Staff Picks: Notre Dame vs. Texas

Irish Illustrated’s staff gives its predictions for Sunday night’s marquee matchup between Notre Dame and Texas.

To access Tim Prister’s official game preview published Friday, click here:

Pete Sampson

The closer this game gets, the easier time I have talking myself into a Longhorns upset. The pace of the Texas offense is an issue against a Notre Dame front seven without much depth. The speed of the Longhorns receivers against Drue Tranquill and Avery Sebastian doesn’t sit well. And yet, Notre Dame’s edges at quarterback and offensive line are so huge that they should be enough for the Irish to escape Austin with an opening night win.

Moral of the story? Don’t overthink this. Notre Dame’s program should be mature enough to handle this moment. Not so sure about Texas.

Notre Dame 31 Texas 23
2015 Prediction Record: 12-1

Tim O’Malley

The atmosphere, the uncertainties, the opener.

Take the elements in the aggregate and this seems to be a contest that will turn on the result of two to three key plays. Not because the team’s are evenly matched – Notre Dame will be better over the long haul than Texas this fall – but youthful indiscretions tend to materialize when the lights are brightest, and both teams have enough relative rookies at key positions to unwittingly turn the tide.

But an early miscue by the Irish, especially deep in their own territory, would fuel the Longhorns fire and an uphill battle for the visitors would likely ensue.

Conversely, if the Irish can settle in and score one of the first two touchdowns, I don’t think Texas will muster much more over four quarters. In a much lower scoring contest than forecasted (the Vegas over/under is 60):

Notre Dame 27 Texas 16
2015 Prediction Record: 11-2

Jack Freeman

Once again Texas is has more question marks than answers heading into a season opener. A new offensive scheme / coordinator, injuries on the offensive line and an unsettled quarterback position just to name a few. Look for this to be a battle of the trenches. I like Notre Dame’s rushing attack against a lean Texas defensive line. As a bonus, Notre Dame’s defensive line should be able to bring pressure on the Texas offense. Jarron Jones is in great position to have a big night.

Notre Dame 31 Texas 24
2015 Prediction Record: 11-2

Steve Hare

Notre Dame has the talent to turn this into a blowout, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Where the Irish might struggle is coming together on defense, especially after the loss of a starting safety and a linebacker. That should keep the game closer than it should be but the Longhorns will struggle to keep the Irish out of the end zone.

Notre Dame 35, Texas 24
2015 Prediction Record: 10-3

Anna Hickey

Notre Dame’s offense will carry Irish, specifically its running game. Kelly knows he can trust that aspect of his team probably more than anything, and he’ll go to Tarean Folston and Josh Adams early and often. Texas will still put up points because they’ve got some quality skill players. Its running backs are capable of busting open Notre Dame’s defense for some big plays, especially as thin linebacker and safety units wear down in the second half.

The X factor will be DeShone Kizer, and I think he’ll show on Sunday night why he’s Brian Kelly’s preferred starter.

Notre Dame 34 Texas 24
2015 Prediction Record: 12-1

Jake Brown

Doesn't matter much to me who takes more snaps at quarterback for Notre Dame come Sunday. This much I know: DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire are both better than whoever's under center for Texas. And in the end, that's all I need to know. Notre Dame wins. Comfortably. 

Notre Dame 31 Texas 17
2015 Prediction Record: 13-0 (Yep) Top Stories