Notre Dame vs Cincinnati prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 2
Notre Dame vs Cincinnati How To Watch
Date: Saturday, October 2
Game Time: 2:30 ET
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
How To Watch: NBC
Record: Notre Dame (4-0), Cincinnati (3-0)
– Sign up and live stream college football on ESPN+
Notre Dame vs Cincinnati Game Preview
Why Cincinnati Will Win
Desmond Ridder (probably) won’t throw four interceptions.
Wisconsin has a better defense than Cincinnati does, but it didn’t have the NFL-caliber quarterback with the mobility and downfield passing arm that Ridder brings to his date with the Irish.
Notre Dame still has the same problems it had before and during the blowout win over the Badgers, and the Bearcats can exploit them.
Did the Irish O line get better over the last week? Probably not. It’s talented, but it needs more time and seasoning – it’s not great in pass protection.
Is the running game going to be stronger and more consistent? Probably not.
Can the Irish win this by throwing the ball? Cincinnati has come up with six interceptions in the last two games, and Notre Dame QB Jack Coan is still hobbling – but he’s expected to play.
The Bearcats have the offensive line to hold up against the great Notre Dame defensive front, the D has been a rock in the red zone, and …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
Back it all up for a moment.
Yeah, the Irish offensive front has been an issue, but Cincinnati’s D doesn’t get into the backfield. In the first three games it only has four sacks and 19 tackles for loss – it’s not going to jump on Jack Coan’s head like the Badger D did.
Yeah, Ridder probably isn’t going to screw up like Mertz did – more like he’ll be put in better situations than the Badger quarterback found himself in – but he’s not above turning the ball over. He threw two picks in the opener against Miami University.
Yeah, Cincinnati is 3-0 and ranked in the top ten, but … Miami University, Murray State, and Indiana? Oooooooooooh – and the Bearcats were struggling against a meh Hoosier team until late.
Yeah, Notre Dame has struggled a bit too much, it didn’t do anything over the first three games to suggest it was anything special, and it was down in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin before the epic avalanche.
It has an incredible defensive front, safety Kyle Hamilton might be the best safety in college football, and for all the flaws on offense, the team is 4-0 against three Power Five programs including two in the Big Ten.
What’s Going To Happen
The winner of this game will be the darling of the College Football Playoff prediction crowd until something else happens.
For Notre Dame, a win will get thrown in the bucket with all the big-time programs still to play and coming off the terrific win over Wisconsin in Soldier Field.
For Cincinnati, this is it. After this it’s all American Athletic Conference programs the rest of the way – style points will count here, assuming it’s a win.
The Bearcats will come out roaring. They’ll play like a rested team that’s been waiting for this chance to make a giant playoff statement, but the Irish will settle in.
Neither side will do much for the running game, but the Notre Dame defense will start to take over as the game goes on, it’ll force a key turnover – not the bazillion it got against Wisconsin, but a big one – and it’ll be just enough to be the spark to take the momentum.
Once again, it won’t be a perfect performance, but 5-0 will be 5-0.
Notre Dame vs Cincinnati Prediction, Line
Notre Dame 26, Cincinnati 24
Line: Cincinnati -2, o/u: 50.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 5
5: ‘The Low End Theory’ 30th anniversary
1: Not knowing how David Letterman rolls