Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech

No. 4 Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech Preview | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Written by on October 30, 2020

No. 4 Notre Dame has barely been challenged yet in its first – and apparently only – season in the ACC, and oddsmakers don’t expect the Fighting Irish to be in much jeopardy on Saturday, either at unranked Georgia Tech.

How to Bet Notre Dame at Georgia Tech NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Boddy Dodd Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Notre Dame -20 (total 57)

Series History

Schools haven’t played since 2007. It’s the 36th all-time meeting but first as ACC co-members – Notre Dame is in the ACC this year only. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series, 28-6-1, but the Yellow Jackets have two of the last four games in the series — a 33-3 rout at ND in 2007 and a 35-28 victory in the 1999 Gator Bowl (at the conclusion of the 1998 season). During that 2-2 span, the Jackets’ two losses were a 30-22 defeat at No.8 ND in 2015 and a 14-10 home loss to the second-ranked Irish in 2006.

Why Bet on Notre Dame? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

The Irish (5-0) beat Pittsburgh 45-3 last week. Ian Book led the way for the Irish with 312 yards passing and three passing touchdowns while adding 40 yards rushing on eight carries. He broke the game open by connecting with graduate student Ben Skowronek down the field twice – a 34-yard grab in the first quarter and a 73-yard scoring strike in the second.

Book moved into a tie for third all-time in Irish QB history in career 300-yard passing games (7) with John and Bobbie Arlotta Family offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Book is 25-3 (.893) as a starter, which ranks second nationally among all FBS quarterbacks (min. 20 wins), even as Book ranks 14th overall in total QB career starts (28). His 25 wins rank tied for third among all FBS quarterbacks.

The Irish held control of the ball for 40:59 minutes of possession time at Pitt, the most by an ACC team in a single game this season, and fifth-most in a single game among all FBS teams this season. Pittsburgh’s longest drive of the day was just 43 yards, and with just 19:01 of total possession time for the Panthers, none of their 13 drives lasted longer than 2:31.

Notre Dame added two rushing touchdowns on the afternoon, marking the first time the Pittsburgh defense has given up multiple rushing touchdowns since Oct. 5, 2019 against Duke. Over on the defensive side, the Irish were stout in the first half and held the Panthers to 97 yards of offense and just two yards rushing in the opening 30 minutes.

With just three points allowed vs. the Panthers, the defense has yielded just 9.8 points per game through the five games of the season. Notre Dame has now held 30-of-31 opponents to 30 or fewer points in the Clark Lea era. The Irish have held back-to-back opponents to fewer than 10 points for the first time since 2012 (Boston College – 6, Wake Forest – 0). 10 points or fewer, 2013 (Southern Cal – 10, Air Force, 10).

Notre Dame owns the longest active win streak in the FBS (11 games). The Irish have started the season 5-0 for the fourth time under head coach Brian Kelly.

Why Bet on Georgia Tech? | 2020 NCAA Expert Analysis

Georgia Tech (2-4) has followed a trend this season: Win, then lose two, win, then lose two. The Jackets were stomped 48-27 at Boston College last week. Phil Jurkovec threw for 145 yards and two Boston College touchdowns, adding 94 yards on the ground on as the Eagles scored their first seven full possessions.

The Yellow Jackets fumbled twice in the first half — including one that safety Mike Palmer returned 33 yards for a touchdown to make it 24-0. Jeff Sims responded with 32- and 33-yard TD passes, but the Georgia Tech defense wouldn’t make its first stop until there were two minutes left in the third quarter.

Georgia Tech’s three turnovers overall led directly to the losing margin of 21 points, while key penalties erased a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by true freshman Jahmyr Gibbs and extended two Boston College touchdown drives. In its four losses this season, Tech’s turnover margin is minus-11. In their two wins, the Yellow Jackets’ turnover margin is plus-four. Georgia Tech has lost the turnover battle in all four losses and won it in both wins.

As for this game, Georgia Tech will be playing top-five opponents in consecutive home games for only the second time when it welcomes Notre Dame just two weeks after it hosted top-ranked Clemson and got slaughtered 73-7. The only other time the Yellow Jackets played host to top-five teams in back-to-back home games came in 1983, when it hosted No. 5 North Carolina two weeks before it welcomed No. 5 Auburn to Grant Field.

Georgia Tech will pay homage to its famed Black Watch defense of the 1980s on Saturday when it wears throwback uniforms featuring black jerseys that the Yellow Jackets wore under head coach Bill Curry from 1980-86.

With 308 rushing yards, 206 receiving yards and 205 kickoff return yards this season, Georgia Tech’s Gibbs is the first player from a Power Five conference to record 300 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards and 200 kickoff return yards in his team’s first six games of the season since Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in 2017.

Georgia Tech continues to rank first in the ACC in fewest sacks allowed per game this season (1.67). Last season, Tech finished 86th nationally in sacks allowed (2.33/gm).

Game Trends

  • Fighting Irish are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
  • Fighting Irish are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a road favorite.
  • Yellow Jackets are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
  • Yellow Jackets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a home underdog.
  • Yellow Jackets are 3-13 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Expert Prediction Notre Dame 35, Georgia Tech 18
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