Fresh off an absolute thrashing of No. 11 USC, the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are suddenly right in the thick of the College Football Playoff conversation. But before that becomes a real conversation, the 6-1 Irish need to sweep the rest of the schedule, which includes three ranked teams. The first of those is No. 14 NC State, who have won six in a row and head to South Bend for a massive showdown on Saturday afternoon.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on NBC. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device via one of the following over-the-top, cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee, and NBC is live in select markets, but all come with a free trial, so you can test them out at no cost:
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in 15 markets) is included in all four channel packages. They range from $35 to $70 per month, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
FuboTV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It costs $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Sling TV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. It costs $25 per month but comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
With a mobile quarterback in Brandon Wimbush, a pair of talented running backs in Josh Adams and Deon McIntosh, and a stout offensive line, the Irish have established themselves as one of the best running teams in the country–they rank sixth in rushing yards per game (317.9) and second in yards per carry (7.2).
What makes this matchup so good is what awaits the Irish on the other side of the ball. Led by likely first-round pick Bradley Chubb, NC State’s senior-laden defense has limited opponents to just 84.3 rushing yards per game (third lowest in the country) and 3.1 yards per rush (14th lowest).
For Notre Dame, it has been mixed results when it has gone up against an elite run defense. Against Georgia, Adams was limited to a mere 2.8 yards per carry, and the Irish managed just 37 yards on the ground. But against Michigan State, Adams was able to rip off a 30-yard run, Dexter Williams picked up 5.0 yards per carry, Wimbush had some big plays and the Irish finished with 182 yards on the ground.
Vegas seems to like the Irish’s chances of getting the offense moving in this one, as Notre Dame is favored by a pretty significant 7.5 points at home.
Still, fresh off a huge win over their rival, Notre Dame is in a potential spot for a letdown, while NC State is coming in with two weeks of preparation after last week’s bye. Put it all together, and you have what should be one of the best games of the week.