Welcome to the first College Football game preview on N2K Sports, and the game we will be focusing on is…..
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs The UMass Minutemen
Yes you read that correctly, I’m previewing the game where Notre Dame is favored by 29 points, or should I say UMass is a 29 point underdog?!? Is it possible for one of the best* teams in the NCAA right now to lose to the 0-2 Minutemen? Frankly, no it is not possible but what I’m writing this article on is why you should bet on the under. First off, a 29 point favorite is absurd for two FBS teams, I don’t care how good or bad you are 29 points is a lot to win by. Especially when UMass, in my opinion has three NFL prospects in QB Blake Frohnapfel, WR Tajae Sharpe, and CB Randall Jette. UMass is coming off a win** against a top 30 Temple Owls team and this team is hungry for more. They’re currently backed up against a wall, desperate for a win and a win should come in two weeks against Florida International University but could it come sooner? A UMass win over the Fighting Irish would be a very Notre Dame football thing to do, no offense to them. ND is depleted and some key injuries have them hobbling across week four and UMass could surprise them. It would be a very UMass thing to lose the game rather than having Notre Dame win it (yes those are different things) but by no stretch am I guaranteeing a Minutemen victory this weekend at South Bend. I’m not saying however I’d be astounded if they somehow pull it off.
UMass will be playing on NBC, on national TV and these players still have dreams of the NFL and this is their chance to show it. The camera and bright lights will bring out the best performances from these student athletes. I can’t wait to see what Sharpe, Jette, and Frohnapfel will do because I think they will also surprise some people. Sharpe plays like a mix of Odell Beckham Jr and Antonio Brown, I know that is high praise but that is simply his play style not his talent although he is very good. I do not know much on Jette but from what I’ve seen he is a physical cornerback and he is hungry for his first interception (Pray for Kizer). I think we’re in for Frohnapfel’s best performance in his collegiate career. I believe Blake Frohnapfel will impress and outplay DeShone Kizer, book it, save it, remember it. Blake Frohnapfel will outplay DeShone Kizer. Frohnapfel doesn’t typically have a lot of time to throw the ball but that is what makes him and Tajae so great, Tajae is quick and shifty along with the ability to recover for Frohnapfel if he is being pressured. If the offensive line can get Blake protection, it is bombs away and the deeper Frohnapfel’s passes the more accurate he seems. So for a line of ND by 29 (or a prediction of 30 by Tyler) I’m going to take the under. UMass will come out strong with a score and a defensive turnover along with another score. Notre Dame will make it close again by halftime and UMass will come out strong again to start the second half. The Minutemen have to finish, if they finish out the game I say we could see them be within single digits of the Fighting Irish. In 1980, the USA beat the USSR, in 2001 the Patriots beat The Best Show on Turf and in 2015 the Minutemen will lose by less than 29 points.
*- I put best just to avoid confrontation and a rebuttal from another writer (Tyler)
**- They lost 25-23, but if you watched the game… they won. Frustrating loss but moral victory that they can build off of and perhaps beat a great team. It was basically the Battle of Bunker Hill in terms of College Football. For those still reading this analogy, the Minutemen (see what I did there) lost the Battle of Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill but thats a history lesson for another day) and ended up winning the war. Borderline calling an upset here but hey I’ll only say I did if they pull it off.