A game circled on many Irish fans calendars is upon Irish Nation. The Fightin’ Irish travel to the “Big House” in a #8 vs #19 Michigan. You better enjoy it because there are no match-ups scheduled between these two team through 2037. There is room on the schedule though. So that brings up the discussion, is there really a rivalry between the two teams? Nonetheless there is a game to be played on Saturday night and the Irish need to take care of business.
The bye week allowed the Irish to get a bit healthier. Jafar Armstrong saw limited action against USC but will be ready for Michigan per Coach Kelly. “Jafar is going to be an important part of our game plan, so as much as it was just really kind of
getting him through a game situation and getting the taste of it for USC, it’s not a full go for him. This week will be him being factored into our game plan, playing a
prominent role, and I think an impact.”
Shaun Crawford returns as well. Coach Kelly “Shaun is involved in everything from 7 on 7 to, you know, one-on-one drills. He’ll be involved in everything, and continue to see what his comfort level is. But we expect him to play. We’ll see at what level he can play at. But he’s a guy that I wouldn’t count out of being a contributor in some fashion being around the ball next Saturday night.”
Donte Vaughn will return to action on Saturday night as well. Coach Kelly had this to say, “Yeah, Donte Vaughn will be playing against Michigan, guaranteed. Yep.”
Key Factors To Caging The Wolverines
Protect Ian Book and make running lanes. The most important task of the Irish offensive line will be to keep Book vertical and allowing him to go through his progressions. The Irish will hopefully open up their air game weather permitting. With rain forecast for Saturday night, hopefully the aerial attack will aid in the Irish running game.
With the return of Armstrong, hopefully the tandem of Armstrong and Tony Jones Jr will keep the Wolverines defense who is getting the ball. If the running game is working, the passing game will become wide open. The offense will also be in another hostile environment. Book is going to need to get past the ghosts of the Georgia game and execute in a loud stadium. The offensive line is going to also need to not commit penalties due to the crowd noise.
The Irish are ranked sixth in the country in Fumbles Recovered: 6 games 8 fumble recoveries. They are 14th in the country for Turnovers Gained. This is a great position for the Irish to display what they have been doing all season long. If the Irish can get into Shea Patterson’s head early, there will be a result in the Fightin’ Irish favor.
The defense also needs to keep penalties to a minimum. They will also need to overcome the stadium noise at the Big House.
One of the strong points of the Irish Special Teams has been Jay Bramblett. Bramblett has been just amazing as a true Freshman. According to the NCAA College FBS stat tracker, ND is ranked 49th in the country. Now, don’t get upset over that stat. Remember Bramblett is just a Freshman. There is time to grow. Bramblett’s numbers are just amazing for his first half of the season. Net Punt Yards 1035 on 25 attempts, opponent return yards 36 on nine attempts, 39.2 net punt average. Bramblett’s long is 58 yards (against Georgia), 8 punts inside the 20 yard line.
Our Picks (Our Pre-season Pick’em)
Remember these picks were done before the season started and come straight from that article.
Harbaugh is horrible in big games against “rival” opponents. The Wolverines have a brutal schedule. They play Penn St just before ND.
Jimmy chooses ND 20-17 (game possibly won in OT)
There is a lot of hoopla around Michigan being a playoff team. The Irish definitely need to win this game in a hostile environment. 100,000 plus screaming can make a big difference in Book’s call at the line. ND will have to prepare for the noise of the “Big House” in Ann Arbor. Their “12th Man” is going to be a factor for sure.
George chooses ND 28-24
Game Day Information
The GameDay weather is supposed to be just wet and cold. From the Weather Channel the forecast for Saturday’s game.
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Michigan Stadium
• Ann Arbor, MI
TV: ABC (national)
• Chris Fowler (play-by-play)
• Kirk Herbstreit (analysis)
• Maria Taylor (sideline)
Radio: Notre Dame Radio Network
• SiriusXM (Channel 129)
• 96.1 FM, 101.5 FM & 960 AM
Cheers and Go Irish! 🍀🏈⚡