Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Arizona State

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Arizona State ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Can Arizona State pull off a big win in Big D?

Why Notre Dame will win the biggest game of the week:

This is a must-win game for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame can still salvage a respectable season by beating the only ranked team on their schedule until Stanford in the season finale. This is a neutral site game, which could help erase the memories of last week’s home loss to Oklahoma. Notre Dame will need to put last week behind them in order to avoid a second straight loss. A bright spot for the Irish was RB George Atkinson III, who ran for 148 yards, including a nice 80 yard touchdown run. The Irish were able to generate a season-high 220 yards on the ground in the loss. Notre Dame will try to establish the run against an Arizona State defense that allowed two 100 yard rushers to USC last week.

Why I could be wrong:

As bad as the Fighting Irish looked against Michigan State two weeks ago, their effort against Oklahoma was even worse. QB Tommy Rees completed only 9 of 24 passes with three interceptions. This is the second straight poor showing from Rees. Arizona State put a whipping on USC 62-41, totaling 612 yards on offense. The Sun Devils are averaging 359 yards through the air against quality opponents. The defense will need to come to play after giving up 542 yards to USC. QB Taylor Kelly will look to test an Irish secondary that gave up 232 yards passing to Oklahoma QB Blake Bell. You know the Sun Devil wide receivers are chomping at the bit to showcase their talents on national TV.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Notre Dame tumbled out of the Top 25 following their loss to Oklahoma. The Irish need to bounce back in a prime time game at AT&T Stadium to right the ship. Arizona State has an explosive, exciting offense, but the defense has had difficulty stopping opposing offenses. Something will have to give Saturday night. How will Arizona State react to being in the spotlight? Will Notre Dame regroup and put last week behind them? This has all the makings of an exciting clash in Dallas. Who do you see coming out on top?

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Michigan State ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Can the Irish fight off Oklahoma once again?

Can the Irish fight off Oklahoma once again?

 

Why Notre Dame will win the biggest game of week five:

The Fighting Irish looked bad against Michigan State last week. The offense could only muster 220 yards of total offense. After opening the season with three 300 yard passing games, quarterback Tommy Rees managed just 142 yards against the Spartans. As a team they committed eight penalties. But when it was all said and done, they found a way to win. Good teams have a knack for doing that. The Notre Dame defense stepped up to preserve the victory by holding the Spartans to just a field goal in the fourth quarter. Up next is an Oklahoma team it handled easily last year in Norman.

Why I could be wrong:

Oklahoma was embarrassed by Notre Dame last season. You know the Sooners want to come into South Bend and extract an amount of revenge on the Fighting Irish. Quarterback Blake Bell will try to establish himself and wear down the Irish defense. Bell made his first start last week and threw four touchdown passes in a victory over Tulsa. Known more for his running ability, Bell might catch the Notre Dame defense off guard with a balanced offensive attack. Oklahoma is averaging 490 yards per game, and the Fighting Irish defense has been gouged for some big plays this season.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Oklahoma is 1-9 all-time versus Notre Dame. The Irish have a veteran signal caller in Rees while Sooners quarterback Bell makes just his second start. This game has the makings of another easy Irish victory. But don’t count out the Sooners as long as coach Bob Stoops is patrolling the sidelines. Stoops has a history of pulling out games his teams shouldn’t have won. The chess match between Stoops and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly should make this one of the most entertaining games on Saturday. Who do you think will win this year’s game?

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

The Other Lead – Your Sports Weekend in GIFs, Pics and Video

Most of the shocking games came in the NFL this week, where a few teams that were predicted to go to the playoffs sit at 0-3. The New York Giants are one of them after their truly awful display in Charlotte. They lost 38-0 to a previously 0-2 Carolina Panthers. This is what Eli’s day consisted of:

 

Similarly, the Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-3 after a loss to the Bears. They had five turnovers, in a bold attempt to out-Giant the Giants. But hey, Pittsburgh still has the Pirates (has anyone said that without sarcasm in the last few decades?). This sums up what the entire city of Pittsburgh thinks of this team right now:

 

On the flip side, the MIAMI DOLPHINS ARE 3-0 with wins over the Colts and Falcons. The Dolphins beat Atlanta 27-23 by converting in the red zone while the Falcons were in five times and scored only two touchdowns. Here’s the play that won the game:

 

In the college football world Michigan and Notre Dame were really the only two teams in the Top 25 to play close games, with both winning. Louisville beat Florida International so badly, ESPN gave their “top performer” distinction to a guy with these stats:

Miami also beat up on perennial pay-us-for-a-home-win school Savannah State by a Vegas score of 77-7. Here’s a tiny 5’9, 180 lb. defensive back about to get stiff-armed by Miami’s 6’4, 260 lb. tight end:

 

And last but not least, a couple of nice little back-heel goals from the weekend. The first is from Paulinho, Tottenham’s new midfielder. The score was 0-0 in stoppage time when he found himself at the end of a Erik Lamela pass and gave Spurs the win:

If you haven’t heard of Paulinho or even Tottenham, you’ve definitely heard of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Here he is doing what he does best — scoring goals of ridiculous quality:

I’m making a prediction for next week… LSU-Georgia will be discussed. Stay bold, y’all.

Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Michigan State

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Michigan State ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Why Notre Dame Will Win The Biggest Game Of Week Four:

The Fighting Irish rebounded from their loss to Michigan by beating an inspired Purdue team. Notre Dame rallied with 21 fourth quarter points to spoil a Boilermaker upset. Quarterback Tommy Rees paced the offense with his second 300 yard passing game this season. The defense held Purdue to just 38 yards rushing and scored a touchdown to seal the win. They will be in for a test with a Michigan State team that ran for 277 yards against Youngstown State.

Why I Could Be Wrong:

NCAA Football: Michigan at Notre Dame

Notre Dame hopes to avoid its second loss of the season to the state of Michigan

Michigan State may have found their quarterback. Sophomore Connor Cook passed for 202 yards in his first start of the season. The Spartan defense has been opportunistic by scoring four touchdowns in the first two games. Michigan State will be playing their first ranked team of the season and would love to hand the Fighting Irish their second loss to a team from Michigan. Notre Dame managed only 91 yards rushing against Purdue.

Why You Don’t Want To Miss This One:

Notre Dame starts a four game home stand with a Spartan team they have beaten three out of the last four years. Will the Irish be looking ahead to next week’s clash with Oklahoma? Michigan State faces its toughest challenge of the young season and can make a statement with a victory. The Fighting Irish will match its 16th ranked passing attack against the Spartans 12th ranked scoring defense. Something will have to give in this clash of gridiron powerhouses in a series that dates back to 1897. Who do you think will win this year’s game?

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

Game of the Week: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Michigan Wolverines

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Michigan ranks #1 on our list.  Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Why Michigan will win the biggest game of week one:

The Big House. More than 100,000 fans under the lights for a rivalry that dates back to 1887. The last time these two schools met in Ann Arbor, Michigan pulled out a 35-31 thriller. A solid running game will keep Notre Dame’s offense on the sidelines. Last week the Wolverines rolled up 242 yards on the ground versus Central Michigan despite having three new starters on the offensive line. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly caused a stir last Sunday when he said he didn’t think of Michigan as a rival. Although he did back down from this statement this should add to the game’s intensity.

Why I could be wrong:

Tommy Rees. The senior QB lit up Temple for 346 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 completions. The Fighting Irish needed Rees to step up following the announcement of Everett Golson’s ineligibility. Rees led Notre Dame to 543 yards of offense. Michigan QB Devin Gardner threw two interceptions last week against Central Michigan. Michigan turned the ball over six times in a 13-6 loss to the Fighting Irish last season. Ball security has to improve.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

This is most likely the final game played in the Big House in this storied rivalry. Notre Dame decided not to renew the series in 2015 due to their new ACC schedule. Michigan fans would love to send the Fighting Irish home with a loss and have bragging rights in what may be the series finale. If Notre Dame has BCS aspirations it cannot afford a loss in this evenly-matched game. Join me in prime time on Saturday night as I’ll be live-tweeting during the game. Follow @TicketCity and @JeffKubiszyn and share your predictions with us.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table.