No. 10 Irish seek rebound from loss against No. 18 Virginia
No. 18 Virginia (4-0) at No. 10 Notre Dame (2-1), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (NBC).
Line: Notre Dame by 12 1/2.
Series record: Notre Dame leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish need to rebound from their 23-17 loss at No. 3 Georgia last Saturday to keep alive their hopes for a second straight College Football Playoff appearance. Virginia, the ACC Coastal Division leader after impressive victories against Pittsburgh and Florida State, is seeking the program’s first 5-0 start since Al Groh’s 2004 Cavaliers went 8-4.
Notre Dame’s offensive line vs. Virginia’s 3-4 defense that is allowing just 263.8 yards per game, 14th nationally. The Irish are averaging just 144.3 yards on the ground after gaining only 46 yards on 14 carries against the Bulldogs. But QB Ian Book was not sacked in 47 pass attempts. The Cavaliers enter the game tied with Florida for No. 1 in the nation with 20 sacks, led by linebackers Jordan Mack (5), Charles Snowden (3) and Noah Taylor (3).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Virginia: QB Bryce Perkins. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior, 10th all-time at the school in total offense, has averaged 259 yards per game with eight total touchdowns this season. Perkins, who has four career 100-yard rushing games, is 7 of 8 in converting third- and fourth-down plays with runs.
Notre Dame: Rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. In his first season as a starter, the junior will be asked to use his quickness to rein in Perkins. Owusu-Koramoah, who hails from Hampton, Virginia, leads the Irish with 15 unassisted tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.
FACTS & FIGURES
This will be Virginia’s first visit to Notre Dame Stadium, but not the first for coach Bronco Mendenhall, who visited and lost three times (2005, 2012 and 2013) as coach of BYU. . ACC teams are 0-20 when they have taken on a ranked Irish team in South Bend. . Notre Dame’s victories over Virginia came in 2015 at Charlottesville (35-29) and the now defunct Kickoff Classic at East Rutherford, New Jersey (36-13) to start the 1989 campaign.