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Notre Dame’s Opponents: Quality of Clemson and USC remains unknown despite top-10 rankings Leftovers & Links: Manti Te’o’s return to Notre Dame ‘always’ a comfortable one for him, long before recent Netflix doc Things We Learned: Notre Dame OL’s second-half surge against Cal a step forward despite ‘a long way to go’ Highlights: Notre Dame 24, Cal 17 — A chaotic final minute, a repeated play call and late-game dominance from the Irish defensive line Notre Dame defense, RB Audric Estime push Irish past Cal in miscue-filled afternoon

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The strength of Notre Dame’s schedule is usually only mentioned in comparison to other playoff contenders when trying to predict what the college football playoff selection committee will score. Given already two defeats, this consideration no longer applies in 2022.

Instead, looking at the Irish schedule is now meant to highlight current trends for upcoming opponents, point out what games can still be won for Notre Dame, its struggling offense and its defense that has yet to see a change this season.

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Pessimists among Irish fans may see a schedule that could lead to a fiasco a la 2016, but Notre Dame should still be ahead in at least seven of the remaining 10 games. On the other hand, in 2016 the Irish won nine games, losing six times.

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Californian (2-0): The Bears led 20-7 in the fourth quarter against UNLV, seemingly on the verge of prototype. Justin Wilcox a win entirely inspired by his defense until the Rebels hit a 4-game touchdown for 75 yards midway through the fourth quarter. UNLV then threatened again, scoring a goal from the 10-yard line in the closing minutes before Cal got up when it mattered most, causing three under-completions.

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The Bears remain underdogs in Notre Dame with 11 points as of Wednesday afternoon and PointsBet has set the total over/under 41, suggesting a 26-16 result.

North Carolina (3-0): The Tar Heels faced their second consecutive tough Sun Belt opponent on the road, and they held on to a failed bid for the second week in a row, outscoring Georgia State 35-28.

North Carolina conceded 235 yards, including 4.4 carry yards, but were spurred to victory by the sophomore quarterback’s continued brilliance. Drake May. His 284 yards and two rushing yards on 19 of 24 passes may seem modest, but May’s scoring and scoring are the only reasons the Tar Heels remain unbeaten ahead of the downtime week.

No. 12 BYuU (2-0): The added option of universal pandemic opt-out benefits some programs more than others. Teams that rely on veterans and development have been able to reap the benefits exponentially more than usual, and BYU is clearly one of those teams. With more comeback experience than anyone else entering the seasonCougars are now knocking on the door of significant national notice. Leading the top 10 team – beating No. 9 Baylor in double overtime, 26-20 – sans the top two receivers, BYU took the first of five Power Five victories this season.

The toughest of these trials may not come until mid-October (vs. No. 10 in Arkansas), but moving to No. 25 in Oregon (3:30 AM ET; FOX) as a 3.5-point underdog this weekend will be the toughest. for Cougars. challenge on the road.

Stanford (1-1): The Cardinal is in a more dire situation than Notre Dame, but that’s no consolation for distraught Irish fans. Stanford’s 41-28 loss to USC may not sound too alarming, but the Cardinal’s strength should lie in his offense and prospective NFL quarterback. Tanner McKee. Instead, his first two possessions this weekend ended in interceptions, one giving the Trojans a short field and another costing Stanford a trip to the red. By the end of the first quarter, USC was leading 21-0.

Cardinal is idle this week.

UNLV (1-1): The rebels almost upset Cal, and in their opinion, they should have done it.

Alas, UNLV is now hosting North Texas (3 ET), which is favored from the field, although that may be two field goals too many.

Syracuse (2-0): Oranges thrash Connecticut 48-14 behind quarterback Garret Schroeder292 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-23 passes and two more rushing touchdowns. Star runner Sean Tucker added 112 yards and hit 27 carries.

However, Syracuse only win by one point at home against Purdue (12 ET; ESPN2). Over/under by 58.5 points in favor of a conclusion of 29-28, which does not give enough confidence in either the orange attack or their defense.

No. 5 Clemson (2-0): The Tigers edged out Furman at the FCS level, 35-12, a win that revealed little about Clemson. This outward bewilderment will continue for another week as Louisiana Tech (8 ET; ACCN) emerge as the 34-point favorite, but the Tigers will head to 19th in Wake Forest two weeks later and a stunning offense could come at a cost.

Fleet (0-2): Like Stanford, things are going badly at Annapolis. The 37-13 loss to Memphis was not encouraging, with the Midshipmen’s triple variant gaining only 215 yards on 48 carries, averaging 3.7 yards per attempt. To make matters worse, the Navy abandoned three transmissions without forcing a single one.

He needs an idle week, which he is now enjoying.

Boston College (0-2): The Eagles lost 27-10 at Virginia Tech with Phil Yurkovets throwing just 135 yards on 15 of 28 passes. And Yurkovets was unhappy with this, the usual and understandable reaction of a veteran leader.

“I mean, would you like it to rewind?” This was stated by the head coach of Boston College Jeff Hafley.. “But sometimes it’s pretty hard when you get hit. To be honest, he is a competitor and wants to win.”

Some may portray Yurkovets’ frustration as divisive. Haffley hopes otherwise.

For at least a week, life should be easier for the Eagles as they face the Maine at the FCS level (7:30 AM ET; watch ESPN).

No. 7 USC (2-0): Of course the Trojans dusted Stanford, and the sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-27 passes, but little is known about this unique list. That won’t change against Fresno State (10:30 ET; FOX). USC has a 12 point lead and this will probably win by a wide margin, but until the Trojans face an opponent who cannot be named “middle of the pack, nationallyThe boundaries of victory show little.

That won’t happen until USC leaves for Utah on October 15th.

No. 3 Ohio State (2-0): The Buckeyes had no problem with Arkansas State, winning 45-12, trailing CJ Stroud351 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-24 passes despite receivers Jackson Smith-Njigba as well as Julian Fleming staying away. There’s a chance they’ll be back against Toledo (7 ET; FOX), though Ohio State is unlikely to need them again with a 32-point lead.

Marshall (2-0): After upsetting Notre Dame, one of three such losses at the hands of the Sun Belt on Saturday, the herd now accepts Bowling Green (5 ET; NFL network) as the 16.5-point favorite. Some might suggest that Marshall might fail this week, but that’s an over-reliance on the Falcons.

Manty Theo didn’t need to star in Netflix’s recent two-part documentary Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist. The former Notre Dame linebacker star has found ample closure in his life after the chaos and drama of the winter of 2012-13, in no small part because he is now married with a one-year-old daughter and a son on the way. But to some extent, he wanted to make a documentary, in particular, to pay tribute to Notre Dame.

“I didn’t think it mattered in case I needed to tell [my story]Theo said before the Irishman beat Cal 24-17 on Saturday. “When Netflix first offered me this opportunity, I told them that I didn’t feel the need. I experienced closure in my life and I was at peace with where my life was and what it will be, what it can be for the rest of my life. I’m fine.”

Instead, the 2012 unanimous All-American, now two seasons behind his last NFL appearance, saw an opportunity to exonerate anyone who supported him as dead spin brought charges against him in early 2013.

“The main thing I wanted to make sure is that a lot of you really supported me over a long period of time, that I didn’t provide the facts to back everyone up,” he said. “It was sort of my attempt to say…


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