Point Spread: 17.00 | -110.00 Toledo (Away)
Toledo is an underrated team with skill position depth and a solid defensive front that should hold up at the line of scrimmage against an inexperienced Notre Dame offensive line trying to anchor a disappointing ground attack.
The Irish not only have to deal with these matchup factors, but also are in a terrible scheduling spot. While Toledo had a relaxing 49-10 win against Norfolk State this past Saturday, Notre Dame had to hold off Florida State, 41-38, in overtime on the road this past Sunday night.
So, the Irish - who have a cluster injury problem at linebacker - have to play on a short week laying a boatload of points.
Toledo's Bryant Koback is one of the top running backs in the MAC. Notre Dame surrendered 264 yards rushing to Florida State. The Seminoles averaged 5.5 yards a carry. It was clear Notre Dame was missing Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, its dominant defender from a year ago who is now on the Cleveland Browns. The Irish have lost three linebackers to injuries during the last several weeks.
Notre Dame couldn't get its ground attack going against Florida State rushing for only 65 yards on 35 attempts, a meager 1.8 yards per carry. Jack Coan, a transfer from Wisconsin, came through for Notre Dame passing for 366 yards and throwing four TD's against Florida State.
I'm not sold yet on Coan, though. He was nothing but a game manager at Wisconsin rarely putting any fear into defenses as a downfield threat. I understand Wisconsin and Notre Dame are very different. But Coan still has more to prove in my estimation before being considered a good quarterback.