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Notre Dame’s biggest key to a victory against Northwestern

Notre Dame, undefeated and ranked No. 4 according to the initial College Football Playoff rankings, heads to Illinois this weekend to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. With some challenging games left on the schedule like Florida State, Syracuse and USC, and the current rankings very tight at the top, the Fighting Irish need to make a big impression this weekend and move to 9-0 on the season with a convincing weekend.

247Sports and Irish Illustrated have been teaming up to create a ton of videos lately regarding Notre Dame football and Fighting Irish recruiting.The latest video features anchorman Kevin Boilard and Fighting Irish insider Tom Loy. Here is my take on the biggest key this weekend to a Notre Dame victory.

“I think it’s very similar to when they played Virginia Tech in Blacksburg earlier this year. They need to go on the road, they’re a 7-point favorite, and they need to punch Northwestern in the mouth. They need to come out firing. They have the nation’s most accurate passer in Ian Book, who is completing just under 80-percent of his passes on the season. So, I think the key for them is to come out firing on offense, light it up with him, Dexter Williams and Jafar Armstrong in the backfield, put some points on the board early and show Northwestern and the fans that this is an elite team, one of the nation’s best, and they need to make it very clear they have no shot of beating Notre Dame this weekend.”

According to OddsShark, the current line actually lists Notre Dame as a 9.5-point favorite over Northwestern. As you’ll see on Friday when the Irish Illustrated final predictions come out, I have the Fighting Irish winning by double-digits over the Wildcats. In the end, I just don’t think the Northwestern offense can hang with the firepower of Notre Dame. After a so-so performance by the defense in the second half against Navy, look for them to right the ship on the road this weekend.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 pm ET on ESPN.

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