Tim O'Malley -- PublisherGame prediction -- and a six-pack of key questions regarding Saturday's contest -- can be found at our week game preview: Who, and What, to Watch.
Anna Hickey -- Recruiting ReporterTurnovers and the performance of an injury-stricken defense will tell the story on Notre Dame’s end this Saturday vs. Louisville. The Cards feature DeVante Parker, one of nation’s top receivers, and undoubtedly Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino will look to exploit Notre Dame’s secondary. The Irish will be locked in, however, and the defense will deliver its best performance since Florida State. Everett Golson protects the football, and Will Fuller continues to elevate his game. Notre Dame doesn’t drop three straight, and it won’t send its seniors out with a loss.
Notre Dame 34 Louisville 28
SeattleNDFan -- ModeratorBrian Kelly's Irish face a crossroads strangely reminiscent of November 2010, coming off debacles against Navy and Tulsa -- to date the only two-game stretch arguably more discouraging than what Irish fans experienced of late.
If the team can rally as they did against a decent Utah squad back in 2010 and come back to beat Louisville and USC the next two weeks, it would be almost as remarkable an in-season turnaround as it was then -- but it has indeed been done before.
Louisville statistically brings the best defense Notre Dame has seen this season but also one of the most inexperienced quarterbacks. If Bobby Petrino watched film of the North Carolina game, expect running, running and more running from the Cardinals with play-action sprinkled over the top to all-everything Louisville WR DeVante Parker.
With the potential to wear out the Irish defense with this kind of attack, Coach Kelly and Coach Denbrock would be wise to consider a ground-heavy attack of their own if only to keep their defenders off the field long enough to catch their breaths, but that could be a tall order against this Cardinal defense and if the Irish get down two or more scores, they will once again have to trust in the erratic but occasionally brilliant Everett Golson to create.
Unfortunately, I see the combination of all of the above plus what looks like weather similar to what we saw during the Stanford game to result in a tough day for the Irish.
Louisville 31 Notre Dame 17
Morrissey79 -- ModeratorI can't remember being this confused by a Notre Dame team. It's been a crazy couple weeks and trying to predict this weekend's score is quite difficult.
Will Everett Golson turn the ball over? Are we going to be on the opposite end of another pick 6? (what's the record for most in a season by the way?) Is Kelly going to commit to Tarean Folston and the running game? Who is going to play DT in Sheldon Day's absence? Is Nyles Morgan going to improve? Is Cody Riggs healthy? Will Max Redfield see the field? Do we have a holder that can catch a snap? Will Kyle Brindza continue to miss FGs?
I don't know the answer to any of those, but it does show that at this point, it's more about ND beating itself rather than the opposition beating us, which is sad.
We have been in similar situations before, and Kelly and his teams have somehow righted the ship. I don't know why, but think he somehow scrapes out a win at home, though it's not going to be easy and will most likely be ugly at times.
ND 35 Louisville 31
GaviND -- Moderator: ND 31 Louisville 28
BNolan -- Moderator: Louisville 38 ND 31
Amruther24 -- Moderator: ND 34 Louisville 31