Notre Dame and LSU are both three-loss teams and LSU will be making it’s second straight trip to the Citrus Bowl. The Irish were a college playoff contender until they were blown out in Miami late in the season. All three of the Irish’s losses came to teams ranked in the top-15, and after last season’s debacle I am sure that the Irish are happy to be playing in the Citrus Bowl.

Can the Tigers stop Josh Adams?

Before a pair of November losses, Adams, a junior, was being mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Adams has rushed for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Since the Wake Forest game where Adams didn’t play a lot because he didn’t feel right, he has not been a huge factor for the Irish. A month’s rest should bring him back fresh and ready to perform against the Tigers.

Can quarterback Brandon Wimbush get it done for the Irish?

Wimbush hasn’t been extremely accurate this season, completing roughly half his passes (49.8 percent, 133 of 267), but he has thrown for 1,818 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. As a rusher, he has 765 rushing yards on 137 attempts (5.6 average) with 14 rushing touchdowns, giving him 30 combined on the season. Wimbush is not a guy that can beat a good defense with his arm but he can make life miserable for the Tigers by using his legs.

Irish overcome arrests?

So far the Irish have lost sophomore wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and freshman running back C.J. Holmes, who were arrested on shoplifting charges last week at a mall in nearby Mishawaka. And now add-on the loss of junior tight-end Alize Mack, who saw considerable playing time this year after missing the 2016 season because of academic issues. He will now miss the Jan. 1 game against the Tigers (9-3) because of ”an internal team matter,” coach Brian Kelly said last Thursday. These should not be huge losses but things like this can have a negative impact on a team and it couldn’t come at a worst possible time for the Irish.

Prediction: The Irish have mass distractions and Brian Kelly is by no means a great coach. The Tigers will be too strong for the Irish.

Tigers 27  Irish 17

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