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Texas Longhorns at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Prediction

Opening Line: Notre Dame -9.5
Over/Under: 53.5

Time: 4:30 PM EST Saturday September 5, 2015 on NBC

Texas Longhorns (0-0) vs. No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)

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Texas is in their 2nd year with Charlie Strong at the helm and they look to improve upon last season when they were a disappointing 6-7. The big issue for the Longhorns is their offense, which only ranked 90th in passing yards per game and 101st in rushing yards per game. The defense is the strength of the squad, but they have a true test in this game facing a top-20 Notre Dame squad.

The Irish will have a new starting QB in Malik Zaire and he will be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the nation. They will be facing a solid Texas defense, which is the strength of the team, and Zaire will be counted on to lead an Irish squad that finished 8-5 last season.

Texas did not beat any ranked teams on the road last season, where they were 3-1, but they did beat a top-25 West Virginia team.

Last season Texas was 7-6 ATS with an O/U record of 6-7 and Notre Dame was 6-7 ATS with an O/U record of 8-5.

Tyrone Swoopes returns as the starting QB for the Longhorns and while he 2,409 yards with 13 TD he was picked off 11 times. He does not have a great WR corps, as Texas graduated their top 2 WR’s from last season, but he line is solid and that will be key in this game facing a good Notre Dame pass rush.

Texas RB Jonathan Gray did not start 1 game last season and in limited duty he rushed for 637 yards. The Notre Dame defense regressed last season, but they should be much better this season, as they return many starters on that side of the ball.

Malik Zaire has not had much action for Notre Dame, but he has a great line and he has a good WR corps led by Will Fuller, who had 1,094 yards and 11 TD. He will be matched up with Texas CB Duke Thomas, who had 3 INT last season.

One of the keys for the Longhorns pulling off the upset is getting into the Notre Dame backfield. Desmond Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway lead a front 7 that led the Big 12 in sacks last season for the Longhorns, but can they get through the veteran Irish offensive line? Big question for Texas in the season opener.

Tarean Folston rushed for 889 yards with 1 TD last season and he cracked the 100-yard rushing barrier in 4 games. He has to help Zaire out in the backfield to take the pressure off the inexperienced QB.

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Betting Trends

Texas is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 road games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, and they have an Under record of 16-5 in their last 21 games.

Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall, and they have an Over record of 6-0 in their last 6 games.

Free NCAAF Pick

We would have preferred a 10 point spread here but we believe there is still value taking the visitors in this spot.

Take the Texas Longhorns +9.5 @ BETONLINE.AG

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