ESPN's SP+ predicts final score of Week 5 collision between Duke, Notre Dame
Bill Connelly’s SP+ likes No. 11 Notre Dame in a close one this weekend.
The predictive model is predicting a 28-25 Irish victory over the 17th-ranked Duke Blue Devils on Saturday. It gives Duke a 44% chance of pulling off the upset, though.
ESPN’s College GameDay pregame show will be live from Durham this weekend, providing a massive stage for coach Mike Elko, quarterback Riley Leonard, and the unbeaten Blue Devils to prove they’re a legit force in the ACC this season.
The Blue Devils have yet to let an opponent finish within 21 points of them on the scoreboard this season.
They defeated Clemson 28-7 in the season opener, a thrilling win at Wallace Wade Stadium that saw the Blue Devils pummel the Tigers for three second-half turnovers.
Since that game, Duke has beaten everyone it has faced soundly, with a huge reason being the play of the team in the second and third quarters.
In Duke’s last three wins, they’ve outscored their opponents 86-7 in the middle 30 of the game. Granted, those opponents are Lafayette, Northwestern, and UConn, but the dominance has been stark.
Notre Dame is coming off a late-game loss to Ohio State, its first defeat of the season. The two sides were almost identical in the game — 5.6 yards per play for Ohio State to 5.5 for Notre Dame, no turnovers, just two tackles for loss for either team — and Ohio State managed to make one more play at the end of the affair.
The Irish will look to bounce back on the road. These two teams have only met in Durham twice. Notre Dame won the last meeting 38-7 in 2019. The only other game was a 37-13 Duke win in 1961.
Kickoff on Saturday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.