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Beats' picks: Will Duke football pull off the upset against Notre Dame?

Quentin Harris will be tasked with putting up points against an elite Notre Dame passing defense.
Quentin Harris will be tasked with putting up points against an elite Notre Dame passing defense.

Prior to each Duke football game, The Chronicle’s Evan Kolin, Ramona Naseri, Derek Saul, Shane Smith and Dilan Trivedi make their predictions for the contest and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ matchup with Notre Dame Saturday:

Evan Kolin: Notre Dame 31-17

After a tough road stretch against Virginia and North Carolina, an upset win against Notre Dame at home would be a great way to ignite Duke down the stretch. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, I just don’t see it happening. While Notre Dame hasn’t exactly lived up to its preseason top-10 billing, they are still the far more talented team in this matchup, and that will be obvious come Saturday night.

Ramona Naseri: Notre Dame 45-14

After a couple of rough weeks for Duke, the Blue Devils will continue the slump with another loss this weekend. With the help of big, talented receivers like Javon McKinley, Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book will tear apart the Duke defense through the air en route to a Notre Dame blowout victory.

Derek Saul: Notre Dame 21-13

This 51-point over/under seems way too high to me. Neither team's offense is particularly prolific and I just don't think the Blue Devils will move the ball consistently against the Fighting Irish's elite passing defense. Notre Dame is 11th in the nation in passing yards allowed and I don't expect Duke quarterback Quentin Harris to be the first to torch the Fighting Irish through the air.

Shane Smith: Duke 28-23

I may not have any advanced analytics to back this prediction up, but I've just had a gut feeling about a Blue Devil upset since seeing this game on the schedule. Notre Dame looked lost last week against Virginia Tech and, with an angry Duke team having an extra week to prepare, Wallace Wade will see its first top-15 upset since 2016.

Dilan Trivedi: Notre Dame 34-13

The Duke offense is looking for any kind of consistency, but it will not find it against a far more athletic Fighting Irish defense. Although the Blue Devil defense may keep the team in the contest for parts of the game, Notre Dame is far too talented to drop this matchup.

Overall results:

Evan Kolin: 5-3

Ramona Naseri: 6-2

Derek Saul: 7-1

Shane Smith: 5-3

Dilan Trivedi: 5-3

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