If you predicted that Syracuse would have a better record than Notre Dame coming into the two team’s week five matchup, you were probably alone. The Irish entered the season as the 10th ranked team in the nation with aspirations of getting into the College Football Playoff. However, those hopes quickly turned south. The Golden Domers dropped their opener against unranked Texas in an overtime thriller. They followed it up with an easy win against Nevada, but the Irish has since lost its last two games, which included a last minute heartbreaker to Duke. Notre Dame finds itself unranked coming into Saturday’s neutral site matchup at MetLife Stadium and has a clean slate on defense after it fired its defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder earlier this week. With its bowl hopes up in the air, the Irish finds itself in a must-win game this Saturday.
Notre Dame is spearheaded by its quarterback Deshone Kizer. He has been one of the few bright spots in the Irish lineup, amassing 1,096 yards and 16 total touchdowns. The Orange has yet another dual threat signal caller on its hands and can hopefully carry over some of last week’s lessons against UConn’s Bryant Shirreffs. SU contained the Huskies quarterback to 27 yards on 21 carries. Offensively alongside Kizer, the Irish boast two talented receivers, Equanimeous St. Brown and Torii Hunter Jr., who account for nearly half of the Irish’s receiving numbers.
Defensively, Notre Dame is a dumpster fire. The team cannot pressure the quarterback and only has one sack on the season. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey will have plenty of time to throw and exploit a weak Irish secondary. Not a single Notre Dame cornerback has a completions allowed percentage below 50 percent. That should open the door for SU receiver Amba Etta-Tawo to explode on the Irish’s 103rd ranked defense.
With Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly on the hot seat and a new defensive coordinator at the helm, the outcome of this game is a complete toss up. The result will hinge on how inspired the Irish’s effort is for the full 60 minutes.