The 0-2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try to get the season on track this Saturday when they welcome the California Golden Bears to Notre Dame Stadium for a 2:30 game. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Notre Dame is an 11 point favorite over Cal with a very small 40.5 point over/under.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Now it’s time for the OFD Staff to unleash their own picks. Here are a few thoughts from The Emperor’s Elite Pick-Em Force:
Well, looks like it’s time to adjust expectations for Notre Dame this season. The Irish are still a good football team that can win games, it may just take longer to reach their potential than we all expected. They get their first win of the season this week but with a struggling offense starting a second string QB it won’t be easy. Get used to close games.
Everything will be OK... everything will be OK.... everything will be OK... Drew Pyne plays quick and mistake free football and the defense excels. Notre Dame wins 23-13. The sky stops falling.
The Irish play another STRUGGLE of a game. Forget covering in this one, especially at 11 points. I still think the Irish find some way to win this game and salvage any hope for the rest of the season (he says hopefully). Pyne scores one TD using his feet and one TD pass. Estime gets the other TD rushing. Final score: ND - 24 Cal - 19
Cautiously optimistic about this game because I have to believe SOME changes are coming in scheme and play calling and hopefully personnel. Drew Pyne at quarterback should force Tommy Rees to into more quick-out plays, more easy touches to the best playmakers on the freak and more creative running with the read-option no longer a factor. Cal’s offense does not appear strong, so a marginal improvement by Notre Dame’s offense should yield a close victory. I’m not nearly confident enough to pick the Irish to cover though. I’m predicting a win somewhere along the lines of 24-17.
I‘m not going to go full “Chicken Little” and scream “the sky is falling” for Notre Dame, but that Marshall loss was more than just an acorn landing on our collective heads. The Irish have an offensive identity problem and they need to solve it this weekend. Will they? I have a hard time believing it given the body of work to date and a wild card like Drew Pyne taking over at quarterback.
Regardless, I think the Irish will pull this one out. But it’s worth bringing up what Notre Dame men’s basketball has taught us the last few years: when injuries and losses get your program down, the pendulum can be stuck in the bad karma zone for a LONG time before swinging back.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But this is One Foot Down, where insanity meets late-night blogging. I don’t do this to be boring or normal or even remotely intelligent. Gimme Notre Dame 33, Cal 20. Irish nation, let’s ride.
There could be more explainers coming in over the next couple of days.
As a whole, we continue to use TallySight to keep track of everything. Besides the ND VS Marshall game, I asked the staff to pick:
Oklahoma Sooners VS Nebraska Cornhuskers
Georgia Bulldogs VS South Carolina Gamecocks
BYU Cougars VS Oregon Ducks
Penn State Nittany Lions VS Auburn Tigers
Mississippi St. Bulldogs VS LSU Tigers
Michigan State Spartans VS Washington Huskies
Miami Hurricanes VS Texas A&M Aggies