Notre Dame's season got off to an inauspicious start at Texas last Monday. The Irish return to the friendlier confines of Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend on Saturday for a date with the Nevada Wolfpack.
The Irish are heavy favorites, and it'll be a stunner if Nevada keeps this especially tight. Notre Dame didn't do enough to beat a talented and emotional Texas team playing its biggest game in years, but the Irish should have the juice to avoid any real trouble against a Wolfpack team that needed overtime to beat an FCS team a week ago.
Brian Kelly has sensibly moved on from a two-quarterback arrangement that hindered his offense against the Longhorns, and there's no reason the Irish can't put up gobs of points in the months ahead. The Wolfpack won't have an easy time keeping up. If they do, though, a close call after an overtime loss won't be any way for Notre Dame to start.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC. The broadcasters are Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Doug Flutie (analyst) and Kathryn Tappen (reporter).
Online streaming: NBC Sports
Spread: Notre Dame opened as a 26-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. DeShone Kizer's in charge now. Notre Dame threw a two-quarterback system at Texas, and it didn't work. Kizer was better than Zaire in every way, and now that the Irish are 0-1, he's the guy Kelly will rely upon to lift them up. It makes a lot of sense to ride with Kizer and Kizer alone.
2. Notre Dame's still fine. As bad a place as 0-1 is, Texas' win last week was more about Texas than about Notre Dame. (Notre Dame very possibly wins the game if field and replay officials don't miss a targeting call against Texas.) The Irish gave themselves a tough schedule, like they always do, but they could certainly still go 10-2 or 11-1 and find themselves in the Playoff discussion.
3. This might be bad for Nevada. The Wolfpack needed overtime last week to beat Cal ... Poly. The Wolfpack aren't terrible for a mid-major, but they're probably not talented enough to really bug Notre Dame. If they do, that will be something of a win in and of itself.