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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer

Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Washington State

Bill Brink, Managing Editor

Finally, a week where Jimmy Clausen can prop his turf toe up during the fourth quarter, where Armando Allen can nurse his sore ankle and where the defense doesn't have intercept a pass to seal a game. Say what you want about the pass defense or the playcalling but it won't matter, because Clausen has to be salivating over this match-up. So, by the way, are Dayne Crist, Jonas Gray and John Goodman, who will see lots of second-half snaps after Clausen, Golden Tate and Kyle Rudolph blast open a big lead. The one statement that can be made in this game must come from the defense, who has a chance to dominate an opponent like they haven't done since Nevada.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 34, Washington State 10

Michael Bryan, Associate Sports Editor

Finally this will be a game that doesn't come down to the final minutes. It should be a happy Halloween and trip to San Antonio for the Irish, who face a Washington State team that has no real threats and holes everywhere on defense. The Notre Dame offense should be able to score however they want to, and the only thing that might stop Jimmy Clausen from putting up Hawaii Bowl numbers might be Weis putting in Dayne Crist. Look for the Notre Dame offense to run the ball early and often and for the defense to come up with several turnovers. Overall this should be a great game to gain momentum and hopefully learn how to put inferior teams away.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 40, Washington State 10

Matt Gamber, Sports Editor

This game should be a lot of treat without much trick for Notre Dame, right? It'd be nice if, for once, it could be that easy. I think this is a case where the Irish are just too much better than the Cougars, and despite Notre Dame's best efforts to play subpar teams down to the wire, Washington State just isn't good enough to hang around for long. I'd like to see Clausen, Allen and Tate all get their numbers and then get out — go enjoy some Halloween candy on the sideline, just don't get hurt. Even moreso, I'd like to see the defense show the potential to shut down an offense and shut the door on any thoughts of an upset early by coming up with turnovers that will kill Washington State's morale.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 45, Washington State 13

Sam Werner, Associate Sports Editor

It could get interesting if the Irish decide to make this one another nail-biter. Fortunately, that really shouldn't be the case. Even though they've had trouble with freshmen quarterbacks this season, expect the Irish defense to contain, if not completely shut down, Jeff Tuel and the Washington State offense. On the other side of the ball, a balanced attack will lead Notre Dame to a big early advantage. A finally healthy Armando Alllen should have a big day on the ground, and, most importantly, Notre Dame will finally face a pass defense even worse than its own. Jimmy Clausen — and hopefully Dayne Crist — should have a big day as the Irish win handily.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, Washington State 10