We are 165 days away from the start of the college football season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. That’s about as good as any time to start looking at the season ahead. Is there really much difference with the makeup of these teams between now and July? Maybe — but definitely not enough for me to care.
We’re prognosticators — not gods. It absolutely fine to not be entirely on the mark right now, but also fine to start talking about it. Anyone that says otherwise hates fun and probably Skittles too.
So let’s get into it. I have 12 game predictions and two sentences for each game.
September 3 @ Ohio State Buckeyes
Any Irish fan that is happy this will be a night game has no idea how Columbus works during football season. Notre Dame gets burnt by the biggest mismatch in the game — the Buckeye wideouts versus the secondary.
ND 24, OSU 33
September 10 VS Marshall Thundering Herd
Is Marshall a Sun Belt team? Marcus Freeman finally gets that first win, and it’s uncomfortable for one half.
ND 37, Marshall 18
September 17 VS California Golden Bears
Purdue transfer quarterback Jack Plummer makes his way back to Notre Dame Stadium where he threw for 187 yards and 1 TD in 2021. Cal is still the most unpredictable opponent on the Irish schedule.
ND 41, Cal 23
September 24 @ North Carolina Tar Heels
Chubby Ian Book and the bad veteran offensive line is gone. UNC plays Florida A&M, Appalachian State, and Georgia State before getting a bye week before the Irish come to town.
ND 37, UNC 13
October 1 VS BYU Cougars in Las Vegas
BYU is going to play tough and scrappy per usual, and should be one of the tougher games in Shamrock Series history. It’s still not going to change the outcome of the game.
ND 34, BYU 24
October 8 VS Stanford Cardinal
Stanford continues its massive spiral down as a quality PAC-12 team. The mid-season matchup in South Bend has lost most of the luster it once held during the Brian Kelly era.
ND 37, Stanford 17
October 22 VS UNLV Rebels
UNLV is not a good football team. Notre Dame may be positioning themselves for a run to the playoffs at this point.
ND 52, UNLV 0
October 29 @ Syracuse Orange
Notre Dame has made up for the 2008 embarrassment a couple of times over. Now it’s time to rid themselves of the 2003 demon force.
ND 38, Cuse 17
November 5 VS Clemson Tigers
At this point in the season Tyler Buchner should be clicking on all cylinders (as a sophomore). Here’s hoping for a non-repeat of D.J. Uiagalelei’s record-setting performance of 2020.
ND 29, Clemson 27
November 12 @ Navy Midshipmen
It’s not really AT Navy. This series needs to be cancelled.
ND 47, Navy 10
November 19 VS Boston College Eagles
Phil Jurkovec returns to Notre Dame and the team remembers him well. Senior Day is still very much a better time than people remember.
ND 38, BC 20
November 26 @ USC Trojans
The trip to L.A. is always a little rough regardless of how good ND is or how not good USC is. They’re all still worthless and weak.
ND 23, USC 17
And there you have it. It’s a pretty brilliant 11-1 campaign for Marcus Freeman and the Irish. We will revisit this a few times over the offseason, but I 92% stand by every word.