College football bowl season is off and running, but the games are about to get much better this weekend. The College Football Playoff semifinal games are set for Saturday afternoon and evening, but there is a terrific game to kick off the action. The Camping World Bowl will feature the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Iowa State Cyclones. Notre Dame was a CFP team a season ago, and Iowa State is a perennial power in the Big 12 Conference.
Notre Dame was a top-10 team for much of the season, but a pair of losses landed it in this game. The Fighting Irish still finished the season with a record of 10-2, and they have won five straight games.
Iowa State had an up-and-down 2019 regular season that saw it go 7-5. The Cyclones went just 5-4 in Big 12 Conference play, which was a disappointment. FanDuel has the Fighting Irish as four-point favorites over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl.
Defense Can Set Fighting Irish Apart
Defense has become a lost art in the world of college football, but the top teams always find a way to get stops when they need them. Notre Dame does sport a terrific defense in 2019, which should give it a huge edge in this game.
The Fighting Irish are allowing less than 19 points per game, and they have faced several terrific offenses this season. Notre Dame is averaging close to three sacks per game, and it will be aggressive in this game.
Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book might be playing in his last collegiate game, and he should end his career on a high note in this game. Book has thrown 33 touchdowns this season and has been known to make plays with his legs as well. The Fighting Irish are averaging over 37 points per game this season, and Book has been a huge part of that.
Iowa State Needs To Find A Running Game
Iowa State has a terrific quarterback of its own in Brock Purdy, who has thrown for over 3,700 yards this season, but the Big 12 Conference is known for high-powered offenses that throw the ball a ton. Iowa State is averaging just 140 rushing yards per game, and that is going to be a big problem in this game.
The Cyclones can’t expect to outscore a terrific team like Notre Dame, and Purdy is going to need some help in this one.
Defense is usually optional in the Big 12 Conference, and Iowa State is going to have to buck that trend in this game. The Cyclones are actually one of the better defensive teams in the conference, but they are still allowing over 25 points per game. Finding a way to slow down Book and company is going to be priority No. 1 for Iowa State in this game.
Fighting Irish Win Camping World Bowl
Both Notre Dame and Iowa State feature terrific quarterbacks and explosive offenses, but defense is going to be needed to win this game. Notre Dame has a huge edge on the defensive side of the football, and it will allow it to create some separation.
Iowa State wants to play a fast-paced style of game, but its lack of running game is going to stall some offensive drives. The Cyclones will keep this game close until the second half, but the talent on Notre Dame is going to show up.
Get to FanDuel and bet on the Fighting Irish at -4.0 to win the 2019 Camping World Bowl.