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Camping World Bowl: Iowa State vs. Notre Dame Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas at Iowa State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Camping World Bowl in our Iowa State vs. Notre Dame preview and prediction. 

Game Info

11:00 a.m. Central Time, Saturday December 28th, 2019, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida. 

TV: ABC

Iowa State Radio: Cyclone Radio Network

Spread: Notre Dame (-4)

Fun Fact: These two teams have never played football against each other. This will be the first ever meeting between these programs. 

 

Key Players

Iowa State

RB Breece Hall

While quarterback Brock Purdy would be the easy choice, I went with true freshman running back Breece Hall. Hall has rushed for 842-yards and nine touchdowns while averaging five yards a carry on the season. Although he didn’t become the main back right away, he emerged a few games into the season and was without question, the best running back on the team. He has it all. The speed, the vision and can even help in the passing game whether it’s catching the football or in pass protection. Brock Purdy isn’t going to win this game on his own and if Breece can have a good game, it will take some of the pressure off his quarterback and help open the offense. 

LB Mike Rose

Mike is third on the team in tackles as just a true sophomore. He does a great job anchoring the middle part of the Cyclone defense and has been a key part to what this defense has done the past two seasons. Now, he will be faced with one of his toughest tasks yet trying to slow down the Notre Dame offense that can hurt you through the air or on the ground. Keep in mind, Notre Dame loves to use their tight end, Clay Kemet. 

Notre Dame

QB Ian Book

Now, I am not going to say Ian is what Jalen Hurts is to the Oklahoma offense, but Ian is used in a somewhat similar fashion as Jalen Hurts. While Ian isn’t the most accurate passer (59% completion percentage), he does a good job taking care of the football tossing thirty-three touchdowns to just six picks. Also, he is the second leading rusher for the Fighting Irish with 516-yards on the year. Ian isn’t going to wow you and his isn’t what I would call flashy, but he can certainly make plays for this offense. 

Safety Kyle Hamilton

It’s not often I would put a freshman on here but now we have seen two already on my key players list. Kyle was named to just about every freshman All-American team known to man (and woman) this season. He leads Notre Dame with six pass deflections this season and leads the team in interceptions (4). Against a pass happy Iowa State offense, Kyle should see plenty of opportunities to show why he is one of the best young safeties in college football. 

 

Game Plan

Iowa State

In case you didn’t know, the Irish have had a solid defense this season. I know Iowa State loves to throw the football, but Notre Dame currently has the third best pass defense in the entire country. Make no mistake about it, their secondary is darn good. With that said, the weakness of the Notre Dame defense is trying to stop the run as the are ranked 71st. In fact, they are giving up almost more rushing yards than passing yards which is not something you would see every day. With that said, I think using Breece Hall in the run game could open some opportunities in the passing game with tight end Charlie Kolar up the middle and with receivers Deshaunte Jones, Tarique Milton and La’Michael Pettway on the outside. On defense, I think Iowa State will find their best shot at winning if they can keep Ian Book in the pocket and force him to beat you with his arm. 

Prediction 

Notre Dame 31, Iowa State 28

It’s not often you see a 10-2 team vs a 7-5 team but here we are. Notre Dame is a darn good football team that played two playoff caliber teams (Michigan and Georgia) and lost. Now, is this a peak Notre Dame team that is a juggernaut? Probably not but they have some guys that can play. On offense, they have a trio (QB Ian Book, WR Chase Clyapool and TE Clay Kemet) who will be tough to stop. I do think Iowa State can have a little success on the ground, but I am not sure if Brock Purdy will be ready to throw all over a good Notre Dame secondary with his current weapons. That’s no knock on the receivers or tight end Charlie Kolar, but more of a praise of what Notre Dame has defensively. The Irish aren’t going to scare you with individuals, but they play well together defensively. The biggest reason I think the Cyclones keep things interesting is because Notre Dame will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator after firing former offensive coordinator, Chip Long. You never know how these bowl games will go but I just think Notre Dame is the better team overall.

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