The No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1) will face No. 18 Virginia (4-0) this Saturday in a heavyweight bout of college football.
Virginia Has Not Been Challenged
Virginia has not always commanded respect in the college football world, but the Cavaliers have the attention of the fabled Fighting Irish this weekend. The Cavaliers finished 8-5 last season and have gotten off to a strong start in 2019. This is the first time since 2004 that Virginia has started the season 4-0 and is just the second season since 2011 that the team finds itself in the top 25.
However, this may be in large part to the lackluster competition the team has faced. Virginia has yet to play a ranked opponent this season and the four teams they have faced have a combined record of 10-11. This will be the first real test for Virginia when they face a Notre Dame team that has a chip on their shoulder coming off their first loss of the season.
Notre Dame Looks to Make a Statement
The Irish lost a tough game against No.3 Georgia Saturday when they fell 23-17. Notre Dame dropped three spots in the AP poll after the loss and their hopes of making the College Football Playoffs took a massive hit.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly took the blame for the loss and thought that the team’s lack of preparation played a role in their crushing defeat.
Irish had Louisville, a week off, then New Mexico. How could they possibly have not spent enough time preparing for Georgia?pic.twitter.com/zO2hEoLCdG
— Wes Blankenship (@Wes_nship) September 23, 2019
Expect Notre Dame to come out with a vengeance Saturday when they take the field. The Fighting Irish are not taking the competition lightly, however. Kelly believes that Virginia will be a challenge despite Notre Dame having a 89.6% chance of winning, according to ESPN.
Notre Dame is playing home and is favored by 12.5 points while Virginia is a significant underdog playing one of the premier teams in college football. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcasted on NBC.