Saturday, October 17, 2020, Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana, 2:30 p.m. ET
Cardinals at Fighting Irish Betting Preview: Cardinals (+17), Fighting Irish (-17)
The Cardinals (1-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) are limping in on a three-game losing streak that features a pair of double-digit losses to Miami and Georgia Tech. A lack of big plays is an issue. They have just three plays covering 50 or more yards in their four games despite the presence of Malik Cunningham, who is sixth in the conference in passing with his average of 246.5 yards a game.
The problem doesn’t ride just with Cunningham, coach Scott Satterfield said.
“Malik’s overthrown a few of them,” Satterfield said. “But it seems like there’s been something different, whether it be Malik not throwing the proper ball or the receiver not running the proper route or the O-line or tight ends not protecting. So, in the course of the season, it’s been a little bit of everybody, I think, that have attributed to some of those shots not being there.”
Javian Hawkins has been a productive offensive threat. He has rushed for 468 yards and has one of the over-50 plays with a 75-yard run against Pittsburgh. He ran for 164 and 155 yards in losses to Miami and Georgia Tech, respectively.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
For No. 4 Notre Dame, just getting back to work is a big plus. The Fighting Irish (3-0, 2-0 ACC) will be playing on consecutive weekends for just the second time this season when they host Louisville Saturday.
They had gone from a 52-0 romp over South Florida on September 19 to the 42-26 win over Florida State last weekend without playing a game because of coronavirus issues.
“For us, getting into a normal work week is enjoyable,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “Certainly, getting back a routine gets back to a feeling of normalcy.”
Kelly said the layoff had an effect on his team’s defensive play after the Irish allowed the Seminoles 405 yards of total offense and 96 rushing yards by first-time starting quarterback Jordan Travis.”There were some uncharacteristic defensive lapses that occurred that we don’t normally see,” Kelly said. “But we will address those, and our guys are aware of them and they will be corrected for this weekend.”
Keeping Louisville’s Cunningham in check will be a priority for Notre Dame’s defense. Cunningham has averaged 246.5 yards a game passing and has 84 net yards rushing with the Cardinals yielding 14 sacks in four games. “Defending him out of the pocket is going to be a big concern for us,” Kelly said.
Cardinals at Fighting Irish Betting Pick:
Fighting Irish 49, Louisville 20
Cardinals at Fighting Irish Best Bet for October 17, 2020
The Cardinals are playing their third consecutive road game after their home loss to Miami was followed by losses at Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech. The Irish will be back in the groove after a hit-and-miss schedule brought on by coronavirus issues.
Cardinals at Fighting Irish Best Bet: OVER 64
–Field Level Media