Notre Dame’s opening game of the 2020 college football season marks a historic moment for the program. On Saturday, after winning over 900 games and 13 national titles as an independent team, the Fighting Irish will play their first-ever conference game when they host Duke.
Here’s all you need to know ahead Notre Dame’s season debut.
- Kickoff time—The Fighting Irish host Duke at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 12.
- TV channel—NBC
- Live stream—NBC’s digital platforms, NBC Sports website, fuboTV and Sling TV (selected markets only).
- Odds—DraftKings has Notre Dame as a 20-point favorite and the Fighting Irish are 9/10 to cover the spread. In moneyline terms, Notre Dame is a 2/25 favorite, while Duke is a 15/2 outsider. The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 53.5.
- Series history—Notre Dame leads the all-time series 4-2.
While the Big Ten and the Pac-12 conferences have opted against playing football this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s all systems go for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which gets underway this weekend.
The conference will look slightly different this season after agreeing to open its door to Notre Dame, after one of the most prestigious independent programs in the country was left bereft of games following the Big Ten and Pac-12 move to a conference-only schedule.
After playing 1,277 without any conference affiliations, Notre Dame gets a full ACC schedule this season and the possibility of reaching the conference championship, while the other 14 ACC members will each receive a slice of the Fighting Irish’s broadcasting deal with NBC which will top up their revenue from ESPN and the ACC Network.
It remains to be seen whether Notre Dame’s membership of the ACC will be extended beyond this most unprecedented of seasons or whether the Fighting Irish will revert to an independent schedule next year, but coach Brian Kelly is determined to make the most of the unusual arrangement.
“It’s never been a goal, so it’s an established goal now to is to win a championship and the ACC Championship,” he said in a press conference this week.
“Our mission is to win a national championship and graduate all of our players. We are able to talk in terms of a mission being to win a championship and now either an ACC Championship, and if you win that obviously you keep your mission alive for a national championship.”
Notre Dame may have never played a conference game, but its recent resume speaks for itself. The Fighting Irish have gone 33-5 over the last three seasons, finishing in the top-12 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll in each of those years and reaching the College Football Playoff in 2018.
Notre Dame’s arrival in the ACC should add a layer of intrigue to a conference that looked in danger of turning into a procession before a game had even been played. While No.1 ranked Clemson remains the clear favorite to win a sixth consecutive ACC title—the Tigers are 3/10 with FanDuel—at 5/1, the Irish are second-favorite and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two collide in the championship game at the end of the season—their regular season meeting is scheduled for November 7 in South Bend, Indiana.