Is this what is standing between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the College Football Playoff? The Virginia Tech Hokies may pose the most significant threat for Notre Dame and their quest to get in the playoff. Their next biggest test is going to be the USC Trojans, the final game of the season. Let’s assume that Michigan wins out, beating Penn State, Michigan State, and Ohio State, along with winning the Big Ten. It seems farfetched, but they would maybe have a case, even though they lost to Notre Dame.
The committee wouldn’t probably have the guts to deny an undefeated team going to the playoff, though. Nevertheless, the strength of schedule would certainly favor Michigan, and it isn’t like the Irish blew them out in South Bend. This is assuming that the season goes like that. There is still a possibility that Notre Dame lose a game, even if they beat the Hokies tonight. Trap games have a funny way of becoming too close for comfort. Syracuse a week before the USC game in November? That one could get interesting, as good as Syracuse has been at getting up for superior opponents.
A night game at Blacksburg isn’t the easiest environment to navigate, so they can’t overlook Virginia Tech, either. In other words, Irish fans have to stop thinking about the playoff, and take it one game at a time. Notre Dame are fresh off an impressive 38-17 win over Stanford. This was after they took care of business in a possible trap game, with a 56-27 win against Wake Forest. With wins over Michigan and Stanford, they have two of the most impressive wins in the country thus far.
Virginia Tech has three wins and a loss on their resume. Their only loss? That came against Old Dominion in an upset on the road. Virginia Tech didn’t come to play football, especially the defense who gave up several big plays all game long. That can’t happen against Ian Book, the first-year Notre Dame quarterback who has looked sharp against Wake Forest and Stanford.
This will undoubtedly be his biggest challenge yet. Book has never played in an environment like he’s going to see in Blacksburg on Saturday evening. He looks like the best quarterback that Notre Dame has had in South Bend since Brady Quinn. Say what you want about Quinn in the NFL, but he set records in college. It’s going to be interesting to see how Book handles the Hokies on the road. Get our free Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech pick below.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Virginia Tech Hokies NCAAF Betting Odds:
Notre Dame -7(-110)
vs. Virginia Tech +7(-110)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Pick:
Virginia Tech got a lot of accolades after they embarrassed the Florida State Seminoles in the season opener. They punished the Seminoles for a final score of 24-3. But the way that the Seminoles have been playing, it doesn’t look like such a big win now. Nonetheless, Virginia Tech were impressive and did what they had to do. The only thing they haven’t done right is show up against Old Dominion.
The Hokies are coming off a 31-14 win over the Duke Blue Devils. Ryan Willis came in looking sharp, throwing 3 touchdowns and no interceptions with 332 yards. Willis came in and looked like he’s been starting at Virginia Tech for a few years. He also looked good against Old Dominion off the bench for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Willis transferred to Virginia Tech from Kansas, where he struggled for a couple of years. He had absolutely zero talent around him, so it’s really tough to get a read on him as a Jayhawk. His effort against Duke was a step in the right direction for sure. Willis is going to have an electric crowd backing him up at Lane Stadium.
Notre Dame has run the ball extremely well against Stanford and Wake Forest. They gashed Stanford for 272 yards and Wake Forest for 241 yards. I was on Notre Dame over Stanford last week for that very fact. Stanford is young up-front and it was eventually going to hurt them on the ground.
They aren’t going to see a weak defensive line in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech are 4th against the run, allowing just 84 yards per game rushing. That’s something that Ian Book hasn’t seen yet. He’s been helped out tremendously thus far by his running backs. Book might be asked to do it by himself in a hostile environment. Notre Dame gets by and wins this game, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as a lot of people believe. Virginia Tech rides their home crowd to a cover over the Irish on Saturday night.