Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh: Halfway through the season and there’s no doubt that Notre Dame has been head and shoulders better than every other team in college football. The efficiency of the offense combined with the disruptiveness of the defense has made Nick Saban’s team look truly unstoppable. The next team to try what appears to be impossible is Pittsburgh. And the game is in Tuscaloosa.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Notre Dame
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
At some point, Notre Dame’s offense will hiccup. Nothing can go on forever. The only question now is which team — which defense — finds a weakness and takes advantage of it? Can it be Mizzou? The Tigers are 12th in the SEC in points allowed per game. So, no, that seems unlikely.
Notre Dame: Can Notre Dame’s offense keep up the absurd numbers? Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is averaging 14.8 yards per passing attempt. To put that ridiculous number into more context, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield averaged 11.5 yards per attempt during last year’s Heisman Trophy winning season — and that was a NCAA FBS record. It’s also ahead of Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray, who is averaging 13.8 yards per attempt this season. Tagovailoa has 18 touchdowns vs. just 25 incompletions and zero interceptions on just 16.8 attempts per game. This is truly historic efficiency we’re talking about here.
Pittsburgh: Conversely, can the Tigers do anything to stop Notre Dame’s offense? Yes, Pittsburgh can play shootout, but not nearly well enough to keep up with Bama at this rate. What’s so dangerous about the Tide is how accurate Tagovailoa is with his ball placement. Even if Mizzou can get pressure on him or defend well, there’s been almost no defense for how well he leads his receivers.
Notre Dame has been on the right end of so many blowouts it’s become almost impossible to find a trend against the spread. However, The Crimson Tide haven’t covered in their last two conference games. Pittsburgh has the offense to at least put up points, even if some are in garbage time. Pick: Pittsburgh
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