Notre Dame Gameday: What to Know and How to Watch the Fighting Irish Today

All of your last-minute information for tonight's 2021 Notre Dame football season opener vs. the Seminoles

The long, never-ending off-season is finally over tonight. Notre Dame and Florida State square off in primetime on the Labor Day weekend Sunday night showcase matchup. With less than 12 hours to kickoff, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to get ready for tonight.

Countdown to Kickoff

  • Kickoff: 7:30 PM ET
  • Doak Campbell Stadium
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Capacity: 79,560 (Bermuda Grass)
  • Opposing Coach: MIke Norvell – 2nd year at Florida State, 3-6 record

How to Watch Notre Dame Today

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on ABC at 7:30 PM ET with play-by-play commentary from Joe Tessitore and color commentary by Greg McElroy. The game will also be broadcast on SIRUS satellite radio channel 179 and on the Notre Dame radio network (96.1 FM, 101.5 FM & 960 AM in South Bend) with play by play by Paul Burmeister and commentary by former Notre Dame OL Ryan Harris.

Gameday Weather

The lastest forecast for Tallahassee is calling for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 80’s and barely any chance of rain (2%). Those conditions should give us a clean game and the temps in the low 80’s shouldn’t cause too much of an issue for either team – especially with humidity levels in the 50-60% range.

Key Injuries

The only major injury for either team to note is the preseason camp loss of WILL linebacker Marist Liufau for the Fighting Irish. Liufau was expected to be a wildcard in the Irish defense and key chess piece for new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. Junior JD Bertrand will start in his place but expect to see a number of linebackers used by Notre Dame including Shayne Simon and potentially some of ROVER Jack Kiser at the WILL.

Last Minute Story Lines

No official starting QB for Florida State. Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell is attempting to play a bit of gamesmanship by not naming his starting quarterback until kickoff. Jordan Travis is expected to start from media reports, but transfer McKenzie Milton will probably see the field as well even if Travis starts.

The whole “not naming a starting quarterback til kickoff” is an age old tactic that usually doesn’t really give the team employing it much of an advantage. Remember when Charlie Weis waited until kickoff against Georgia Tech in 2007 to name Demetrius Jones the starter? How did that work out for Notre Dame?

How will the new-look Irish OL hold up? We all know by now that Notre Dame’s OL has been completely overhauled after four linemen from 2020 landed in the NFL (3 on rosters and 1 on a practice squad). How they hold up tonight will determine if this game is close, or if the Irish win comfortably. If they hold up and gel quickly, Notre Dame wins easy. If they don’t it could be a longer night than anyone wants.

Watching Texas A&M struggle with Kent State last, it gave me some pause for tonight. Like the Irish, the Aggies replaced a long-time starting QB and four of their offensive linemen this offseason. They struggled to get their footing early and didn’t pull away from a MAC team until late. Florida State isn’t what they once were, but they are better than a MAC team.

Will Jack Coan make Wisconsin fans even more miserable today? Wisconsin lost an ugly, ugly game to Penn State yesterday. Forget the whole “ah this was a classic Big Ten game” routine. It was a classic “ugly as hell football game between two teams who can’t play offense.” In the process, the Wisconsin golden boy, Graham Mertz did not do a whole lot to instill confidence in the Badger faithful. Mertz assumed the starting role over Coan when he got hurt last year and was anointed the starter moving forward before Coan transferred to Notre Dame.

If Coan has a big game tonight – and it’s certainly possible with Notre Dame’s weapons. There will be some second-guessing – even more than is already taking place – in Madison tonight. Go get ’em, Jack!

Will Kevin Austin be unleashed? We have heard for years that Kevin Austin was going to be the next great Notre Dame wide receiver. suspensions and injuries have robbed him of that opportunity and us of the opportunity to see him play. By all accounts Austin is ready for takeoff in 2021 and tonight could be the first of many big games for the former top-100 recruit.

Latest Notre Dame Line & Betting Odds

As of Sunday morning, ~ 10:00 AM the line is still holding at Notre Dame -7 which still seems absolutely incredible to me. This suggests that most of the money has still been placed on The Seminoles since the line open with Notre Dame around -11. There is still a chance this thing moves late if some of the late money from the pros comes pouring in on Notre Dame like I would expect it to.

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  1. I wish I could be happy with a win but they just eked by a team they should have beat handily. This one won’t help, but a loss would have been catastrophic. But this is why I don’t look ahead. ND has a lot of work to do but my faith in BK to make those kinds of in season adjustments is about nil. My faith in his ability to develop QBs is even less. But we’ll see

    1. BK has ridden the backs of over-achieving QBs his whole career, and then passes himself as a QB whisperer. There’s a reason he doesn’t want to recruit a stud because when that QB doesn’t develop, BK would be exposed as a fraud when it comes to developing a passer. Coan will likely do just well enough for BK to take just enough credit and continue to ride these projects passers all the way to the bank!

  2. Pretty ugly win but 1-0 looks better than 0-1. Freeman came with a lot of hype. I didn’t exactly see the reason for that hype let alone the proclaimed improvements in personnel recruitment that again tonight, wasn’t exactly evident. In this day and age of college ball, a drop back, non-mobile QB probably is not going to achieve a high level of success unless he has a monster OL and clearly, ND doesn’t have that, at least not today. Better work on tackling in practice this week too. One other thing, watching the interview after the game with ABC, Kelly sure didn’t seem to physically( health wise) look good either.

  3. Wow, to let an 18 pt lead be squandered by playing not to lose versus stomping the foot on FSU’s neck, I don’t get that philosophy at all. I think there is a lot to be critical of in this game regarding ND. I wish ND had more of a mentality of putting teams away when they could but Kelly doesn’t have it within him to do that. Goddamn 18 point lead slips away.

    1. This was about as BS a win as you can get!

      Then they celebrate like they just beat Bama for the NC!

      MM needs to redeem himself the rest of the season with two big drops tonight.

      The D coordintor needs to do some soul searching. His D scheme the last quarter and a half was inexplicable.

      No way ND hangs with the big boys with this D and no running game.

    1. Game over. I’ve seen this story before. Time for bed. At least we won’t have to stress over the playoffs. Sadly our NC days are over and the PTBs at ND are ok with that

      1. Unless BK wins a NC, this epic collapse will define his era for me. That and the blowout defeats.

        This D coordinator is braid dead or what? Why totally change the D scheme?

        MM two costly drops! This game is just destined to go FSU’s way, I guess.

        Bobby Bowden is doing his thig from heaven for the Noles!

  4. This D is very over-rated right now. FSU isn’t a great O.

    I don’t understand why the D coordinator let FSU run the ball down their throat.

    This isn’t nearly a complete team to compete with the elites with this D and lack of consistent running game.

  5. Coan can’t throw the deep ball, that’s clear. Those Bama QBs hit the WR in stride for 6. Until ND get’s one of those types of QBs and gets more elite WRs it won’t compete no matter how good the D is.

    The ND O line will be a year long project. Hopefully, it won’t cost them early on but it’s clear they can’t get a consistent push against a very average FSU D line.

    The D is solid but would get gashed by the big boys of college football.

    Bramblett continues to just outright suck!


  6. This game turned on a dime due to MM’s shit awful drop and BK’s misreading of the game and going for it on 4th. ND needed to punt and pin the Noles and let the D redeem itself.

    ND isn’t Bama who could beat FSU by 40 with their JV squad.

    Does ND have WRs and an O line?!

    Shit awful play calling on O!

    1. Fine….then cut Kelly’s pay.
      Developing QB’s was supposedly his “thing” when he got the job.

      BTW….what DOES he bring to the table?

  7. If Notredames offense doesn’t put up at least 30 points tonight Its imo going to be a 2 or 3 loss team. My hope is Notredames offense plays fast and aggressive for 4 quarters, pushes the ball vertically. Need to get thr ball in Tyrees hands both running and passing. Het the ball down field to the wide receivers.

  8. Let’s see how Kelly’s new “Rent-a-Badger” idea works.
    The guy Wisconsin preferred was pretty underwhelming yesterday.

    1. “Rent-a-Badger” looking solid so far. Missed a throw in the second but has been flawless in the second half.

      Great call by TR on the screen. I can’t believe the FSU D was so unprepared for it.

      Kevin Austen looks like a stud. But need more from the other WRs. Avery Davis is MIA.

      The D is a concern, though. Giving up too many big plays to a very average O.

      I hope Blake Fisher is OK. He looked good.

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