Notre Dame Hosts NC State This Saturday on NBC Sports

The No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1) look for their sixth consecutive victory this weekend, when they host the No. 14 North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-1) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, in the third-ever meeting between the two programs. Live pre-game coverage from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind., begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC with Countdown to Kickoff.

Notre Dame enters this weekend's matchup against NC State ranked as the No. 9 team in the country - its highest ranking since the end of the 2015 regular season - following a 49-14 win over long-time rival USC, in what proved to be its largest margin of victory in the series in 51 years. The Fighting Irish have won five consecutive games and have outscored their opponents by a combined 221-79 in those wins. The Notre Dame rushing attack is averaging the sixth-most yards per game (317.9) in the FBS, spearheaded by RB Josh Adams, whose 967 yards rank seventh in the country. Adams' 9.21 yards per carry is on pace to break George Gipp's school record set in 1920 (8.11 yards per carry).

Following are quotes from NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL on NBC studio analyst Chris Simms on the Fighting Irish heading into this weekend's game vs. NC State:

Simms on Notre Dame's No. 9 ranking in the AP Top 25: "Notre Dame is being totally disrespected by the national media. They've convinced me they're one of the best teams in all of college football. They have the best offensive line in the game, other than perhaps Alabama, and I can argue that they're more dominant than Alabama's offensive line. They lost a one-point game to Georgia, which is clearly one of the best teams in college football. Notre Dame stood toe-to-toe with Georgia all game long. We're talking about a Georgia team that we think can stand up to Alabama, but for some reason, Notre Dame is barely getting thought of as a Top 10 team."

Simms on RB Josh Adams as a serious Heisman Trophy candidate: "Josh Adams is a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy. I really believe the reason he's not getting hype is because his style of play isn't sexy. He wears No. 33, he's tall and lanky, he's got a knee brace, and he doesn't look as cool in his uniform as Saquon Barkley, so he's not getting the respect he deserves. It's bothersome to me that Barkley and Bryce Love from Stanford get so overly talked about compared to him. This is a Top 10 team that is thriving because of his ability to make big plays."

Simms on first-year coordinators Mike Elko and Chip Long: "These are two dynamic coordinators on both sides of the ball. If there's a COLLEGE FOOTBALL coordinator of the year award, Mike Elko deserves to be in that conversation, and the offense that Chip Long has devised is top notch. It's a modern day spread/smash mouth scheme, which is very rare. They spread you out, but they're going to run old-school right between the tackles."

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