We’re days away from kickoff, and it’s that time to speak now or never. Below, the Burnt Orange Nation staff have given their predictions for the Texas Longhorns vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish game, which kicks Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. CT in Austin.
Wescott Eberts — BON Editor
I've been hesitant to make a prediction for this game in radio appearances and writing over the week with so much uncertainty at some key positions for Texas, but since it's still officially the offseason for Texas I'm going to be optimistic and predict a 27-21 win for the Longhorns. Both quarterbacks contribute and Jerrod Heard and Devin Duvernay both make big plays from the slot while the defense steps up with a key turnover. Hook 'em!
Texas 27, Notre Dame 21
Cody Daniel — Co-editor
I've gone back and forth on this quite a bit, and as much as I believe Texas will be a much different (and better) team than it was in 2015, I can't buy in to a top 10 upset until I actually see a much better Texas team. A lot of my doubt comes from the quarterback situation and the tremendous amount of uncertainty that comes with Tyrone Swoopes and Shane Buechele; an under-performer and an unproven commodity.
I also don't think it helps Texas much that Notre Dame looks to have the advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball along with a pair of running backs and quarterbacks that could have a field day behind that offensive line. Regardless, this won't be 2015's opener.
Despite the youth after this offseason's attrition, Notre Dame is still really, really talented. But so is Texas and if this game were towards the end of the year, I'd probably swing things in the Longhorns favor. For now, I'm guessing a 31-27 Notre Dame win down the stretch.
Notre Dame 31, Texas 27
Jack Keyes — Staff writer
In my mind the game is a 50/50 toss up, but knowing that I obviously have some homerism, I'll give the tie to Notre Dame. Ultimately, I don't think Sunday night will come down to running backs or quarter backs but the lines on both sides of the ball.
Unfortunately, I think the Irish should be able to run the ball effectively with their veteran group, and I'm worried that our beat up, young o-line may not give our QBs enough time to find our great wide receivers. I'll take Notre Dame in a 27-20 game, but I would be absolutely ecstatic to be wrong.
Notre Dame 27, Texas 20
Bobby Kunz — Recruiting writer
When Texas hits the field against #10 Notre Dame, not only will 100k+ be watching live, but millions of fans will be watching from their house. Expect Notre Dame to give Texas some unique looks with both QBs, but expect Texas to shut down those looks.
This will a great opening week game, and could be one of best all year. Expect Shane Buechele to get the opening snap, and to be assertive with the ball. 31-27 Texas wins.
Texas 31, Notre Dame 27
Robert Larkin — Staff writer
In my opinion, this monumental game is going to come down to two things. Offensively, can Texas establish the run game early and often? I’m of the belief that the ‘Horns will need to account for at least 175 yards on the ground to win this game. Defensively, can the ‘Horns hold off an elite Notre Dame offensive front? I’m interested to see if Vance Bedford can find a way to apply pressure and stop the run without blitzing linebackers the entire game.
I expect Strong and Co. to keep it close for the first half, but I predict the Irish will begin to pull away in the third quarter as the defensive line begins to wear down and the offensive output tails off. It will be close, but Strong nearly misses a benchmark win for the program against a top 10 team.
Notre Dame 31, Texas 21
Wes Crochet — Staff writer
The fan in me is convinced Texas at least has a legitimate shot at an upset. The version of me writing this is trying to be objective.
Texas may have a new scheme on offense, it definitely has more talent, and some key guys on the roster now have at least a full year of experience under their belts. But we’re talking about a 10th-ranked Notre Dame team that’s solid in the trenches on both sides of the ball, is comfortable with its own identity on offense and defense, and has two quarterbacks who could both start for a lot of other football teams.
We also can’t overlook the quarterback position for Texas and the questions marks on both the Longhorns’ offensive and defensive line.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m going with the team that has the better lines and better situation at quarterback heading into this one. (I’m not sure if that makes me old fashioned, I just wanted to use that phrase).
Notre Dame 34, Texas 27
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s four predictions for a Notre Dame win and two predictions for a Texas win. Who ya got?