Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-3) at Texas Longhorns (5-7)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 4, 2016, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Texas Longhorns +3.5 -- Over/Under: 60
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Texas Longhorns open the season Sunday night at Royal Texas Memorial Stadium on ABC.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hope to build on last years 10 victories that produced a Fiesta Bowl berth. DeShone Kizer returns at quarterback after throwing for 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns. Torii Hunter Jr. and Nic Weishar return at wide receiver after combining for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns while Durham Smythe had three receptions. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish ground game averaged 207 yards per contest last season and Josh Adams returns after racking up 838 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Notre Dame allowed 24.1 points and 372 yards per game. Max Redfield returns after 64 tackles, James Onwualu had three sacks and Cole Luke had two interceptions.
The Texas Longhorns need to get off to a strong start after winning just 11 games the last two years. Freshman Shane Buechele is expected to lead the Longhorns offense that struggled last season. John Burt and Armanti Foreman return at wide receiver after combining for more than 600 yards and four touchdowns while Andrew Beck had eight receptions. The Texas Longhorns ground game averaged 224 yards per contest last season and D’Onta Foreman returns after racking up 681 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Texas allowed 30.3 points and 452 yards per game. Malik Jefferson returns after 61 tackles, Naashon Hughes had 5.5 sacks and Dylan Haines had five interceptions.
The Fighting Irish are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games on fieldturf and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September. The Longhorns are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. INDEP and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
Texas has the athletes to compete with Notre Dame and having this game at home is huge. The place is going to be going nuts. Also, the Longhorns showed signs of life late last season by beating Oklahoma and Baylor and losing to Texas Tech by three points. I think the Longhorns are starting to turn things around and are eager to prove they're closer to turning the corner than most give them credit. This is a dangerous game for Notre Dame.
I'm going to take the points here, but think the Longhorns can win this outright.