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NCAAF · 2 months ago

Notre Dame vs. Duke: Can the Irish Negate a Strong Homefield Advantage?

Sportsgrid-Staff

Sportsgrid-Staff

Notre Dame vs. Duke: Can the Irish Negate a Strong Homefield Advantage?

The Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade on a Saturday night: an arena of dreams for the home side and nightmares for the visitors. With Notre Dame Fighting Irish marching into town, the question on everyone’s lips is: Can Duke pull off another upset?

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Let’s not kid ourselves; this isn’t just any ordinary game at Wallace Wade. It’s becoming evident that this is as good of a home-field advantage as any in college football. You wouldn’t be remiss to compare the atmosphere here to the Mich Ultra arena in the WNBA. Duke has already silenced doubters with a shocker over Clemson this season, solidifying Wallace Wade as a fortress.

You don’t just walk into Wallace Wade and come out with a win. It’s no surprise that there’s chatter about the 12th man being in full effect here. Speaking of numbers, a cheeky nudge to Notre Dame’s defensive faux pas last week: playing with only 10 guys. Marcus Freeman, you know the rules. It’s 11!

Given the recent performance, the betting line does tilt in Notre Dame’s favor, and many anticipate a Fighting Irish rebound. Let’s not forget the Irish had a heartbreak against Ohio State at home last week. They were on the cusp of something special, twice driving deep into Buckeye territory but leaving with empty hands. Notre Dame is better than last week’s display and, indeed, more formidable than Duke on paper.

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While Duke’s win over Clemson was a stellar achievement, it’s worth diving into the numbers. Duke ran an impressive 199 yards against Clemson, with Riley Leonard accounting for over 90. However, Notre Dame’s defense might not be as generous. On the flip side, Duke’s defense was leaky, allowing 213 rushing yards. This could be an avenue of exploitation for Audric Estime, who would be looking to get back in form after a less-than-stellar outing against Ohio State.

Kudos to Duke, though, who boast the fourth-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing a miserly 8.8 points per game. But against a wounded Notre Dame side, they might find it challenging to keep those numbers low.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Duke fans. They’ve already exceeded expectations this season, and anything’s possible with the likes of Mike Elko and a rejuvenated program. If they pull this off, those who bet over 6.5 for Duke’s win total will laugh all the way to the bank.

With the spread currently sitting at a tantalizing -5.5, the expectation is for Notre Dame to bounce back with a victory, possibly by a touchdown or more. This contest promises to be one for the ages, and regardless of the outcome, college football fans are in for a treat.

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