Welcome to yet another year of Anti-Previews here at OFD. Friends, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are just days away from the start of their 2019 season and I couldn’t feel more confused about the whole situation.
The Labor Day start and a bye week to follow is actually affecting the amount of fucks I am giving right now — and that’s just not fair. I want to feel jacked up for the season, but it’s hard to reach my normal level of absurd hype with that staring at me in the face. So... I will do my best.
I want to hate the Cardinals — I really do. There is already a strong hatred for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, but to be honest... I have kind of enjoyed a lot of what Louisville has done over the last 20 years. If I have any feeling about their program right now at all, it’s actually that of sympathy. They too suffered at the hands of Brian VanGorder, and we know how bad that really sucks.
It’s not all BVG’s fault though that the Cards went free-falling last year and are in trouble. They return something like six scholarship offensive lineman in 2019. Those are Tyrone Willingham numbers, and Scott Satterfield has a big hill to climb with his roster management.
What should you be drinking?
It’s tempting to just pick your favorite bourbon and run/drink with it. After all, Louisville is as famous for bourbon as it is for its bats (almost). Still... the thought of it being Labor Day just can’t escape my brain, and really that just means one more day of summer.
WHITE CLAW SUMMER.
What should you be eating?
The recent trend suggest some form of chicken sandwich, but you’re better than that and you probably have all day to do something worthwhile. Here is a suggestion that should satisfy those that are angered by the CLAWS.
Bourbon Pulled Chicken
What should you be wearing?
The Cardinals are calling for a “blackout” for this game and there is always a chance that dark blue will look like black at night. I drew a sketch of the opposite (which I did not draw).
Of course, some believe in green on the road, and you should already have this:
3 reasons to hate Louisville
1. The 2014 game remains a vivid memory of a shit season.
2. Their basketball program. Seriously... fuck them forever and always.
3. Papa Johns Pizza is the worst pizza on the market and don’t @ me about that shit. I don’t enjoy my pies with a side of pepper and racism.
Keys to the game
Notre Dame is clearly the better team and is favored to win by like 20 points. The Irish need to be efficient on offense and that will mean a true run/pass mix with all sorts of RPO’s sprinkled into the batter.
Or... Notre Dame could just line up and pound the rock like warriors with Jafar Armstrong and Tony Jones Jr. in the backfield, and then use more play-action to bust out some explosive plays in the passing game. Keep your eye on the offensive line and look for dominance across the front.
Speaking of running the ball... the Irish have to prove that they can stop the run with all of these new starters on the inside. Asmar Bilal, Drew White, Kurt Hinish, and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa will be the front line at DT and LB, but should have depth helping them on a rotation.
Don’t get cute — play power moves with a dash of daring.
At the end of the night...
The Irish will simply be too much for a Louisville team that will be much better (in my opinion) at the end of the season (if their thin offensive line stays healthy). With a solid running game, Ian book should be able to use his accuracy to find Chase Claypool, Chris Finke, and Lawrence Keys III for some big plays, and will stretch the field much better than what they did in 2018. If the Irish can hold Louisville’s ground game and get a fair lead, Julian Okwara, Daelin Hayes, Adetokunbo Ogundeji, and Khalid Kareeem will probably have a big night off of the edge with sacks-o-plenty on Jawon Pass.
Notre Dame 44, Louisville 20