This time around, both teams aren't at the top of the rankings like they were in the old days. Notre Dame heads to Soldier Field in Chicago, ranked ninth in the nation. The Hurricanes are sitting outside the top 25, but are still receiving votes in both major polls.
Notre Dame is riding a top-notch defense, as The Seventh Floor points out. The Fighting Irish allow only 9 points per game, good for third in the nation. They have only allowed four plays over 30 yards and two red zone touchdowns, all the while forcing 13 turnovers. (Notre Dame will also be wearing perhaps their most unconventional uniforms ever.)
The Hurricanes can easily put points on the board behind junior quarterback Stephen Morris, who threw for an ACC-record 566 yards in a 47-37 win over North Carolina State on Saturday. But the Hurricanes' secondary is susceptible to big plays, and the Hurricanes give up 33.4 points per game. Notre Dame is a bit more conservative on offense and relies upon its defense to pull out victories. So, despite being old rivals, it'll be a contrast of styles crashing helmets on Saturday.
Game time, TV channel: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Point spread: Notre Dame is favored by 12.5-points.
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