#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Virginia Cavaliers
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, Virginia
Opening Line: Notre Dame -10
Current Line: Notre Dame -11
Opening Total: 51 1/2
Current Total: 47 1/2
Opening Money Line: Notre Dame -390 / Virginia +320
Current Money Line: Notre Dame -430 / Virginia +345
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Virginia Cavaliers meet for only the second time ever Saturday in Charlottesville. Notre Dame won in 1989 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Virginia will travel to Notre Dame in 2019 to complete the home and home.
Notre Dame is coached by Brian Kelly. Virginia is coached by Mike London. Notre Dame looked like a playoff contender in their season opener at home against Texas in a 38-3 rout last Saturday. Virginia lost at then #13 UCLA 34-16 last week.
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Notre Dame was an 8.5 point favorite against Texas last week and the total was 48. The Fighting Irish absolutely dominated the game in all facets from start to finish. Notre Dame scored two touchdowns in the first quarter including a 16 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Malik Zaire to receiver Will Fuller. Josh Adams added a 14 yard touchdown run. The Fighting Irish added a field goal in the second quarter to make it 17-0 at halftime. Texas kicked a field goal midway through the third but would not score again. Zaire threw two more touchdowns in the second half including 66 yards to Fuller and 6 yards to Chris Brwon. Adams also added a 25 yard rushing touchdown.
Notre Dame had 527 total yards including 313 passing and 214 rushing yards. Texas had just 163 total yards. Notre Dame had 30 first downs to 8 for Texas. Neither team had a turnover. The Irish dominated time of possession 39 minutes to 21. Texas had 4 penalties for 50 yards and Notre Dame had 6 for 39 yards. Texas was 2/14 on third down conversions.
Zaire completed 19/22 passes for 313 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, and also rushed for 16 yards on 9 carries. Running back C.J. Prosise had 20 carries for 98 yards. Adams had 5 carries for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns. The win was costly though as running back Tarean Folston tore his ACL and is lost for the season. Fuller had 7 catches for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Amir Carlisle had 3 catches for 55 yards. Brown had 3 catches for 38 yards and a touchdown.
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Virginia was an 18 point underdog at UCLA and the total was 53. Virginia opened the scoring with a field goal, but UCLA would lead 7-3 by the end of the first. Virginia added two more field goals in the second quarter, but UCLA would take a 17-9 lead into halftime. The Bruins would pull away in the second half with two third quarter touchdowns. UCLA expanded the lead to 34-9 with a field goal midway through the fourth. Virginia scored a late touchdown to give bettors a push on the 18 point line that made the final score 34-16.
UCLA had 503 total yards including 351 passing. Virginia had 336 total yards including 238 passing. UCLA had 25 first downs to 19 for Virginia. The Cavaliers had the only turnover of the game. Each team had 7 penalties with 45 yards for Virginia and 75 for UCLA. Virginia held the ball for 34 minutes to 26 for UCLA.
Virginia quarterback Matt Johns completed 21 of 35 passes for 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and also rushed for 11 yards. Running back Taquan Mizzell had 16 carries for 45 yards along with 8 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Albert Reid had 12 carries for 31 yards. Canaan Severin had 5 catches for 58 yards. Evan Butts had 2 catches for 42 yards.
Notre Dame is 5-2 ATS after allowing 20 points or less, 2-5 overall, 1-4 against teams with losing records, 2-8 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, and 0-4 after passing for more than 280 yards.
Virginia is 4-0-1 ATS in non-conference games and in September, 4-0 against independent teams, 6-1-1 at home, 7-2-1 against teams with winning records, 6-2 after a straight up loss, 9-4-2 after allowing more than 450 yards, overall and on grass.
Virginia showed signs that they could perhaps make a bowl game against UCLA. The Cavaliers hung around for a half but could only kick three field goals of 42 yards or less. They worse down in the second half. Notre Dame can’t overlook this team on the road. This could be a let down game with Texas last week and a showdown against another top 15 team, Georgia Tech next week. I think Virginia keeps it relatively close but Notre Dame simply has too much.