The obvious happened. Notre Dame dominated Navy on both sides of the ball. Less noticeable was the absence of former Irish tight end Michael Mayer. That is not to say he will not be missed later in the season, but he certainly was not missed in Ireland. In fact, Notre Dame did not target a tight end at all on Saturday night. Instead, Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman fired the rock to his platoon of receivers and running backs. Hartman finished the game with as many touchdown passes as incompletions. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns.
He connected with freshman wideout Jaden Greathouse three times for 68 yards and two scores. Adding a nice compliment to the aerial attack was Notre Dame’s tank, Audric Estime. The 227-pound bruiser led the team with 95 yards rushing (5.9 YPC) on 16 carries, including one touchdown. Sophomore running back Jadarian Price added his own score on a 19-yard run.
On the other side of the ball, the Irish defense withstood the Midshipmen’s arsenal. Navy’s offense possessed the ball for seven fewer minutes compared to 2022, with nearly 200 fewer total yards. Navy managed just 126 yards rushing on 48 attempts (2.6 YPC). The Irish defense finished with two sacks and five tackles for loss. Linebacker Jack Kiser led the team with eight tackles, including six solo. Linebacker Marist Liufau was a close second with seven tackles of his own.
TE Kevin Bauman and DE Aiden Gobaira are out for the season (ACL). TE Eli Raridon is day-to-day (knee). WR KK Smith is out indefinitely (shoulder). DL Gabriel Rubio is out for two weeks (knee).
No key injuries.
- Tennessee State is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games.
- The total has gone over in 6 of Tennessee State’s last 7 games.
- The total has gone over in 7 of Notre Dame’s last 8 games.
- Notre Dame is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games.
Point Spread and Over / Under Total
Tennessee State (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at #13 Notre Dame N/A (1-0) (1-0 ATS)
Notre Dame football will add another notation to its 136-year-old history book as this weekend’s game will mark the first ever against a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) when Notre Dame takes on the Tennessee State Tigers. It is rumored that the Irish first offered to square up with Jackson State and Florida A&M before the Tigers accepted the $1 million challenge.
The last time Tennessee State played a Power Five opponent was in 2021 when they were drummed at Mississippi State, 55-10. One can expect much of the same on Saturday, as this will likely be another tune-up game for Sam Hartman and the Irish. Last season, the Tigers finished 4-7, so this will be a good sparring session for the young Irish lads and coaches alike before their first actual test against NC State on September 9th.
While he was at Jackson State, Tennessee head coach and former Ohio State great Eddie George voiced his desire for his team to follow the blueprint of former HBCU head coach Deion Sanders. George said this weekend’s matchup against Notre Dame is another step in that direction. Last year in the Southern Heritage Classic against Tennessee State, Jackson State’s quarterback, Shedeur Sanders, completed 30 of 44 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown. Unless the dogs are caged early on, Hartman and the Irish receivers should have no problem surpassing that mark.
Behind Enemy Lines Week 1:
PICKS-WIN/LOSS on the year: 2-0 ATS
Wagner (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Navy N/A (0-1) (0-1 ATS)
The Midshipmen crossed the ocean only to get sunk by Notre Dame in Ireland last week, 42-3. The Navy defense surrendered 444 yards, and its offense could only muster 169 yards of its own. Next game: at Memphis
NC State -14.5 (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at UConn (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
NC State received a facelift during the off-season as it will arrive in Connecticut with 40 new faces looking for action and two new coaches. Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said the starting lineup is not etched in stone and could change again after this week’s game. Meanwhile, UConn will be returning ten defensive starters and four offensive linemen. NC State kenneled the Huskies last season, 41-10. NC State is 2-8 ATS in its previous ten games. The total has gone under in four of UConn’s last five games played in week one. NC State opened at -15 before sliding a smidge to -14.5. The total dropped significantly from 51 to 46.5. PICK: NC State
Central Michigan (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Michigan State -14.5 (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
Both squads enter this game with uncertainty at starting quarterback, and week one will solidify that position. CMU will also replace running back Lew Nichols III, who moved on to the NFL. The Spartans will likely name Connecticut transfer Nathan Carter the starting running back after the unit finished 110th in rushing last season with 113 YPG. The Michigan State defense should be solid after adding defensive line transfers from Texas A&M and Colorado. CMU is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games. The total has gone over in four of MSU’s last five home games. The Spartans are sitting at -14.5 across the board, but the total fell from 52 to 47. PICK: Central Michigan
#3 Ohio State -30 (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Indiana (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
Ohio State enters this game as a considerable favorite even though it is replacing CJ Stroud at quarterback and its two offensive tackles. Indiana is deciding on a quarterback, which will be a game-time announcement. Last year, the Buckeyes open-hand slapped the Hoosiers 56-14. Ohio State is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games against Indiana. The total has gone over in Indiana’s last six games against Ohio State. The Buckeyes opened at -27.5 before the line rose to -30. The total is hovering around 60 points, depending on the book. PICK: Ohio State
#9 Clemson -13 (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Duke (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
Tigers’ quarterback, Cade Klubnik, should be a difference maker for Clemson in 2023, who finished 11-3 last season. Klubnik will likely be worth a win or two of his own this year. Adding to the offense’s upgrade at quarterback will be the addition of former TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley. Duke finished a surprising 8-4 last season and will be returning junior quarterback Riley Leonard. He will need a perfect game and then some to hang with the hungry Tigers’ tribe. Clemson is 4-1 ATS in its last five games against Duke. The total has gone under in five of Clemson’s last six games against a team from the Coastal Division. Clemson is sitting at -13 at most books, with the total resting at 55.5. PICK: Clemson
Georgia Tech (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Louisville -7.5 (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
This game will feature two new head coaches who coincidentally once served as players for their respective teams. Louisville’s Jeff Brohm will face off against Georgia Tech’s Brent Key. Transfer quarterback Jake Plummer, who played for Brohm at Purdue, will lead the Cardinal’s offense, while the Yellow Jackets will replace quarterback Jeff Sims, who transferred to Nebraska. Louisville is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games. The total has gone over in four of Georgia Tech’s last five games. Louisville is sitting at -7.5 at nearly every book, while the total has slid from 52 to 48.5. Pick: Louisville
Nevada (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at #6 USC- 38.5 (1-0) (0-1 ATS)
USC won its track meet against San Jose State last week, 56-28. Trojans’ quarterback Caleb Williams, flashed his nail polish while throwing for 278 yards and four scores. A future star in the making is USC wide receiver Zachariah Branch. The freshman wideout caught four passes for 58 yards, including one for a touchdown. He also added 162 return yards on special teams, including a 96-yard kickoff return he took to the house. Offense will not be a concern for USC, but the same cannot be said for the defense, as it surrendered a whopping 396 yards of total offense to lowly San Jose State. This week, the Trojans will face another mismatch in Nevada. Luckily for USC’s defense, Nevada will be finding its way on offense as its quarterback coach, Nate Costa, resigned on August 23rd. Offensive coordinator/ tight ends coach Derek Sage will take over those duties. Nevada is 2-8 ATS in its last ten games. The total has gone over in USC’s previous nine games. The line has risen from USC -35.5 to now -38.5. The total also increased from 63.5 to 66. PICK: Nevada
Wofford (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Pittsburgh N/A (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
The Panthers will host a scrimmage this week against Wofford. Next game: Cincinnati
Elon (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Wake Forest N/A (0-0) (0-0 ATS)
The Demon Deacons will use this week’s jamboree against the Elon Phoenix to prepare for its season opener. Next game: Vanderbilt
Stanford -3.5 (0-0) (0-0 ATS) at Hawaii (0-1) (1-0 ATS)
Six starters return for the Cardinal and new head coach, Troy Taylor. Meanwhile, Hawaii will lean on returning starting quarterback Brayden Schager and nine defensive starters who held their own against Vanderbilt last week. The Rainbow Warriors offense outgained the Commodores offense in total yards, 391-297. Schager completed 27 of 35 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Hawaii is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games. The total has gone under in four of Stanford’s last six games against a Mountain West Conference opponent. Stanford opened as 10-point favorites before the line fell seven points to -3. The total is sitting at or around 60. PICK: Hawaii
*Notre Dame’s 2023 opponents are listed in bold.