LAS VEGAS -- Brian Kelly has led better teams in his 12 years at Notre Dame, but he’s doing one of his best coaching jobs this season.
The Fighting Irish (8-1) are sitting on the fringe of the College Football Playoff picture and hoping to avoid the chaos that could take down other Top 10 teams down the stretch. Notre Dame puts a pair of impressive streaks on the line Saturday at Virginia: 39 consecutive wins against unranked opponents and 37 straight wins as a favorite.
When running back Kyren Williams is rocking, the Irish are rolling. Williams has totaled 513 rushing yards during the team’s four-game win streak. Kelly made adjustments to his offensive line after an Oct. 2 loss to Cincinnati, and an improved ground attack has helped quarterback Jack Coan.
The Irish should not have many problems against a Virginia defense that allowed a total of 106 points in the past two games. The Cavaliers embarrassingly surrendered 734 yards in a 66-49 loss at Brigham Young in late October. The bright spot for Virginia has been Brennan Armstrong, who passed for 337 yards and ran for 94 yards while accounting for six touchdowns against BYU. Armstrong has a rib injury and his status is questionable.