The number 12 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will host number 14 ranked Michigan Wolverines in the season opener on Saturday night. This is the first time that these two rivals have met since the 2014 season. Michigan leads the all-time series over the Fighting Irish, 24-17-1.
Notre Dame had a solid bounce-back season in 2017, finishing with a 10-3 record. The Fighting Irish defeated the LSU Tigers by a score of 21-17 in the Citrus Bowl. Michigan had another disappointing 2017 season that ended with three straight losses. The Wolverines finished the season, 8-5, including a loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. The Wolverines are a one-point favorite on the road on Saturday night.
Wimbush To Start Season Opener
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced earlier in the week that Brandon Wimbush would be the starting quarterback. The senior Wimbush made 12 starts last season for the Irish, but Ian Book replaced him in several of those starts. Wimbush completed just 49 percent of the passes he threw last season, but is capable of making plays with his legs. Notre Dame needs Wimbush to be at his best in order to beat Michigan.
The Notre Dame defense suffered a blow earlier this week when defensive back Shaun Crawford went down with a torn ACL. Crawford was expected to start on defense for the Irish. Notre Dame struggled on defense in several games last year, giving up more than 37 points on three different occasions. The Irish face a tough task against Michigan on Saturday night.
Michigan Finally Has Elite QB
Jim Harbaugh finally has an elite quarterback at Michigan. Ole Miss transfer, Shea Patterson will make the start for Michigan on Saturday night in the season opener. Patterson threw for over 2,200 yards and 17 touchdowns last season with the Rebels, and should put up huge numbers in the Michigan offensive system. Look for the Wolverines to come out throwing the ball around in this one.
The Michigan defense is also expected to be tremendous in 2018 after finishing the 2017 as the 13th best defense in the nation. The Wolverines have a squad filled with NFL prospects and they can turn defense into points at any instant. Michigan will put a ton of pressure on Brandon Wimbush in this game in hopes that he will make a key mistake.
Fighting Irish Win At Home
Notre Dame Stadium will be rocking on Saturday night for this top-15 clash of longtime rivals. The Wolverines hope to kick off their 2018 season with a huge road victory in hopes of reaching the College Football Playoffs this season. Look for the Michigan offense to be explosive this season, and should score a ton of points in this game.
The Fighting Irish are also looking for a big win to start off their season. Notre Dame has a ton of talent but now must prove that they can beat another top-ranked opponent. The fate of Notre Dame will likely land on Wimbush, who should be much better this season. Look for the Fighting Irish to find a way to win at home on Saturday night. Bet Notre Dame +1.0 to beat the Wolverines.
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