Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 30, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 55 OCT. 30, 2017 39 ENDING THE MINI-STREAKS There are two mini-streaks that Notre Dame would like to end versus the Wolfpack. The first is the Wolfpack are 2-0 all time versus the Irish. They won 10-3 last year at Raleigh in treacherous hurricane conditions and 28-6 in the 2003 Gator Bowl when future NFL star Philip Rivers was the starting quarterback for North Carolina State while Irish starting signal-caller Car- lyle Holiday was knocked out of the game early. North Carolina State has never fin- ished in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll that began in 1936. The highest final placement occurred in 1974 — No. 11 — when third-year head coach Lou Holtz led the team to a 9-2-1 campaign. The Wolfpack also finished No. 9 in the coaches' poll, their lone top-10 finish ever. Nevertheless, despite that lack of renowned tradition, North Carolina State will attempt to become only the fourth team since the start of the 20th century to begin a series against Notre Dame with a 3-0 advantage, and the first in 77 years. Michigan and Wisconsin were the first two with three consecutive wins from 1900-08. Iowa became the third from 1921-40. The second streak is the Fighting Irish have lost three straight games to Power Five Conference teams mak- ing their debut in Notre Dame Sta- dium: Louisville (2014), Virginia Tech (2016) and Georgia (2017). Since the opening of Notre Dame Stadium in 1930, 15 of 76 opponents have won on their first visit — and six of them have occurred since 2009. In addition to the aforementioned three since 2014, they include Con- necticut (2009), Tulsa (2010) and South Florida (2011). TRENCH WARFARE Popular opinion throughout this preseason was that the Notre Dame offensive line would be the top strength for the Irish, and Lindy's even had it ranked No. 3 nationally (behind Oklahoma and Alabama). Meanwhile, Athlon had North Car- olina State's defensive line ranked No. 6 in the nation — and in the 2017 Notre Dame Football Preview, Blue & Gold Illustrated analyst Bryan Driskell had the Wolfpack defensive line ranked No. 1 among Irish oppo- nents, ahead of Miami and Georgia. Every 2017 starter for the Irish of- fensive line could well pick up an NFL paycheck a few years down the line, and potentially four or five along the Wolfpack defensive line could as well, most notably projected 2018 first-round pick Bradley Chubb, who through seven games this sea- son already had 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Meanwhile, junior end Darian Roseboro had 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a 2016 sopho- more — and is listed as a backup. Nose tackle B.J. Hill has nearly 40 career starts on the senior-laden unit. NFL scouts will intently watch these matchups, which should play a significant factor in the outcome. ✦ GAME PREVIEW: NORTH CAROLINA STATE Senior Bradley Chubb is an All-America candidate and leads a Wolfpack defensive line that is likely to be the best Notre Dame will face all year. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN Predictions Corey Bodden: Notre Dame 28, North Carolina State 24 It should be a fun matchup watching the Irish offensive line and the Wolfpack defensive line square off as both units are among the best at their respective crafts. The Irish find some success on the ground, and home-field advantage helps. Bryan Driskell: Notre Dame 27, North Carolina State 24 NC State might be the toughest matchup for Notre Dame this regular season from a personnel stand- point, and this game could be a fight to the finish, but in the end the Irish pull it out. David McKinney: Notre Dame 30, North Carolina State 28 Could well be Notre Dame's toughest game in its last six. NC State was a trendy pick to make a run this year, and the 6-1 Wolfpack quietly have become the team a lot of people expected them to be. Lou Somogyi: Notre Dame 31, North Carolina State 21 I like to do some "analysis," but to me this matchup is more about how the football gods cannot allow the Wolfpack to have a 3-0 all-time series advantage against Notre Dame.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 30, 2017