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The Anti-Preview: #15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Duke Blue Devils

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The most #goacc game on the schedule.

Duke v Notre Dame
Never forget.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish fly down to North Carolina for their most #goacc matchup of the season. At 6-2 and ranked #15 in the country by the college football playoff committee, Notre Dame has a path to the Cotton Bowl, but will need to make some statements in their four statementless games.

Anti-Preview The wonderful @phillykelly

Unfortunately for all of us involved, the game is being televised on the ACC Network. Why is this any different than just another game on ESPN?

  1. You obviously know that the ACC Network isn’t the most available channel on television right now.
  2. Because it’s the god damn ACC Network.

It’s fitting that I’m about to go off on a basketball rant for an ACC football post — this is what they have done to me. Seriously though, after watching Notre Dame play the North Carolina Tar Heels on that stupid channel on Wednesday night — I’m terrified at what the ACC Network has in store for this football broadcast.

If you watched the North Carolina game, then you already understand. If not... here are a couple of tweets that sum up my feelings:

But enough of all that (until we really need to bitch about it).

Duke Blue Devils

After opening the season with a 42-3 loss to Alabama, Duke went on a 3 game tear where they won by an average of about 42-13. That streak included a 45-10 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. Of course the PITT SUPER WEAPON got a practice round off the following week and clipped the Blue Devils.

Duke is now on a two game losing streak after getting blasted by the Virginia Cavaliers 48-14 and dropping one on Tobacco Road to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 20-17.

Duke, at least in my eyes, is unpredictable — which makes them dangerous. They also have a good defensive line and David Cutcliffe is a fantastic head coach. There are some possible difficulties in all of that.

What should you be eating?

I usually begin this with what we should be drinking, but as this is our most #goacc game of the year — it’s time to get fancy AF ya’ll. Forget “French Fancy” because all across the country, the best dining experiences are now at “farm to fork” establishments. Eat out, get a carry out, have your life catered — whatever. Go with the farm to fork experience, and taste the sweet #goacc difference.

Here’s a great example from one of my favorite local spots, Joseph Decuis. They specialize in Wagyu and they are incredible.

What should you be drinking?

Now we can get to the drink. So... I guess wine? I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I will crush 3 bottles or so when the mood strikes. What fits this weekend more (and our food) than a good bottle case of wine?

Wineries are everywhere, and there is a fantastic local winery right down the road from Joseph Decuis that we enjoy called Two-EE’s. It’s generally where my wife lubes me up for the cash drop at JD — but I never seem to mind.

What should you be wearing?

This is a category that is open ended this week — but please keep in mind our #goacc vibe. This is basically me right now (you need to squint and shake your head a bit and it’s on point):

STATS ON STATS ON STATS

3 reasons to hate Duke

No... 2016 isn’t in here because at least it got rid of Brian VanGorder. That was a win in disguise — BRIAN KELLY IS A GENIUS!

  1. Christian Laettner
  2. Basically everything about their basketball program.
  3. Every Notre Dame football fan that cheers for Duke basketball because they are certified BASTARDS (and yes... it’s actually a big thing).

Keys to the game

Bowling Green v Notre Dame Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After the last two showings, the Notre Dame offense absolutely has to get back on track to close out the year with a 10-2 record. With two starters out on the offensive line, the goal is a little harder — still, the Irish have to become better on the ground to help Ian Book out in the passing game. We want — and should want — to unleash both Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool this week, and a healthy dose of a healthy Tony Jones Jr. and Jafar Armstrong can help with that.

Defensively the Irish are just fine. They will need to contain Deon Jackson and make Quentin Harris one dimensional in the passing game. If they can do that, Julian Okwara, Jamir Jones, and Khalid Kareem could have a really big day off of the edge. It’s simplistic, but Notre Dame’s defense is more about assignments and fundamentals than complicated scheme, so they should be themselves.

At the end of the night...

Regardless of most of the Virginia Tech game, there was a huge weight lifted off of the shoulder of Ian Book and the offense. I think they come out loose and hungry and look more dynamic than at any point this season against a Power 5 school. The defense clamps down on a mediocre Duke offense. Irish 41-13