Let’s get wild, week 9: Statistical predictions for Notre Dame vs Syracuse

Although Syracuse isn’t a traditional power, they still boast a very quality team this fall. Their lone loss was last week to an undefeated Clemson squad, which didn’t really give a blueprint for how to beat the Orange. The Irish will have to do it their way and here are some stats that could help Notre Dame get another road upset victory against a ranked opponent.

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One of the running backs goes for over 150 yards

Oct 22, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Logan Diggs (3) gestures after a first down in the second quarter against the UNLV Rebels at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Irish need to shorten this game and what has been working for them when they win is the run game. Logan Diggs looked very healthy against UNLV while offensive coordinator Tommy Rees seemed to give Audric Estime the day off. The battering ram is refreshed, while Chris Tyree can go off at any time. Rees needs to ride the hot hand, whoever it is as one of the three-headed running back monster goes for over 150 yards.

The Irish shut down the Syracuse rushing attack

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be about the run for both offenses, especially since Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader does a good amount of damage along with running back Sean Tucker. Since his 232 yard game against Wagner, Tucker hasn’t gone over the 100 yard mark in their last two games. The Orange average almost exactly the same on the ground as the Irish, but today, Notre Dame holds them under 125 yards.

Someone other than Michael Mayer leads the team in receiving yards

Oct 8, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Jayden Thomas (83) scores a touchdown against Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Kody Epps (0) and defensive back Talan Alfrey (25) during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the better defenses that Notre Dame will face this season. On the year, Syracuse allows just 294 total yards while giving up just 15 points a contest. They will not let Michael Mayer beat them so someone else has to step up. Will it be Lorenzo Styles, Tobias Merriweather, Braden Lenzy, Jayden Thomas? It’s hard to pinpoint one player from this group that could explode, given their struggles this season, so (picks a name randomly) Thomas has 85 yards on the day.

The Irish sack Shrader three times

Notre Dame defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey (7) celebrates as California quarterback Jack Plummer (13) lays on the field during the Notre Dame vs. California NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.
Notre Dame Vs California

Defensive end Isaiah Foskey had a monster game against UNLV. Three sacks and two blocked punts is exactly what the doctor ordered. Linebacker JD Bertrand and end Rylie Mills got to the quarterback also, giving the Irish four sacks last week. This week should be more of the same as the Syracuse offensive line gives up an average of 2.5 sacks a game and just allowed five against Clemson. The Irish keep up that pressure on Shrader and take him down three times today.

Drew Pyne is efficient and doesn’t turn the ball over

Oct 22, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne (10) runs the ball agaisnt UNLV Rebels defensive lineman Adam Plant Jr. (7) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

In a game like this, Rees should put most of the pressure on the running backs and offensive line. That will allow Pyne to have more than a few easy throws, screens and short passes, for him to gain confidence and move the chains. He has to be careful against this very solid Syracuse secondary, not getting baited into making questionable throws. A completion percentage around 60, with 200 yards and no interceptions should get to the job done for the Irish.

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire