The tone was set for both teams right away last season in Notre Dame’s 38-3 win in the 2015 opener. Can the Longhorns turn the tables this time around? Check out the Texas vs. Notre Dame fearless prediction and game preview.
Texas vs. Notre Dame Game Preview
Date: Sunday, September 4
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
Why Notre Dame Will Win
It all looks great on paper, but really – can Texas stop the run?
A problem throughout down the stretch getting ripped apart for over 1,100 yards and ten touchdowns in the final four games. It should be a better Longhorn defensive front, but the line is a big question mark – especially in terms of depth on the interior – right away. That’s going to be a problem against the Notre Dame ground attack that should be terrific from the word go.
To go along with the mobility of both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer at quarterback, the 1-2 rushing punch of a healthy Tarean Folston and Josh Adams should steady the Irish offense behind a line full of upperclassmen.
It might not be pretty, and it might not anything too complicated, but when in doubt, Notre Dame should be able to grind out drives by getting physical. It won’t hurt to have Zaire and Kizer operating, either.
The Texas quarterback situation should end up being terrific once freshman Shane Buechele gets his feet wet, but the Irish twosome at quarterback – no matter who plays – should be able to better handle the pressure on the national stage. Both teams’ quarterbacks have to make everyone around them better, and experience should count.
Why Texas Will Win
Notre Dame, get ready to be smashed in the mouth.
How do you ease an iffy quarterback situation against Notre Dame in the most pressure-packed game played by any team in the opening weekend? You hand the ball off over and over and over again to 500 pounds of running back.
The Notre Dame line will be good, but the thunder and thunder tandem of D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III should be able to control drives and give Buechele his share of makeable third down passing opportunities. This is the best O line in the Charlie Strong era, and it should be able to wear down the Irish as the game goes on.
And that puts all the pressure on the Texas run defense.
The Longhorn secondary should be the best in the Big 12, or close to it, and there’s no Will Fuller type in the Notre Dame receiving corps to worry about. The Irish will hit on their share of pass plays, but if Folston and Adams aren’t out rushing Foreman and Warren III, forget about it.
Time of possession will matter considering the styles of both attacks, and Texas should be better equipped for the power game.
What’s Going To Happen?
Being at home is going to matter, and so will all the distractions around the Irish over the last few weeks.
It’s going to be a super-charged atmosphere with this potentially being the coming out party for the Charlie Strong era after a few years of building the thing back up. Notre Dame will withstand the early emotion and an early surge from the Longhorns, but they’ll buckle.
Both running games will effectively cancel each other out – they’ll both work. The difference will be the secondaries with Texas doing a far better job than Notre Dame in key moments.
One win isn’t going to take Strong off of any hot seat any more than beating Oklahoma did last year, but for a program waiting for results, it’s sure going to feel good.
Texas vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Final Score: Texas 23, Notre Dame 20
Line: Notre Dame -3.5, o/u: 60
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 5