Notre Dame Fighting Irish Game Preview: Week 1 vs. Duke

There were a lot of hoops to jump through, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are going to kick off their football season this Saturday against Duke.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are not going to be playing as independents this year. Instead, they are going to be playing within the ACC Conference. For better or worse, doing that is going to guarantee a season for the Irish, and it is going to give us some fun games to write about. First up on the Irish schedule – Duke.

Before Kick-Off Things To Know
Time: 1:30 Central
Place: Notre Dame Stadium
Spread: ND -20.5 
Last Matchup: (2019) 38-7 Notre Dame

While Notre Dame did dominate Duke during their last matchup, that does not mean this team is a pushover. They have a new quarterback in Chase Brice, who transferred out of Clemson, and he is out to prove himself this season.

If I was Chase Brice this would be the ideal situation to start your career as a starting quarterback with Duke. He has the opportunity to solidify himself as a great quarterback against a highly talented Notre Dame team. In order to slow him down the Irish are going to have to make sure he is under pressure all night.

Most matchups against unranked teams for Notre Dame are the ones I worry about the most. We have seen them let bad teams stick around until the third or even fourth quarter sometimes. With that in mind, I want to see Notre Dame’s captains step up to light a spark under their team.

Ian Book is getting set to return for his last season with Notre Dame, and we are going to see him play his best if the Irish are going to win. Last season during Notre Dame’s 38-7 win, Book threw for 181 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also rushed for 139 yards. While I would rather not see Book scramble that much on Saturday, I do want the Irish to control the football all game.

During their last matchup, Duke was 3 for 16 on third-down conversions. Three and outs are what will guarantee a big win for the Irish again this year, and the Irish definitely need a big win.

The Irish are ranked 10th in the nation heading into the season. While they might not be the best team, the Irish definitely can be higher than 10. However, they won’t be moving up in the rankings if they lose in their first game. Let’s kick off the season right.