By The Associated Press
No. 15 Notre Dame (6-2, No. 15 CFP) at Duke (4-4), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST (ACC Network).
Line: Notre Dame by 8.
Series record: Notre Dame leads 3-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Fighting Irish almost certainly can’t afford another loss if they want to play their way up the rankings and into a New Year’s Six bowl. The Blue Devils need to win two of their final four games to qualify for a third straight bowl game, and beating Notre Dame for the second time in four years would help.
Notre Dame’s defense vs. Duke QB Quentin Harris. Turnovers have been the story of the season for Harris and the Blue Devils, with 17 of their 19 giveaways coming in their four losses. The Fighting Irish are tied for 10th nationally in turnover margin and tied for 20th with 16 takeaways, and will try to force Harris — who has three interceptions and lost two fumbles in his last two games — to make more mistakes.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: WR Chase Claypool is catching nearly five passes a game and is just the fourth Notre Dame player with 400 yards receiving in three straight seasons. At nearly 6-foot-5, he presents a matchup problem for a Duke team that doesn’t list a starting defensive back taller than 6-1.
Duke: LB Koby Quansah leads a Duke run defense that must show improvement after allowing a season-worst 205 yards rushing against North Carolina. Notre Dame is 0-2 when held to less than 100 yards rushing but undefeated when reaching triple digits.
FACTS & FIGURES
Notre Dame is making its first trip to Duke since 1961. … The Fighting Irish are 21-7 against ACC teams since starting its scheduling arrangement with the conference in 2014 with wins this season over Louisville, Virginia and Virginia Tech. … The Blue Devils have not lost a nonconference game at home since 2015 (Northwestern).
© 2019, Newspaper Staff. All rights reserved.