Game Prediction: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. South Florida Bulls

Bryan Driskell

Notre Dame will look to improve to 2-0 when it takes on the South Florida Bulls on Saturday. The Irish are 26-point favorites over the Bulls, who went 4-8 last season and are in year one of the Jeff Scott era.

The Irish Breakdown staff has broken down this matchup, and now it's time to make our predictions.

Bryan Driskell, Publisher

Prediction: Notre Dame 49, South Florida 6

Notre Dame was sloppy against Duke, but the Blue Devils are a quality football team. Everything that slowed the offense and defense down last weekend is correctable, and now they have a game under their belt. Scuffling with the Blue Devils is likely to get the team fired up and ready to come out smoking hot against the Bulls.

I think the Notre Dame line's pride was tested last week, and they are going to come out and bury the South Florida defense. Quarterback Ian Book is going to be sharp and the wideouts will make more plays. Defensively, the Irish will dominate at the line of scrimmage and will shut down the South Florida run game. Making South Florida one dimensional will be bad news for the Bulls, and the Irish dominate.

Vince DeDario, Football Analyst

Prediction: Notre Dame 45, South Florida 10

There should not be any worries going into this game as to whether the Irish will be able to head into week three with a 2-0 record. The manner in which they win the game will be what I have my eye on. Can they play to the level of dictating the pace of play offensively and shutting down the run defensively? Will they get some more guys on the field when it matters? Not when it is 45-0 in the fourth quarter. Still a lot of unanswered questions for the Irish and frankly I would imagine there still will be after this game.

Nathan Erbach, Recruiting Analyst

Prediction: Notre Dame 52, South Florida 13

After an up and down week one performance, I’m expecting a better effort out of Notre Dame in week two against South Florida. Ian Book will be sharper, the offensive line will be more consistent, and hopefully with the return of junior WR Braden Lenzy, the offense will have more explosive play making ability.

The return of Charlie Weis Jr. to South Bend and the storylines of the last time these two teams met up will certainly be the topic of discussion before the game, but once both teams hit the field tomorrow afternoon I’m not expecting much struggle from Notre Dame. 

Ryan Palmeri, IB Contributor

Prediction: Notre Dame 34, South Florida 3

The biggest jump in growth is from week one to week two. Notre Dame will look a lot more crisp with a game under their belt and time to fix mistakes. Notre Dame also gets a weak opponent that struggled with Citadel last week. The run game will dominate and Kyren Williams will have another big day as the offensive line pushes USF around.

Brian Smith, IB Contributor

Prediction: Notre Dame 45, South Florida 10

The Irish rotate players throughout the game. Ian Book will throw for 245 yards and two touchdowns. The Notre Dame defense will be fast and overwhelming for a developing South Florida offense. The Irish will force a young Bulls offense into several long yardage situations.

This game will be over by the end of the first half. The biggest question will be which young Irish players will see playing time?

JP Scott, IB Contributor

Prediction: Notre Dame 37, South Florida 16

South Florida wants to run the ball, but their offensive line is not equipped to consistently move Notre Dame’s front seven. Combine that with what should be a more concerted Irish effort to push the ball downfield through the air, and we have the makings of a sound victory, if not a blowout. South Florida has talent that can hurt the Irish, but not enough to keep this game close for four quarters.


Become a premium Irish Breakdown member, which grants you access to all of our premium content, our premium message board and gets you a FREE subscription to Sports Illustrated! Click on the link below for more


Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!

Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes.
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachD178
Follow me on Parler: @BryanDriskell
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook

Sign up for the FREE Irish Breakdown daily newsletter

Comments (12)
No. 1-10

41-13 ND
Even though it’s a wide margin, ND still looks sloppy and fans are upset at the level of play. ND gets two scores off of short fields created by special teams and turnovers. Clark throws a beautiful deep ball and everybody wants him to replace Book.


ND 47- 13


31-16 ND
I have to see Ian Book play well to believe he will shake off his self imposed issues to believe it. After last season, it is hard to know which Book you are going to get.


42-17 ND


ND 37-14
I think it will be 37-7 in the 4th and USF puts up a garbage time TD. While the offense will look better against a non-P5 team, we still lack the outside WR threats to put up 40+ points, imo.



The offense woefully under performs again and Tyree takes a KOR to the house. Along with a defensive TD.


49-13 Notre Dame wins...
Tomorrow is going to be a buffet. Everyone will get to eat!


ND 38 - USF 13

I guess I'm somewhat less optimistic than most others. A bit concerned about report that two defensive starters (not including our all-everything safety) will be out.


ND 32 South Florida 17


33-21 Irish