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Toledo at No. 8 Notre Dame: Preview, How to Watch

The Irish, who are 4-0 against MAC schools in program history, will play the Rockets for the first time in Notre Dame’s home opener.

Notre Dame Toledo
Photo: Getty Images

Notre Dame will play its home opener against Toledo on Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

The No. 8 Irish are 1-0 after Jonathan Doerer made a 41-yard field goal in a thrilling 41-38 win in overtime at Florida State. Jack Coan was 26 of 35 for 366 yards and four touchdowns in his Notre Dame debut. But the offense struggled to run the ball, with only 65 rushing yards. The defense had three interceptions, including two by All-American safety and projected top-10 pick Kyle Hamilton.

Notre Dame, in Marcus Freeman’s Irish debut at defensive coordinator, also allowed two 60-yard plays at Florida State. The Irish allowed only three 60-yard plays in Freeman’s predecessor Clark Lea’s three-year run.

Freeman’s defense also took a hit on the injury front, with linebackers Paul Moala (torn Achilles) and Shayne Simon (torn labrum) each out for the season. Prince Kollie is now the No. 2 Will linebacker behind JD Bertrand, who is the starter in place of Marist Liufau (dislocated/broken ankle). Receiver Xavier Watts is training as a Rover linebacker.

The offense will be without left tackle Blake Fisher (MCL sprain) for about eight weeks, according to head coach Brian Kelly on Thursday. Michael Carmody will shift into Fisher’s starting spot.

About Toledo

Toledo is flying high after a 49-10 season-opening win against FCS Norfolk State. The Rockets defense only allowed a touchdown in the first quarter and a failed goal in the fourth quarter.

Toledo leaned on its running game with 39 carries between six different rushers for 205 yards and four touchdowns. Dequan Finn and Bryant Koback each had nine carries, with one score for Finn and two from Koback. Jacquez Stuart had the other Toledo rushing touchdown.

Carter Bradley was 8 of 12 for 183 yards and one touchdown for Toledo. Finn added 38 passing yards on four passes.

The Rockets forced two turnovers, a fumble and an interception, but only recorded one sack. Jonathan Jones led the front seven with seven tackles, including three solo and one for loss. Jamal Hines also had seven tackles, while five others recorded at least four each.

Series History

Notre Dame and Toledo have never met on the football field. The Irish are 4-0 against current MAC schools, with each game at Notre Dame.

2019: ND 52-0 vs. Bowling Green

2018: ND 24-16 vs. Ball State

2017: ND 52-17 vs. Miami (Ohio)

2010: ND 44-20 vs. Western Michigan

Odds

Favorites: ND -17

Over/under: 55

How to Watch

What: Toledo at No. 8 Notre Dame

When: 1:30 PM CT, Saturday

Where: Notre Dame Stadium; South Bend, Indiana

Live stream: Peacock

Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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