this seem closer than it actually is by taking advantage of garbage time against the reserves. The biggest question may be how many freshman do we see in blue and gold on Saturday?

Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns BYE

Following a week 1 win against Grambling State, the Ragin’ Cajuns have a week 2 bye before they head to Starkville next week for a matchup with Mississippi State.

Philip Gough

Notre Dame 48 Ball State 10

Notre Dame starts slow on offense but the defense holds all first half. We see freshman get into the game a score some touchdowns. Look for special teams to bounce back in a big way.

Boston College Eagles 55 Holy Cross Crusaders 17

The rivalry is renewed, but Holy Cross cannot keep up with the FBS talent. However, awesome moment for the program and clearly a step in the right direction regardless of outcome. YES this is a moral victory.

Martin Sweigert

Notre Dame 41 Ball State 17

There is nothing better than starting a college football season 1-0, having beaten a powerhouse. Ok, maybe having week two be a game where you are favored by five touchdowns is even better. Notre Dame still has a few loose ends, especially on offense, but these questions aren’t enough to make this a trap game. This would be the only acceptable weekend this season to get married, in which recording the game for later viewing won’t be agonizing.

Texas Longhorns 37, Tulsa Golden Hurricane 17

If I hitched my proverbial wagon to Texas for this season, pioneering my way westward on the Oregon trail, last week’s lost against Maryland would have been like pulling away from the general store in Missouri, waving goodbye to the simple town folk, and then promptly hitting the first rock larger than a baseball on the trail and having one of the wagon wheels explode. I would have had to repair said wheel, in front of the giggling townspeople who already think I’m an adventurous idiot who is risking my own life and that of my family. I can almost hear the sarcastic shouts from 100 yards away back on Main Street, “send us news of the new land!”, “how did you ever survive such a perilous journey?!” Don’t let me down again, Texas. Longhorns bounce back and the wagon makes it further West than Oklahoma.

Pat Sullivan

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 47 Ball State Cardinals 19

Brandon Wimbush is gonna connect with Miles Boykin and maybe also Chase Claypool on some big throws, and Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong should have plenty of room to run. The Irish D will force a couple more turnovers, and Ian Book will be in the game by the 3rd quarter. Phil Jurkovec will play in the 4th. And I will be drunk by kickoff.

Florida Atlantic Owls 45 Air Force Falcons 38

Again, I refuse to ever pick Joey Freshwater and his boys to lose, even after they were absolutely ransacked by Oklahoma. Clearly, though, the Owls don’t have a ton of defense going for them, so I can’t imagine they’re aware of how to defend the triple option. I think FAU wins a high-scoring affair and gets back to .500 on the season tomorrow.

Jessica Smetana

Notre Dame 49 Ball State 10

Not a lot to say about this one other than Notre Dame should get a chance to give some backups reps so the score won’t be too high. That being said, Penn State DID almost lose to App State last weekend so I’m still a little nervous for Saturday. Someone help me.

Clemson Tigers 35 Texas A&M Aggies 7

Texas A&M will probably be one of the toughest teams on Clemson’s schedule this season, but I dont think Jimbo Fisher has had time to put together all the pieces yet. Clemson’s defense should easily shut down the TAMU offense and Dabo will get sweet sweet revenge over Jimbo once more.

Brad Wechter

Notre Dame 42 Ball State 14

Notre Dame will run for roughly 250 yards in this one. They will have all 42 of their points by the end of the third quarter, and we can all do other things during the fourth.

Cincinnati Bearcats 28 Miami-Ohio Redhawks 20

Miami has been doing this thing for around three years where they play good teams close and end up losing. I expect nothing different when the RedHawks host Cinci this weekend.

Matt Greene

Notre Dame 52 Ball State 21

We win but don’t cover even though it will be close. Irish have too much talent, and they win handily. I’m also predicting that Ball State scores more than Michigan did, which would be very funny.

Kansas Jayhawks 31 Central Michigan Chippewas 27

Central hung in with Kentucky until the floodgates opened later in the game. Unfortunately, not much promise is shown in the Chips even though they are favored against the team FBS fans love to pick on. I’m making this pick hoping for reverse psychology and a jinx to kick in. I’m a little stitious.

Joshua Vowles

Notre Dame 59 Ball State 13

Going from Michigan’s defense to Ball State’s is going to have the Irish offense in the mood to pad some stats on Saturday. While this could and should be a shutout, scoring that many points allows too many chances for the other team. Notre Dame will use a lot of its depth chart this week, but the hungry kids are ready to eat a buffet.

Wyoming Cowboys 17 Missouri Tigers 38

The trip to Mizzou will prove to be too much for the 1-1 Cowboys. It’s too much talent on the road to handle, but the game will be close in the 3rd, with the Tigers pulling away in the 4th.

Jude Seymour

Notre Dame 52, Ball State Cardinals 10

I predict a sluggish start for the Irish, who are still basking in revelry of their big home win against a ranked Michigan Wolverines squad. By halftime, the game is not settled. By the fourth quarter, we’re wondering how many series Phil Jurkovec will get. I’m guessing two, or about eight snaps.

Oklahoma Sooners 45, UCLA Bruins 21

Tons of virtual ink was spilled over Chip Kelly, a genius who had lost his way in the NFL, but had returned to the Pac-12 to reclaim his rightful throne as college football’s most creative mind. Someone forgot to check to see if Kelly had the horses to make it past the starter’s blocks. Anyone who watched Michigan last year knows Wilton Speight is no one’s savior, and yet the Bruins predicated their entire offense around him. He’s banged up -- again! -- and now Kelly must take his team to Norman to face a Sooners team that did not look like it’s lost a step in the post-Baker Mayfield era. Expect someone to trot out the “Stop! Stop! He’s already dead!” meme as this becomes a laugher. A late score gives the Bruins a backdoor cover.

Lino Garcia

Notre Dame 42 Ball State Cardinals 6

Brian Kelly’s team erased a lot of doubts last week against a Michigan Wolverines defense that many still feel is one of the best in the nation. Against a less feared opponent this week, I’m still looking forward to seeing how accurate Brandon Wimbush is, now that he should have more opportunities to throw. Another group I’m keeping an eye on is the Irish secondary. Because the Michigan offensive line did such a poor job of protecting Shea Patterson last week, we rarely saw the Wolverines attempt a pass of more than ten yards. This week, the Irish win big and get revenge on Ball State from basketball season.

Purdue Boilermakers 28 Eastern Michigan Eagles 17

This week is the only time this season the Eastern Michigan Eagles will see a Power Five team. The last time EMU went to a Big Ten stadium was in 2014, when the Michigan State Spartans hung 73 points on them. The program has been huge strides since then, but the Purdue Boilermakers have a bad taste in their mouth after last week’s disappointing loss to the Northwestern Wildcats. The Eagles hold their own, but Purdue gets the victory.