Previewing Saturday's Notre Dame-Cincinnati game at Notre Dame Stadium

Gayle Bell
ND Insider

Notre Dame kept its unbeaten season on track last Saturday with the late-game 41-13 runaway from Wisconsin in the annual Shamrock Series game at Chicago's Soldier Field.

Coach Brian Kelly's historic win sets up a top-ten showdown between the No. 9 Irish (4-0) and No. 8 Cincinnati (3-0) Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

Last week's win gave Kelly ND win No. 106, surpassing coaching legend Knute Rockne as the all-time win leader in Notre Dame history.

Saturday's game between Cincinnati and Notre Dame is a massive résumé game for both teams hoping to make a run at the College Football Playoff. Just one week into October, this would represent the biggest win on the schedule for either team.

No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati

Who: No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati (3-0) 

Kickoff: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EDT 

Where: Notre Dame Stadium 

TV: NBC/Peacock 

Radio: WSBT (AM 960), WNSN-FM (101.5) 

Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2 

Here's a quick guide to the contest:

Preview coverage

► Players to watch Four players to watch in Saturday's Top 10 clash between Cincinnati and Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s Cam Hart (5) celebrates an interception during the Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

►  Hansen column:Beyond the milestone win, what's still ahead for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly after Notre Dame drubbed Wisconsin, 41-13, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

► Keys to game:How does No. 9 Notre Dame beat No. 7 Cincinnati? By following these four keys to the game.

► Hunting the football:Notre Dame DT Jayson Ademilola keeps hunting the football with his relentless motor

Notre Dame’s Jayson Ademilola (57) celebrates during ND's 41-13 victory over Wisconsin, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

►Notebook: Madden pushing to translate summer culture shock to on-field success at ND

► More notes:Notebook: Passionate Kyle Hamilton providing leadership for Notre Dame

Irish items

♦ Notre Dame is currently ranked tied for first nationally with nine interceptions to begin the 2021 season.

♦ The Irish have started the season 4-0 for the third time in the last four seasons. Under Kelly, the Irish have gone 4-0 to start the season six times during his 12 years at Notre Dame.

♦ Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 37-5 (.881). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled five or fewer losses (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State) since the start of 2018.

♦ Notre Dame collected four interceptions in the win over Wisconsin, marking its most interceptions in a game since the Pinstripe Bowl in 2013 when they had four against Rutgers.

♦ Notre Dame has totaled 14 sacks over the first four games of the season. It is the most sacks to start a season since 2012, when the Irish also had 14 sacks through the first four games.

♦ The Irish have won 24-straight games when they have scored 40 or more points. Notre Dame is 38-2 all-time under Brian Kelly when they score at least 40 points.

♦ JD Bertrand has totaled 42 tackles through the first four games of the season. That ranks 11th nationally and is the most by an Irish player through the first four games of a season since Manti Te’o had 54 in the first four games of the 2010 season.

♦ The only time Notre Dame and Cincinnati previously met on the gridiron was Oct. 20, 1900 in South Bend. The Irish won the game 58-0 to improve to 4-0 in the season.

♦ The last time Notre Dame had an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown in the same game was 2005 against Tennessee. Brady Quinn threw for a touchdown and Tom Zbikowski returned a punt for a touchdown and had a pick six.

Two-deep depth charts

CINCINNATI

OFFENSE

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) celebrates as he runs off the field following an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Bloomington, Ind. Cincinnati won 38-24. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Left tackle

75 John Williams | 6-5, 310 |  SO.

OR 72 James Tunstall | 6-5, 311 | Jr.

Left guard

74 Jeremy Cooper | 6-4 | 315 | Jr.

71 Colin Woodside | 6-5, 313 | Jr.

Center

56 Jake Renfro | 6-3, 310 | So.

53 Gavin Gerhardt | 6-4, 305 | So.

Right guard

77 Vincent McConnell | 6-5, 300 | Sr.

51 Lorenz Metz | 6-9, 326 | Jr.

Right tackle

50 Dylan O’Quinn | 6-4, 305 | Jr.

69 Cam Jones | 6-8, 325 | So.

Tight end

81 Josh Whyle | 6-6, 255 | Jr.

OR 11 Leonard Taylor | 6-5, 250 | Sr.

Wide receiver

12 Alec Pierce | 6-3, 213 | Sr.

5 Jordan Jones | 6-2, 190 | Gr.

Wide receiver

21 Tyler Scott | 5-11, 177 | So.

20 Jadon Thompson | 6-2, 185 | So.

Wide receiver

8 Michael Young Jr. | 5-10, 195 | Gr.

7 Tre Tucker | 5-9, 175 | Jr.

Quarterback

9 Desmond Ridder | 6-4, 215 | Sr.

3 Evan Prater | 6-4, 200 | So..

Running back

24 Jerome Ford | 5-11, 215 | Jr.

0 Charles McClelland | 5-11, 193 | Jr.

DEFENSE

Defensive end

21 Myjai Sanders | 6-5, 250 | Sr.

90 Jabari Taylor | 6-1, 280 | Sr.

Defensive tackle

92 Curtis Brooks | 6-2, 285 | Gr.

99 Marcus Brown | 6-2, 297 | Gr.

Defensive end

42 Malik Vann | 6-4, 275 | Sr.

18 Jowon Briggs | 6-1, 297 | So.

Weakside linebacker

0 Darrian Beavers | 6-4, 255 | Gr.

24 Jaheim Thomas | 6-4, 235 | So.

Middle linebacker

41 Joel Dublanko | 6-3, 240 | Gr.

2 Wilson Huber | 6-4, 242 | Sr.

Strongside linebacker 

13 Ty Van Fossen | 6-2, 220 | Jr.

20 Deshawn Pace | 6-2, 218 | So.

Cornerback

1 Ahmad Gardner | 6-3, 200 | Jr.

5 Jaquan Sheppard | 6-2, 200 | Jr.

Safety

6 Bryan Cook | 6-1, 210 | Sr.

29 Jacob Dingle | 5-11, 195 | Jr.

Safety

3 Ja’von Hicks | 6-2, 205 | Sr.

36 Will Adams | 6-0, 195 | Jr.

Cornerback

7 Coby Bryant | 6-1, 198 | Gr.

12 Todd Bumphis | 6-0, 188 | So.

Nickle

9 Arquon Bush | 6-0, 190 | Jr.

15 Taj Ward | 6-0, 197 | Jr.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Long snapper

96 Cayson Pfeiffer | 6-0, 215 | So.

85 Triston O’Brien | 6-3, 200 | Fr.

Holder

39 Bryce Burton | 5-10, 210 | So.

31 Mason Fletcher | 6-7, 202 | Fr.

Kicker

17 Cole Smith | 5-11, 193 | Sr. 

91 Alex Bales | 5-10, 177 | So.

Punter 

31 Mason Fletcher | 6-7, 202 | Fr.

91 Alex Bales | 5-10, 177 | So.

Punt returner

22 Ryan Montgomery | 5-10, 205 | Jr.

8 Michael Young Jr. | 5-10, 195 | Gr.

Kick returner

7 Tre Tucker | 5-9, 175 | Jr.

21 Tyler Scott | 5-11, 177 | So.

NOTRE DAME

OFFENSE

Notre Dame’s Drew Pyne (10) celebrates after the Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Quarterback

17 Jack Coan | 6-3,  223 | Gr. (questionable, ankle)

10 Drew Pyne | 6-0, 200 | So. 

Running back

23 Kyren Williams | 5-9, 199 | Jr. 

25 Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | So.

Field receiver

0 Braden Lenzy | 5-11, 182 | Sr. 

21 Lorenzo Styles Jr. | 6-1, 195 | Fr.

Slot receiver 

3 Avery Davis  5-11, 202 | Gr. 

5 Joe Wilkins Jr. |  6-2, 195 | Sr. 

Boundary receiver

4 Kevin Austin Jr. | 6-2, 215 | Sr. 

16 Deion Colzie | 6-5, 207 | Fr. 

Tight end

87 Michael Mayer | 6-5, 251 | So. 

85 George Takacs | 6-6, 247 | Sr.

Left tackle

68 Michael Carmody | 6-6, 290 | So. (hopeful, sprained ankle)

OR 79 Tosh Baker | 6-8, 307 | So.

Left guard

52 Zeke Correll | 6-3, 295 | Jr. 

73 Andrew Kristofic | 6-5, 295 | Jr.

Center

55 Jarrett Patterson | 6-5, 307 | Sr. 

73 Andrew Kristofic | 6-5, 295 | Jr. 

Right guard 

62 Cain Madden | 6-3, 310 | Gr. 

56 John Dirksen | 6-5, 306 | Sr. 

Right tackle

75 Josh Lugg | 6-7, 305 | Gr.  

76 Joe Alt | 6-8; 305 | Fr. 

DEFENSE

Vyper defensive end

7 Isaiah Foskey | 6-5, 260 | Jr. 

9 Justin Ademilola | 6-2, 255 | Sr. 

Defensive tackle

57 Jayson Ademilola | 6-3, 280 | Sr. 

99 Rylie Mills | 6-5, 283 | So. 

Nose guard

41 Kurt Hinish | 6-2, 300 | Gr. (questionable, concussion) 

56 Howard Cross III | 6-1, 275; Jr. 

Big defensive end

95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa | 6-3, 268 | Gr.

31 NaNa Osafo-Mensah | 6-3, 250 | Jr. 

Mike linebacker

40 Drew White | 6-0, 228 | Gr.

52 Bo Bauer | 6-3, 233 | Sr. 

Will linebacker

27 JD Bertrand | 6-1, 230 | Jr.

32 Prince Kollie | 6-1, 222 | Fr. 

Rover linebacker

10 Isaiah Pryor | 6-2, 217 | Gr.

OR 24 Jack Kiser | 6-2, 224 | Jr.

Boundary cornerback  

5 Cam Hart | 6-3, 205; Jr. 

11 Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | So. 

Field cornerback

6 Clarence Lewis | 6-0, 193 | So. 

28 TaRiq Bracy | 5-10, 177 | Sr. 

Free safety 

14 Kyle Hamilton | 6-4, 220 | Jr. 

2 DJ Brown | 6-0, 200 | Sr.

Strong safety

3 Houston Griffith | 6-0, 202 | Sr. 

16 KJ Wallace | 5-10, 185 | Jr. 

Nickelback

28 TaRiq Bracy | 5-10, 177 | Sr.  

11 Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | So.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Place-kicker

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Gr. 

91 Josh Bryan | 6-0, 183 | Fr.

Punter

19 Jay Bramblett | 6-2, 197 | Jr. 

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Gr. 

Long snapper 

65 Michael Vinson | 6-2, 230 | Sr. 

44 Alex Peitsch | 6-1, 210 | So. 

Holder

19 Jay Bramblett | 6-2, 197 | Jr. 

30 Jake Rittman | 6-3, 210 | Sr.

Kickoffs

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Gr. 

91 Josh Bryan | 6-0, 183 | Fr.

Kick returner

25 Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | So. 

29 Matt Salerno | 6-1, 199 | Sr. 

Punt returner

23 Kyren Williams | 5-9, 199 | Jr.

OR 29 Matt Salerno | 6-1, 199 | Sr.