Is Notre Dame's Success for Real or Will They Fall?

Colin JohnsonContributor IOctober 4, 2008

Thus far, Notre Dame has surprised us all and won four of its first five games of the season. But will their surprising season continue, as they only have two home games left?

Notre Dame has had all of its success at home this season, their only loss coming to Michigan State in East Lansing. With Notre Dame's next two games being away from Notre Dame Stadium, will Jimmy Clausen be able to keep his hot streak going?

I think so, considering in the last two games he has passed 75 times, completing 49 of them for 622 yards and six touchdowns.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that he didn't throw any interceptions in those two games as well? Clausen is hot going into the North Carolina game and in order to keep Notre Dame's success going, he needs to stay hot.

Notre Dame's young receiving staff has been amazing for the lack of experience they have. Golden Tate and Michael Floyd both have over 300 yards receiving and three scores apiece, Grimes and the tight end Rudolph right behind them with two apiece.

Armando Allen and Duval each have a touchdown via receiving too. In order to keep their hot streak going, Notre Dame must keep Golden Tate, their "deep threat," involved in the game at all times.

Rushing has been solid for the Irish lately, with Armando Allen rushing for a touchdown in each of the last two games after none in the first three. Hughes had made up for Allen's struggles early, scoring two of his own rushing touchdowns, but hasn't been as productive as of late.

Notre Dame got the sacks going in the Stanford game with five sacks on Pritchard after only one in the previous four games. If they want their success to keep clicking, their defense must keep putting up sack totals like the Stanford game every single week.

Notre Dame's defense has been superb this season after their dismal 2007 season, making seven picks and recovering two fumbles.

Allen and Tate have been good on kick returns, Allen returning 15 for 352 yards and Tate returning five for 104 yards. Punts haven't been as pretty, as Allen is the team's leading punt returner, returning seven for 66 yards.

In a previous article, I said that I believed Notre Dame would go 8-4, losing to Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College. Well, I was wrong about the Michigan game and right about the Michigan State game.

Notre Dame's remaining schedule is as follows: @ N. Carolina, @ Washington, Vs. Pittsburgh, @ Boston College, Vs. Navy (in Baltimore), Vs. Syracuse, and @ USC.

I believe now that Notre Dame will finish 9-3, taking away that loss against Michigan from my previous prediction and adding it to the win column.

I think they will struggle with Boston College, as they always do, and I believe they will stay with USC early, but are not yet ready to beat a team of USC's caliber, unless there is an upset.

That's all I have for you so far, but we're all going to have to tune in to the Fightin' Irish's remaining games to see if they can redeem themselves after their terrible 2007 season.