Notre Dame’s season-opener towards Duke on Saturday wasn’t all that totally different than the Irish’s opener at Louisville in 2019.
Which may turn into an issue in 2020. The Irish — who beat the Blue Devils 27-13 at Notre Dame Stadium — should be one thing extra in the event that they need to win the ACC championship as a full-time convention member.
The Irish (1-Zero, 1-Zero ACC) had been by no means in actual hazard towards Duke (Zero-1, Zero-1), even when Chase Brice reduce ND’s result in 17-13 with 2:19 remaining within the third quarter. A disastrous first quarter through which Notre Dame’s first three drives resulted in 9 performs for five yards did not harm the Irish, both. First-game jitters tackle a bit of extra weight within the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly within the wind and rain.
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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who obtained a contract extension by means of 2024 earlier than the sport, expressed the happy-to-be-here feelings previous to kickoff. He later made a name that jump-started his staff when Jay Bramblett ran a pretend punt 14 yards from his personal 21 for a primary down early within the second quarter. The Irish scored their first TD 5 performs later to take a 7-Three lead. They by no means trailed once more.
Now, the query is whether or not the Irish generally is a worthy contender for Clemson within the ACC.
They confirmed a few of that potential by means of their thrilling items on offense. Working again Kyren Williams rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns and added two catches for 93 yards. Tight ends Tommy Tremble and Michael Mayer mixed for eight catches for 83 yards. The protection allowed 124 yards on Duke’s first two drives however simply 210 yards the remainder of the sport. Duke could not run the soccer (75 yards on 30 makes an attempt), and that made a distinction.
But, per common, the main focus will heart on senior quarterback Ian E book, who completed 19 of 31 for 263 yards and a landing. He threw a red-zone interception within the first half and one other decide on the subsequent possession, however the latter INT was negated by an offside penalty on Duke. Notre Dame can also be inexperienced at receiver and it confirmed at instances.
E book was adequate to beat the Blue Devils, a lot as he was adequate to beat Louisville within the opener final 12 months. He will not get publicity, nonetheless, until the Irish lose, which was confirmed final 12 months after they fell to Georgia and Michigan. These video games had been the distinction between a School Soccer Playoff season and the Tenting World Bowl.
Notre Dame’s 2020 schedule is about as much as maintain it within the title combine it doesn’t matter what. Louisville and Florida State come to South Bend in October, and the hardest highway video games are Pitt and North Carolina.
Maybe greater than 10,000 followers might be allowed in when Clemson visits on Nov. 7. That would be the recreation of the season, particularly if a rematch within the ACC championship recreation is at stake.
It is in these video games – particularly towards Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and North Carolina’s Sam Howell – the place E book will should be a difference-maker, maybe the distinction
That can decide whether or not Notre Dame is joyful to be within the ACC or nothing has actually modified from 2019.