Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#379 Bowling Green vs.
#380 Notre Dame
Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend
Written by David Hess

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#379 Bowling Green State University
#380 University of Notre Dame
1-3
3-1
1-3
3-1
1-3
2-2
18
38
37
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College Football Action on Saturday afternoon and the Bowling Green Falcons from the Mid-American Conference mix it up with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. These teams have never faced each other.

The Falcons enter this game off a bye week and before it they lost 62-20 on the road to Kent State, which puts them at 1-3 on the year, while the Irish come in off a 35-20 home win over Virginia to move to 3-1 on the season.

The Falcons Have Been Getting Crushed

The Bowling Green Falcons are off to a rough 1-3 start to their year. They did win their opener by a score of 46-3 over Morgan State, but since then, it has been all downhill. The Falcons come into this game having lost their last three games in a row, which were all against FBS foes, and they have been outscored 149-27 in those three games. I'm going to go out on a limb to say "That's not good". Their defense was atrocious last year as they allowed 40.0 ppg and it has not gotten better this year as they have allowed 49.7 ppg to their three FBS foes that they have faced. Now they have to try and slow down a very good Notre Dame offense that is looking to explode on someone. It will not be easy.

Making it worse for the Eagles is that their offense hasn't come close to making up for the lack of defense on their team. They have seven starters back from a group that averaged just 24.3 ppg last year and they will enter this game having averaged just 18.2 ppg overall and just 9.0 ppg against FBS foes. That is also not good news for the Falcons as the Notre Dame defense has been solid in the early going. It shut down Georgia for most of the game and last week in the 2nd half it shut down Virginia. The Falcons are 110th in the nation in passing and the Irish have one of the best secondaries in the nation.

The Falcons lost 62-20 two weeks ago to Kent State and they were outgained 750-362 in the contest. Darius Wade did not have a good game as he hit 18/25 passes for 161 yards with no TDs and two INTs. He now has three TDs and three INTs on the year. Andrew Clair had a nice game with 61 yards rushing and a TD. He is 2nd on the team in rushing with 158 yards and Davon Jones is first with 205. The Falcons have been led by their ground game and it could have some success against a Notre Dame defense that has struggled against the run this year.

The head coach for Bowling Green is former

The Irish Had Nice Bounce Back Win

The Irish enter this game at 3-1 on the year. Two weeks ago they faced Georgia on the road and came out of it with a 23-17 loss. They were then able to bounce back with a solid 35-20 win over 18th ranked Virginia at home. The Irish were down 17-14 at the half, but their defense took over in the 2nd half to lead them to victory. Despite losing to the Bulldogs, the Irish feel that they still have a shot at the playoffs. They just have to win the rest of their games. The saving grace could be that they were not blown out by Georgia, which many thought they would. The Irish have USC on deck at home and they still have road games against Michigan and Stanford down the road, so if they do win out they could very well sneak into the playoffs as a one-loss team.

The Irish had one great offensive game so far and that was when they scored 66 points against New Mexico a few weeks ago. Well, their offense could have another good showing in this one as they are facing one of the worst defenses in the nation. Ian Book is off to a decent start as he has thrown for 993 yards with eight TDs and just two INTs so far. He will take aim at a Bowling Green defense that is 74th against the pass. The Irish finally got their ground game going last week as they ran for 178 yards against a very solid Virginia front wall. Tony Jones Jr. had a huge game as he ran for 131 yards and three TDs in the contest and he now has his sights set on another solid outing as he will be facing the 117th ranked run defense in the nation.

However, Book has to play better for the Irish to go far this season. This is a game where he should have a big game or half against a poor defense.

“I would’ve liked to maybe made a couple more plays and put the whole game — the Georgia game on his back, and then I would say yeah we’re exactly where we want to be,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “But we’re in a pretty good position, top 10 in the country. So, you know, yeah, could we be a little bit better? Sure. I think we all could be. I could be coaching a little bit better.

“So I’m certainly not displeased with Ian Book, that’s for sure.”

The defense had a strong showing in the win, especially after the break as they allowed just three points in the 2nd half. Notre Dame forced five turnovers, recorded eight sacks and allowed only 4 rushing yards in the win. Those are SEC type defensive numbers and they will look to keep it going against a Bowling Green offense that has averaged just 9.0 ppg and 264 ypg in their three games against FBS foes this year. The Irish are 53rd in total yards allowed and 27th in points allowed, giving up just 18.5 ppg. It is inconceivable that the Irish will lose this game, but whether they cover or not will come down to if they are peeking ahead to USC or not.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Bowling Green Falcons are a bad, bad team. They have been outscored by 40.7 ppg in their three games against FBS foes and two weeks ago, they lost by 42 points against a fellow MAC team. How will they hold up against the 10th ranked team in the nation? They won't. I am not worried about the Irish looking ahead to USC. This is a team that needs big impressive wins and they are also a team that needs to get their offense going again. That will happen in this one against a Bowling Green team that has allowed 547.7 ypg and 49.7 ppg over their last three games.  Notre Dame will get their ground game going against one of the worst run defenses in the nation and that will allow Book to have a strong showing in the passing game. I would look for the Notre Dame punter to take the day off. The Irish will rout the falcons in this tune-up game for the tough stretch ahead.

Prediction: Notre Dame -45.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Irish scored 66 points on New Mexico a few weeks ago and they will come close to hitting the 60 point mark in this one. The Falcons have a bad defense that has allowed 574.7 ypg and 49.7 ppg in their three games against FBS foes. Two weeks ago, they allowed 62 points to Kent State, which does not have an offense as good as Notre Dame's. The Irish finally got their run game going last week and the Falcons are 117th against the run. Once Notre Dame gets their ground game going, we will see Ian Book hit some big plays down the field. The Falcons are not a great offensive team, but they have averaged 18.2 ppg on the year and notre dame has allowed 18.5 ppg. The Falcons won't come close to that, but they should be good for at least 10 points.  The Over is 8-2 in Bowling Green's last 10 games in October and that is the clincher. Notre Dame wins 57-10.

Prediction: Over 60.5
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.