The #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-1) look to bounce back on the road against the Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1) in a battle between two perennial football powerhouses. Notre Dame lost a tough battle at home against Cincinnati last week, while the Hokies enjoyed extended rest with a week off. The last time these two teams met was in 2019, with Notre Dame taking a 21-20 victory at home.
Saturday night’s kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA. According to oddsmakers, the Irish are a 1-point road favorite, and the total over-under is at 47 points.
What to Know – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Irish have to have a short memory after suffering their first loss of the season. Notre Dame faces their first true road contest in a stadium that will be rocking with Hokie faithful.
Jack Coan started the game under center for the Irish after exiting last week’s contest against Wisconsin with an ankle injury. Coan 14-of-22 for 114 yards and one interception. In the second half, Backup Drew Pyne came off the bench and completed only 9-of-22 passes for 143 yards and the Irish’s lone passing touchdown.
Notre Dame mustered up just 84 yards on the ground against a tough Bearcats’ defense and continued to struggle to get anything going in the run game, ranking 124th in the nation in rushing offense.
The Irish are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games played in October, but an impressive 8-2 ATS in their last ten games played in Week 6.
What to Know – Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech won’t wow you offensively, but the Hokies have a strong defense and balanced offensive approach. VT dropped FCS Richmond, 21-10, in Week 4 before their bye week.
Quarterback Braxton Burmeister has looked good in his first four games as the Hokies starter. The Oregon transfer has thrown for 746 yards and rushed four 140, accounting for six touchdowns. Burmeister’s completed 61.4% of his throws and thrown just one interception.
Virginia Tech splits the carries between running backs Jalen Holston and Raheem Blackshear. Holston leads the charge with 159 yards on the ground and averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Blackshear leads the team with three touchdowns and is right behind Holston with 144 yards rushing.
The Hokies are 3-6 ATS in their last nine contests but 7-3 ATS over their previous ten when playing as the underdog.
The Pick is In
One of the biggest question marks heading into Saturday’s game is how the Irish will respond after taking it on the chin last weekend against Cincinnati. Virginia Tech was able to rest and spend two weeks prepping for their biggest game of the season.
Another question is who is going to be taking the majority of the snaps under center for ND. Neither Coan nor Pyne did anything last week to separate themselves from the other.
Expect a low-scoring dog fight between these two, but ND tight end Michael Mayer is the difference-maker in this one and gets the Irish a bounce-back victory.
Betting Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -1