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The Anti-Preview: #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Virginia Cavaliers


Notre Dame football Brendan McAlinden

For 14 years I have provided the most irrelevant game preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish — but I’ve also provided the most relevant fan preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (don’t @ me).


At 8-1 and ranked #9 in the college football playoff rankings, Notre Dame is very much in the hunt for a spot in that top four — whether you want to admit it or not. The only thing Notre Dame can do to improve their chances is to win their final three games emphatically. The rest of it is in the hands of others, and during this fairly wild college football season, there are plenty of things that can happen.

Notre Dame goes on the road for the first time since they beat the Virginia Tech Hokies in the sixth game of the season. It was during that game where we saw a change in the Irish offense, and it’s when Jack Coan solidified his job and his play. We’ve also seen the rise of freshman playmakers alongside the other veterans, and it’s looked better and better each week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Navy at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Each year I have identified the “most ACC game” of the season, and I think we’ve finally arrived at that destination. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Notre Dame is 5.5 point favorites this weekend with an over/under of 64. I think both numbers are a wee bit low.

Virginia Cavaliers

By UVA standards, 2021 has been a fantastic year so far. The Hoos control their own destiny in the ACC, and quarterback Brennan Armstrong has been a revelation. Armstrong is 1000% the engine, chassis, and paint of the offense with over 3500 yards passing and 27 touchdowns to go along with his 270 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns — dude even has an 18 yard pass reception.

Georgia Tech v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The thing is though... Armstrong likely won’t be anywhere near 100% (ribs) for this game — if he plays at all. Bronco Mendenhall says it will be a gameday decision, and

What should you be drinking?

Did I mention that it’s officially #goacc week?

Virginia Whiskey Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 double shot rye whiskey
  • 2 drops lemon juice
  • 2 - 3 drops aromatic bitters
  • 1.5 tsp honey
  • 6 oz Champagne (more or less to taste)
  • ice

In a high ball cocktail glass , mix together the lemon juice, bitters, and agave syrup. Add the double shot of whiskey. Fill glass about half way full with ice. Top with champagne & enjoy!


What should you be eating?

There was one idea for this week that I just couldn’t shake. While not specific to #goacc culture, it’s very much in the mix. Yep... throw down a grazing table in whatever style that suits you. I was going to post a video here, but just about every grazing table video on YouTube is made by some person who thinks I give a shit about the process and their EAT PRAY LOVE life.

I do not. Enjoy the picture.

What should you be wearing?

It’s tweed time y’all. You know it and I know it, so go ahead and get on it to support the #goacc hunt.

3 reasons to hate Virginia

  • Their mascot has a sword, and they are literally called the Cavaliers — and yet they don’t have a fencing program. WTF is that? Y’all scurred?
  • All the college basketball reasons in the world.
  • They actually changed their uniform design from this magnificent set to what they have now. Criminal.

At the end of the night...

If Brennan Armstrong plays (and is healthy enough to make a significant impact) both teams score a lot of points with the Irish doing just a little more because the ND defense is a few rungs better. If Brennan Armstrong doesn’t play, Notre Dame scores even more points while UVA scores less — this is a very exact science. I think the latter is what happens (unfortunate for Armstrong) and the Irish get another road night win in the Old Dominion state. Irish 45, UVA 26.