First Look at Notre Dame Football’s 2023 Schedule

The Fighting Irish are seeking their 3rd playoff appearance as they face a daunting 2023 schedule.

Marcus Freeman and the Irish have a tremendous opportunity to make the College Football Playoffs this upcoming season. The program will seek its 3rd appearance overall and first with Coach Freeman. With the addition of Sam Hartman, the Irish have a chance to be one of the best teams in the country. Notre Dame will certainly need the experience of the ACC’s all-time passing touchdowns leader to make it back to the playoffs. With the official 2023 Notre Dame football schedule released, here’s a quick look at every game.

Navy (Dublin, Ireland), August 26th

Notre Dame kicks off the 2022 season in Ireland, where they will once again face their longtime rival, Navy. The Midshipmen will now be led by former defensive coordinator Brian Newberry who was promoted to head coach.

Last season, the Irish survived a late comeback for a 35 to 32 victory over Navy. This will be the first time Notre Dame fans see Sam Hartman in action, and it will be necessary not to overlook the Midshipmen this time.

Tennessee State, September 2nd

The Fighting Irish will lose their historic streak of only facing FBS opponents when Head Coach Eddie George and Tennessee State visit South Bend. The Tigers went 4-7 in the FCS in 2022, including a 16 to 3 loss to Jackson State.

I am not here to write about Notre Dame losing its streak of FBS opponents. The Irish just need to take care of business. The Irish have enough top-tier teams on their 2023 schedule to make the playoffs.

At NC State, September 9th

Notre Dame will travel back to Raleigh for the first time since the monsoon of the 2016 season. The NC State Wolfpack were ranked the entire season last year and climbed as high as #10 in the polls.

NC State finished the season 8-5 with a loss to Maryland in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. However, Wolfpack fans will be eager to upset the Irish on the road, and they have a capable team.

Central Michigan, September 16th

The Chippewas from the MAC will come to South Bend in September for the first time in program history. Central Michigan finished last season 4-8, and this matchup will be the final test for Coach Freeman before the highly anticipated rematch with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Notre Dame must put Central Michigan away early and not overlook the Chippewas before the massive game the following week.

Ohio State, September 23rd

The Buckeyes are coming off an 11-2 season with a historic game against Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semi-Finals. I believe the Peach Bowl was essentially the National Title, and the winner of that game would defeat TCU in the actual championship matchup (I hope I am wrong).

A win in this matchup would be one of the most significant victories for Notre Dame Football this century. The challenge will be difficult, but if Jim Harbaugh and Michigan can knock off the Buckeyes in back-to-back seasons, there is no reason Coach Freeman cannot pull off this upset in South Bend.

At Duke, September 30th

Former Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko had a tremendous year for the Duke Blue Devils in 2022 with a 9-4 record and a Military Bowl victory over UCF. He is a defensive-minded and turnover-oriented football coach. This could be a tough showdown on the road.

At Louisville, October 7th

Former Louisville Quarterback Jeff Brohm is back as the Cardinals’ Head Coach. He will be with transfer quarterback Jack Plummer who he coached at Purdue. Plummer faced the Irish in 2021 (at Purdue) and 2022 (at California) and will likely be the starter in 2023 at Louisville.

Coach Brohm is known for trick plays, pass-first offenses, and an excellent football mind overall. This could be a tough road test for Notre Dame.

USC, October 14th

The rivalry is undoubtedly back, as the Trojans knocked off Notre Dame 38 to 27 in November. Caleb Williams wrote a derogatory statement to the Irish on his fingernails to add fuel to the fire, which fans and players should take personally in this year’s matchup.

Lincoln Riley is known for a high-powered offense, while the Irish are known for physicality in the trenches. Last year, USC outplayed Notre Dame, and this time around, the Trojans visit South Bend. This will be one of the top matchups in the 2023 football calendar.

Pittsburgh, October 28th

Pat Narduzzi is hungry for a victory against the Irish. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh always plays Notre Dame better in South Bend. The Panthers always scare me when they face the Irish on the road.

The Fighting Irish may face former quarterback Phil Jurkovec in this matchup as he transferred to Pittsburgh in the offseason. For those who do not know, the former Notre Dame Quarterback had some salty posts on social media regarding Irish football traditions that seemed uncalled for and did not sit well with the South Bend community.

At Clemson, November 4th

The schedule gets more challenging as Notre Dame visits the Clemson Tigers late in the season. Clemson has yet to have the national championship caliber team most expect the past several years, but they finished a respectable 11-3 and still won the ACC Championship. The Tigers also bring back a solid young quarterback in Cade Klubnik.

If the Irish are undefeated at this point or even have a quality record, one can expect Memorial Stadium to be rocking when the Irish visit late in the season.

Wake Forest, November 18th

On October 28th, Sam Hartman will be squaring off against his former team. Wake Forest finished 8-5 last fall with a signature victory over Missouri in their bowl matchup.

The Demon Deacons will have revenge on their mind and hope to beat the Irish for the first time in program history.

At Stanford, November 25th

Stanford will be without Head Coach David Shaw for the first time since 2010. It is too early to tell whether that will be better or worse for Notre Dame. The Cardinal have always been a thorn in the side of the Fighting Irish. Even when the Irish are favored, the upset-minded Cardinal always find ways to win.

After a 16 to 14 upset in South Bend last season, Marcus Freeman must be prepared for Stanford to close the 2023 calendar.

Final Thoughts

With the addition of Sam Hartman, the 2023 Notre Dame Football schedule will be exhilarating. He is the best quarterback in South Bend since Brady Quinn. In addition, coach Freeman finished with a top-10 recruiting class and has added several vital transfers this offseason. As a result, the future looks bright in South Bend, and the schedule will provide excellent matchups.

The Fighting Irish had one of the most demanding schedules in the country last fall, and this season will be no different. Notre Dame will face competition that will prepare them for the playoffs. If Marcus Freeman and the Irish can navigate this schedule and remain undefeated or suffer only one loss, they will be in a tremendous position to make the 2023 playoffs.

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30 Comments

  1. 10-2 and a New Year’s Six bowl win will convince me. Anything less is just more of the same no matter how you all spin it.

    BGC 77 72

      1. As I said “no matter how you spin it”

        BTW: The goal is not 10-2. The goal, as ever, is 12-0 then 2-0 in the playoffs. But 10-2 seems reasonable for this year, with 14-0 in Freeman’s third year.

        BGC 77 82

    1. 9-3 is continued progress, 10-2 would be great.
      If the football is entertaining, and the losses aren’t embarrassing, all’s well.

      1. What? If they don’t win 10 games this year, Freeman has to go.

        He was handed the keys to perennial 10-win program and he dropped the ball a little bit in year one and then recovered. We can probably consider year 1 a success because of that recovery but if he can’t keep deliver 10 wins in year 2, it will be obvious he isn’t the guy moving forward.

        Anything less than the playoffs this year will be a disappointment. Anything less than 10 wins will be abject failure of the program to recover from the loss of Brian Kelly under Freeman

        Hopefully, this will all be moot, but there are no excuses for Freeman this year. Too many other coaches excelling early on with elite programs

      2. There will be three games that i see where ND will be the underdog. All the other games i feel like ND should and will win. The problem is which two games will the ND coaching staff fail to have this team prepared. It seems to take Heistand about 4 to 5 games to get his Oline playing like they should. Still not sold on Rees. Will he become pass happy with Hartman and forget that he has two stud RBs. Will Freeman show any kind of emotion on the sidelines or is he more medicated than Purple guy. Will SteelFanRob be freed from his moms basement and bring this site back to life. Cant wait.

  2. LSU accidentally overpaid Brian Kelly by $1 million last year.
    To go along with the millions it overpaid him on purpose.

  3. I know high school highlights aren’t the end all be all but this Kenny Minchey is really impressive both as a runner and passer. Hopefully, Notredame has found elite quarterbacks going forward. Sam Hartman definitely, Minchey, Carr hopefully and maybe Buchner. My feelings changed somewhat with Buchner after the Gator bowl. He maybe just lacks playing time and development. I hope he doesn’t transfer.

      1. If you have shit in one hand and hope in the other—you’ve still just got a fistful of shit.

        I’d rather have wins

    1. Every time I get excited about High School highlights, I remind myself of Brandon Wimbush and try not to get too excited, lol

      1. I think it’s very hard to project a teams record from one year to the next. So many factors, injuries ,schedule, transfers in and out, incoming freshman, returning players breaking out or not. I feel Notredame potentially can be a playoff level team. The key will mostly be Hartman who I’m very confident will be really good. The big question marks are the receivers and can Tommy be consistently good every week with the game plans, play calling, in game adjustments, utilization of the talent. I like Tommy and believe he has been somewhat handicapped these last 3 years with the lack of an elite quarterback, game breaking explosives receivers, poor line coaching and recruiting with Quinn. That is all changing now with Harry, Stuckey and Hartman coming in. It will be interesting to see if Freeman brings in an offensive analyst guru to support Tommy.

  4. The quarterback is very important but he can’t do it alone. If his offensive line is weak and cant run block or pass protect,receivers can’t get open and drop passes and the offensive coordinator isn’t elite as far as game planning, play calling making in game adjustments the offense and team isn’t going to win much. Also, how good the defense and special teams are directly impacts the quarterback and offense with field position, take aways giving the offense short fields forcing opponents to play from behind. Bryce Young and Cj Shroud were the 2 best quarterbacks in college football this year and neither one won the national championship.

    1. Links in a chain…..the weakest link determines how strong the chain is.

      For years, a “sticky link” was the dumbass leader on the sidelines. That link got replaced, and is still being tested and inspected after every game. So far so good. .

      A more visibly weak link has been QB, for many years. Next season, a new link will perhaps be the strongest in the chain……making the NEXT weakest links the “limitation on potential”.

  5. Bruce still thinks Ian Book was an outstanding QB… of course that’s because Bruce is results oriented. Arm strength takes a back seat to winning percentage and Total Offense every time in Bruce’s world.
    Perhaps that’s a feature of bipolar one distortion of facts. So no scolding here…I’d just say Brady Quinn, then Book, then a couple guys who only played one or two years, then Clausen somewhere near the bottom, along with his winning percentage.

    BTW: If Clausen gets some sort of mulligan for 2007, why doesn’t Kizer get a pass for 2016? And why do blow out losses in major Bowl games count against IAN BOOK, but blow outs in major Bowls don’t seem to count against Brady Quinn? Parse that, guys: then do your own scolding!

    BGC 77 82

  6. I was surprised on the Clausen vs Quinn takes. Ultimately I think Clausen was the better talent but Quinn the better QB. To be fair though it was a dumpster fire around Clausen.

    1. Quinn did have the best O line in ND history.

      “Gorgeous” George Santos, Anthony “Holder” Devolder, Tony “Zabby” Zabrovsky and Kitara “KO” Ravache.
      We’ll never see 4 guys like that ever again.

  7. Not at all happy about having to play an FCS team. One point of pride for the Irish is we were one of the only teams (if not only team now) that only played FBS teams. Some traditions should be upheld IMO. Sometimes you have to go with the times, but not in this case.

    1. ND knowingly participates in a professional, quite corrupt football league.
      You want things to be upset about? Start with that.

  8. clausen was so overated, average arm losing seasons never won 1 big game. took nd to 2 toilet bowls his brothers were better than him. Quinns teams had winning records & major bowl games, Clausens best win was a blowout of Hawaii in the hula bowl!! WOOO HOOO

    1. And as we all know, the QB controls every team’s destiny. You could have little girls, amputee war vets, and small rodents at every other position….but with a great QB, the championship is yours!

      Fooking idiot.

    2. MJT,

      This is one of the most absurd takes I’ve seen on here to say Clausen was overrated. He had some of the worst defenses by ND I’ve ever seen since following them which is why it was difficult for him to win the big games.

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