Irish items week 1: Duke vs. Notre Dame
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9/19;SOUTH FLORIDA;2:30 p.m.
9/26;@Wake Forest, TBD
10/10;FLORIDA STATE;7:30 p.m.
9/12;@Notre Dame;2:30 p.m.
9/19;BOSTON COLLEGE; Noon
Saturday’s contest against Duke will mark the first time in the 133-year history of the program that Notre Dame will play a conference game. A football independent in all previous years, the Irish will play the 2020 season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Notre Dame is 107-17-5 in season openers, including 8-2 under head coach Brian Kelly.
Last year against the Blue Devils, quarterback Ian Book became the first Notre Dame player to throw four touchdown passes and rush for more than 100 yards in a game. In 2019 Book became the only Irish QB to accumulate 2,500 yards passing, 500 yards rushing and 30 touchdown passes in a season.
Notre Dame is a combined 33-6 since the start of the 2017 season, the best three-year stretch since the 1991-93 Irish teams combined for a 31-5-1 record. Notre Dame is 14-1 against ACC opponents the past three seasons and 23-7 since 2014.
The only CFP programs that have not lost to an unranked opponent since 2017 are Notre Dame and Alabama.
The Irish have won 18 straight home games dating back to a 20-19 loss to Georgia on Sept. 9, 2017, and have been undefeated at Notre Dame Stadium for two straight years. The last time Notre Dame was perfect at home two years in a row was 1988-89.
Duke University vice president and Athletic Director Kevin White was the AD at Notre Dame from 2000-08.
Three graduate transfers — CB Nick McCloud (N.C. State), S Isaiah Pryor (Ohio State) and WR Ben Skowronek (Northwestern) — are expected to play key roles for the Irish this season.
Saturday’s game will be the 360th for Brian Kelly as an NCAA head coach, second only to North Carolina’s Mack Brown. The two coaches will face off in Chapel Hill on Nov. 27.
Because of COVID-19 precautions, attendance for home games will be limited to 20% or less of Notre Dame Stadium’s capacity of 77,622.