Players to watch: Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
A look at a few players to watch in Saturday’s game (3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC) between No. 4 Notre Dame (5-0, 4-0 ACC) and Georgia Tech (2-4, 2-3) at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
WR BEN SKOWRONEK, Notre Dame
The graduate transfer from Northwestern had his breakout performance against Pittsburgh on Saturday, turning two catches into 107 yards and a pair of scores. With wide receivers Kevin Austin Jr. (foot) and Braden Lenzy (hamstring) out, Skowronek will likely need to sustain that success. Skowronek seemed to establish chemistry with quarterback Ian Book after trekking to California in the offseason to work out with him for a couple weeks. They will face a Yellow Jacket defense that ranks No. 77 among the 101 teams that qualify nationally in pass efficiency.
DE ISAIAH FOSKEY, Notre Dame
Picking a backup as a player to watch may seem like a risk. But no backup on Notre Dame’s defense has been more productive than Foskey this season. The sophomore leads the Irish with 2.5 sacks to go with seven tackles, three tackles for a loss, four quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and a blocked punt that he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Georgia Tech leads the ACC with only 1.67 sacks allowed per game. Look for Foskey to present a challenge when he receives opportunities. He usually does.
RB JAHMYR GIBBS, Georgia Tech
The true freshman and former four-star recruit is already Georgia Tech’s top playmaker. At 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Gibbs brings impressive versatility. He has recorded at least 90 all-purpose yards in all but one game he’s played in this season. Gibbs has totaled 308 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 69 carries and 15 receptions for 206 yards and three scores. Quarterback Jeff Sims gives Gibbs’ more opportunities with his dual-threat ability. Expect Sims to heavily involve Gibbs in the passing game if they fall behind early.
LB QUEZ JACKSON, Georgia Tech
Strong linebacker play will be pivotal for Georgia Tech to keep pace with Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets have struggled against the run, ranking No. 77 (197.8 rushing yards allowed per game), while the Irish come in at No. 15 with 231.8 rushing yards per game. Linebacker Quez Jackson leads Georgia Tech with 46 tackles this season. He’s recorded nine tackles in four out of six games. How Jackson defends Notre Dame’s ground game should have a considerable influence on the outcome.
Who: No. 4 Notre Dame (5-0) vs. Georgia Tech (2-4)
Kickoff: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium; Atlanta
Radio: WSBT (AM 960, FM 96.1), WNSN-FM (101.5)
Line: Notre Dame by 19