It’s Week 3 in college football. Two teams coming off bye weeks will face off in this one. No. 7 Notre Dame picked up a 35-17 win over Louisville in their opener. New Mexico defeated Sam Houston State 39-31 in their first game.
The Irish were double-digit winners over Louisville in Week 1 but it was an unimpressive win. Ian Book finished 14-23 for 193 yards and a touchdown. Tony Jones Jr. carried the ball 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. He was the bright spot for Notre Dame. The Irish won the game by 18 points but they ended up not covering in the end.
New Mexico did not have a passing touchdown in their first game but they did score four on the ground and finish with 39 points. This was a good game until 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Sheriron Jones scored his second rushing touchdown of the game and it gave the Lobos a 39-23 lead. Ahmari Davis scored the other two rushing touchdowns and had 114 yards on 16 carries.
New Mexico vs. Notre Dame Preview
Louisville is improved from last season. They are still not what they were when Lamar Jackson was under center, but they are not a three win team anymore. Notre Dame did not impress against the Cardinals.
Notre Dame committed just four penalties and they turned the ball over once on a fumble. The discipline was there. The defense for the Irish has to improve. The play of their front seven, especially at the linebacker spots, was poor. Notre Dame allowed 249 rushing yards in their first game. Because of this, they lost the time of possession battle. Against a better team, this will not work in Notre Dame’s favor.
“We were a little bit out of sorts, over running plays, not in good cut back lanes, just settle down, just talk to the guys on the sideline and just be a little bit technically better,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said following the win. “But we’ll have to be better even as a group in other areas. We had penalties that that kept drives alive. We had missed tackles. We’re going to have to be on body and coverage a little bit better.”
New Mexico was just 4-8 in 2018. They picked up a win over Sam Houston State in their first game but they will be severely over matched in Week 2. Jones and Brandt Hughes combined to go 18-40 for 340 yards. Neither threw a touchdown pass. The Lobos need to run the ball effectively and keep Notre Dame’s offense off the field if they want to cover this game.
New Mexico vs. Notre Dame Pick & Prediction
This will be the home opener for Notre Dame. They opened up on the road against Louisville. Opening up as a top 10 team at home means that Notre Dame Stadium is going to be shaking. The Irish have now won 13 straight regular season games. They made the CFB Playoff and got completely ripped apart by Clemson.
Notre Dame wins in the regular season. Their schedule is not daunting. In this game, Notre Dame is a 35-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The o/u is set at 63.5. The Irish are a little over ranked early this season, but New Mexico is not a team that can compete in this game. Notre Dame will not blow may opponents out this season, but expect a lopsided game in their home opener.
PICK: Notre Dame -35
SCORE PREDICTION: Notre Dame 52, New Mexico 14