Longhorns To Have Trouble Against Superior Competition In The Form Of Notre Dame Fighting

Notre Dame player kicking ball

Joe Catalano

Sunday, August 28, 2016 6:26 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 6:26 PM UTC

It's week 1 and judgment day in NCAA Football as the Texas Longhorns, who are an up and coming team with young talent, square off against the 10th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Texas will have their work cut out for them as they still don't have a decisive number 1 quarterback. Do they have enough talent as the slight underdogs at home to compete with a team that's on the level of Notre Dame?

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Texas Longhorns
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EST  on Friday, September 4th at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. According to Bookmaker Sportsbook, the Fighting Irish are a 3 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 60 (-107). Usually, the 1st week of the NCAA Football, the lines are soft and that appears to be the case here as Texas isn't quite prepared to match up with Notre Dame this season.


Who's Behind Center?
It's not going to be a sophomore, Jerrod Heard (1214 yards, 5 TD, 5 INT) as he's moved to the wide receiver position. Instead senior, Tyrone Swoopes (537 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) and freshman, Shane Buechele will both see action at the quarterback position in this game. Swoopes is a big burly quarterback, nearing the 250-pound mark and he can run the football. This is a player that rushed for 451 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, highlighted by a 4 touchdown game rushing against Kansas last season in a 59-20 win. Swoopes is already a proven commodity. He threw for over 2000 yards two seasons ago and Texas will be leaning on his experience, but most people think that Buechele will eventually take over sole possession at quarterback.

With Jonathan Gray out of the picture, expect running back, D'Onta Foreman to eat up yardage on the ground as Texas looks to bleed the clock and prevent the Notre Dame offense from coming onto the field. Last season, Foreman was very effective as he ran for 681 yards and 5 TD's while missing the last two games of the season. Foreman had 4 games of over 100 yards and averaged hefty 7.2 yards per carry. He'll definitely be the main focus of the Notre Dame defense as the Irish can't allow Foreman to "break one" and give Texas any confidence.

Sophomore wide receiver, John Burt, should see an increase in the amount of times that he'll be targeted. He led the Longhorns in his freshman season with 457 yards and 2 TD's. Not one receiver on the Texas roster had more than 2 TD receptions last year and this will need to change if they expect to be a winning football team.

The Texas defense will be an issue in this game as this is a team that gave up a lot of yardage last season. The Longhorns allowed 452.6 yards of offense per game last season. Texas addressed their defense in their recruiting with players like linebacker, Jeffery McCulough and safety, Brandon Jones. In all, Texas has 5 freshman from Top 300 Recruits and they will make an immediate impact.


DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire?
Notre Dame has less deficiencies than Texas, but have a quarterback issue of their own. Senior, Malik Zaire, got injured  in week 2 with a season-ending ankle injury and junior, DeShone Kizer, took over and ran the offense well the rest of the season. Kizer threw for 2884 yards, 21 TD, 10 INT and ran for 520 yards and 10 TD's. It's been reported that both players will play as Kizer earned his spot by default. Look for Notre Dame to go with the hot hand as both players are very capable quarterbacks.


Torii Hunter Jr.
The Irish will need Hunter Jr. to step up as the top guy in the receiving corp after losing Will Fuller and Chris Brown. This will be a tall order for Hunter Jr. who caught 28 balls for 363 yards and 2 TD. The play of the receivers will be the biggest concern for Notre Dame this season. Look for Hunter Jr. to make an immediate impact in this game as he showed flashes of talent last year and he need's to have a big senior year if he expects to get a look from NFL scouts.

Expect for running back, Josh Adams, to have a big game as he's the #1 back in this offense and is coming off of a fantastic freshman season in which he ran for 835 yards and 6 TD's. Adams' biggest game of the season came against Stanford as he ran for 168 yards and 1 TD. This kid is the real deal and will get a major increase in carries this season.

While Texas is doing a great job of rebuilding, they'll be ready to be a major contender in a year, but during this season and in this game, they're going to have trouble against superior competition in the form of Notre Dame. Look for an easy Notre Dame victory and cover for your NCAAF pick.


Free NCAAF Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3 -107
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Don't Forget To Take A Look At NCAAF Betting Futures To Win National Championship

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