The #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3) meet the #17 LSU Tigers (9-3) at 1 p.m. E.T. in Orlando, FL. The Fighting Irish come to this game having lost two of their last three, as #7 Miami took them down 41-8 and #21 Stanford beat them 38-20. LSU finished the regular season with a three-game winning streak. Their last loss was on Nov 4 to #2 Alabama 40-24. LSU finished third in the SEC West with a record of 6-2. Our Notre Dame plays LSU 2018 Citrus Bowl pick has the Tigers at -3.5 and the over/under at 51.5.
Notre Dame Overview
The Irish love to run. To that point, they are averaging 279 rushing yards per game, while throwing for 176 yards more. Notre Dame has been good for 35.3 PPG. There’s no doubt about it that QB Brandon Wimbush (49.8 COMP%, 16 TDs, 6 INTs) can both pass and run. It’s be great for the Irish if his completion percentage were a good six to nine points better. As a rusher, Wimbush has 14 TDs on 137 carries. He’s averaging 5.6 YPA and has gained a total of 765 yards. Josh Adams, who has nine TDs via the ground game, leads the team in carries (191), yards (1,386), and average yards per carry (7.3). Watch for wideouts Kevin Stepherson (19 REC, 359 YDs, 18.9 AVG, 5 TDs) and Equanimeous St. Brown (31 REC, 468 YDs, 15.1 AVG, 4 TDs).
The Irish are holding teams to 21.8 PPG and 214 yards in the air. They are giving up 153 yards on the ground. LSU will test ND’s rush defense with their powerful running game. Top performers on defense include LB Te’von Coney (99 TCKLs, 3 SCKs, 11.5 TFL), DL Jerry Tillery (52 TCKLs, 4 SCKs, 8.5 TFL), and CB Julian Love (62 TCKLs, 3 INTs, 17 PD, 2 TDs).
Fighting Irish Summary
- Expect offense to run a lot
- QB Wimbush offers variety
- Defense is sound, but can they hold back LSU ground attack?
The Tigers are holding teams to 18.8 PPG. They’re averaging 211 YPG on the ground and another 201 in the air. QB Danny Etling (60.3 COMP%, 14 TDs, 2 INTs) is an accurate passer who does not run much at all. The running is left up to Derrius Guice (216 ATT, 1,153 YDs, 5.3 AVG, 11 TDs) and Darrel Williams (136 ATT, 776 YDs, 5.7 AVG, 9 TDs). WR D.J. Chark leads all pass catchers with 35 catches for 811 YDs and 23.2 YPA. He has three TD grabs.
LSU’s defense is holding teams to 18.8 PPG. Opponents are averaging just 185 YPG passing and 126 YPG rushing. The Tiger D is very tough indeed. LB Devin White leads the team in tackles (127) and TFL (12.5), while lineman Christian Lacouture is tied for tops in sacks (7) and is second in tackles (61). The team has 35 sacks and close to 70 TFL. CB Andraez Williams comes to this game with five picks and nine PD. He the star in the secondary.
- Rush attack can be relentless
- Etling has sound passing skills
- Defense can win games
Three Citrus Bowl Takeaways
In developing our Notre Dame plays LSU 2018 Citrus Bowl pick, we offer these three takeaways-
- PF/PA ND = 13.5; LSU = 10
- Whose D can stop the rush?
- LSU gets edge on D, ND edge on O
Our 2018 Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton’s Pick
What will this game come down to? The Irish bring an offense to the field that can run and score. The Tigers counter with a no-holds barred defense. In out Notre Dame plays LSU 2018 Citrus Bowl pick, we are taking the over at 51.5. That’s despite the fine defenses. We think the ongoing rush attacks by both sides, along with a balanced pass attack, will open up scoring in this game. We’re taking ND with the points (+3.5).