The Fighting Irish haven’t gotten off to the start they would have liked; however, they are far from out of the race. Tyler Stemen and gang have one job tonight: protect the football. The Irish lead the league in turnovers this season. While Stemen has completed 74% of his passes, he has nine interceptions this year and only 12 touchdown passes. He has another five touchdowns on the ground and five fumbles. He has also been sacked the second-most times in the league. He’s going to have to hold onto the ball tonight if he plans to go to bed happy. On the defensive side of the ball Notre Dame is led by junior middle linebacker Dominic Schillizzi, and freshman defensive tackle Austin Whitten. With 73 tackles, eight sacks, and 26 tackles for a loss between the pair, they will be looking to make it a miserable night for Jefferson Allen and Puma Longtree. Allen has shown to have some turnover problems as well, so the two of them could be a key to victory in tonight’s game
Average. That is the only word I can use to describe the Oregon Ducks’ play this season. When looking at the league leaderboards, you won’t see any standout players. Jefferson Allen has as many interceptions as he does touchdowns (nine). Puma Longtree has only one touchdown on the ground this season. There is a reason this team is 2-3 this season, there is a reason they lost to MAC team Bowling Green: they haven’t played very well. That being said, we know both Longtree and Allen are capable of playing much better, and they very well could turn it around tonight against Notre Dame. Jefferson Allen is by far the best quarterback in school history, and it’s time he started acting like it. The defense is led by the other Longtrees (Jedidiah and Tutu) and Talal Elagha. They will need to get after Tyler Stemen and force him to make mistakes. Oregon will have to count on David Ritta in the return game to give them a short field. He averages over 32 yards per return and already has one touchdown on the season. He could play a big role in tonight’s game.
The outcome of this game is easy to predict; whichever team turns the ball over less is going to win. Both teams have major issues holding onto the ball, so they will need to minimize their mistakes if they want to come out with the win. Look for the defensive lines to play a huge role tonight, as putting either of these quarterbacks under pressure could result in six points for the other team.
Stmac: Notre Dame 28, Oregon, 17
Squidy: Notre Dame 28, Oregon 17
David Ware: Notre Dame 28, Oregon 24