Staff Picks

Irish Illustrated’s staff gives its predictions for Saturday afternoon’s crucial matchup vs. No. 14 Georgia Tech in South Bend.

With Tim Prister’s weekly game preview still to come, the rest of the Irish Illustrated staff offers a few thoughts on this week’s matchup against the Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech.

Pete Sampson

Before the season I marked this as a Notre Dame loss. Then the Irish lost five starters for the season by the second week. So naturally I’m flipping to a win. What’s changed is the production and health of Sheldon Day and Isaac Rochell on the defensive line, two players big enough, quick enough and smart enough to disrupt Georgia Tech’s offense. The Yellow Jackets will score, but that defensive line combination mixed with Brian Kelly’s management of DeShone Kizer gives the Irish a shot. Remember that Kelly is 15-1 when starting a freshman or red-shirt freshman quarterback at Notre Dame. The lone loss was to Alabama. Georgia Tech is good, but it’s not that good. Take the Irish as a Top 10 home dog.

Notre Dame 38 Georgia Tech 35
Record: 2-0

Tim O'Malley

Before the season I told everyone that would listen that Notre Dame would start 4-0. Five crucial injuries later? Well, color me concerned. Georgia Tech’s offense is likely the best the Irish have faced since their BCS Championship loss to Alabama. The Rambling Wreck scores points. Against everyone. And their triple-option attack is beautiful in its simplicity. Conversely, the Irish defensive staff has prepared for the triple-option throughout the calendar year, but that doesn’t mean they can stop it – at least not this one. Look for one of the most entertaining games of the college football season, an inspired effort by head coach Brian Kelly and his first-time starting quarterback…and one too many failures defensively.

Georgia Tech 40 Notre Dame 34
2015 Prediction Record: 2-0

Jack Freeman

This feels like a tipping point of a game for the Notre Dame season. A team that needed last second heroics by DeShone Kizer to win a game it had many opportunities to put away thanks to a soft defensive scheme has something to prove. Yes it’s a “chip on the shoulder” moment for the defense. Can the Irish get their season momentum back behind a quarterback starting for the first time and a defense facing their nemesis in the vaunted triple offense of Georgia Tech? I think this will be a close game in fact it could go either way so I resorted to a best 2 out of 3 coin flip to determine my prediction.

Georgia Tech 31 Notre Dame 27
2015 Prediction Record: 2-0

Steve Hare

What tho’ the odds be, right? Notre Dame certainly is down on its luck with injuries to a few key players but the Irish have the talent to pull out a win. They’ll have to play within their abilities with DeShone Kizer making his first start. That means C.J. Prosise and Josh Adams will have to carry the load and the offensive line is going to have to dominate up front. Sustaining drives will also keep Georgia Tech’s offense off the field. The Irish defense will be tested but should come through in the clutch.

Notre Dame 31 Georgia Tech 28
Record: 2-0

Jake Brown

Looking for the Notre Dame to have an easy go of it? Good luck. It's shaping up to be a nervy game against Georgia Tech, which will be every bit as difficult to defend with its option approach as Navy but with better athletes. That's not even getting to a new starting quarterback for the Irish. But somehow I think they pull this one off. Just don't ask me how.

Notre Dame 33 Georgia Tech 30
Record: 2-0

Anna Hickey

You think Sheldon Day, Joe Schmidt, Jaylon Smith and KeiVarae Russell are taking it lightly seemingly everyone is picking Justin Thomas & Co. over them? I don’t. Pride comes to play on Saturday, and I won’t bet against those four regardless of the challenges Paul Johnson’s option attack presents. On offense, Notre Dame will score points. When your wide outs are as talented as what Notre Dame brings to the table, your running back is starting to get into a grove and you have one of the best units up front protecting you, DeShone Kizer should be fine in his first game as starter.

Notre Dame 35, Georgia Tech 30
2015 Prediction Record: 2-0 Top Stories