Blackburn: Notre Dame Shifting Into Higher Gear

The Fighting Irish are getting better, Carter Blackburn says, and they're as deserving of a playoff spot as anyone 

The DA Show
November 06, 2018 - 1:01 pm

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Another week, another win for No. 3 Notre Dame (9-0), which beat Northwestern this past Saturday and continues its march toward an unbeaten regular season. 

“I think they’re getting better,” CBS play-by-play voice Carter Blackburn said on The DA Show. “They’re shifting into a higher level at the right time. I think they’re as deserving of a College Football Playoff spot as anybody in that top five.”

The Fighting Irish have had close calls. They beat Ball State (3-7) 24-16, Vanderbilt (4-5) 22-17, and Pitt (5-4) 19-14. But their season-opening win over Michigan has aged well.

Notre Dame closes the season against Florida State (4-5), against No. 19 Syracuse (7-2) in a neutral-site game at Yankee Stadium, and at USC (5-4).

Believe it or not, Syracuse could be Notre Dame’s toughest remaining game.

“The Syracuse game in the Bronx is now huge,” said Blackburn, a Syracuse grad. “Syracuse is a four-touchdown favorite against Louisville. If we could cover a four-touchdown underdog spread, we were happy just a few years ago. Now all of a sudden we’re expected to dominate Louisville, and Notre Dame is worried about Syracuse football. It’s totally strange.”

While the game is in New York, Blackburn expects Notre Dame fans to fill Yankee Stadium.

“Notre Dame doesn’t play many actual neutral-site games,” Blackburn said. “I don’t think the Irish is going to have one corner of green at the top of the end zone. I think the Irish will be pretty well-represented at Yankee Stadium. It’s not going to be a daunting sea of orange, but it will be fun regardless.”

Saturday’s kickoff against FSU is slated for 7:30 P.M. ET.