Duke Blue Devils (0-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm (Notre Dame Stadium)
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -20.5 -- Over/Under: 55.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Duke Blue Devils and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet Saturday in college football action from Notre Dame Stadium.
The Blue Devils are coming off a pretty disappointing 2019, going 5-7 overall and 3-5 in ACC play. That left Duke one spot out of the basement in the Coastal Division and eliminated from bowl game contention. As for Notre Dame, they went 11-2 overall last season and stayed nationally ranked the entire year. The Fighting Irish earned a trip to the Camping World Bowl and took out Iowa State 33-9. Check back all season long for free college football picks and college football predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Among other issues, Duke had the misfortune of playing in one of the toughest conferences in football last year, leading to a dismal 3-5 ACC showing. The Blue Devils had a nice 4-1 run toward the beginning of the year, but lost six of their final eight games against some tough competition to leave the team out of a bowl berth.
In 2020, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe returns for his 13th season. He’s joined by offensive coordinator Zac Roper and co-defensive coordinators Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri. That crew opens up the season with a tall order here, made even worse by some injury news. Starting center Jack Wohlabaugh was ruled out last week with a torn ACL, and the Devils will have a tough time filling that gap.
Over on the Notre Dame side, they’re primed for another big season after a successful turn last year. The Irish’s only two losses came to No. 3-ranked Georgia 23-17 and No. 19-ranked Michigan. The Wolverines game stung quite a bit, as Notre Dame fell 45-14 and was knocked from No. 8 to No. 16 in the national rankings afterward.
Heading into 2020, Irish head coach Brian Kelly is back for his 11th season, and he brings defensive coordinator Clark Lea back for his third year. Notre Dame gets a new offensive coordinator this season in Tommy Rees. That crew will have their hands full with a tough schedule this year, including matchups versus Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech.
Duke is 14-2 ATS in their last 16 games on turf and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games in September. The Blue Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games.
Meanwhile, the Irish are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall and 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a favorite. Notre Dame is 5-1 ATS in their last six games in September and 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games.
Pick: I’m going Notre Dame here. The Irish will once again field a strong team in 2020, and the offense is looking pretty good. The team has a great line, with left tackle Liam Eichenberg and left guard Aaron Banks getting preseason looks as All-American selections. That unit should be a big lift to the rushing game, and I expect Notre Dame to put up some nice ground numbers starting here.