In case you may have missed it, No. 10 Notre Dame is a member of the ACC. Well, they’re a member of the conference to the time being, at least. With COVID-19 turning the college football season on its head, the Irish agreed to join the ACC for the 2020 season in an effort to ensure they were able to play a full season. Notre Dame has played five ACC opponents as a partial member of the conference for a few years now, but that number has doubled for this season.
Notre Dame vs Duke Live Stream
Notre Dame is even eligible to play for the ACC championship. How incredible would that story be? Notre Dame joins the ACC for a season, wins the conference and then returns to life as an Independent.
Of course, there’s a long way to go for that potential scenario to play out, and the first step is on Saturday afternoon in South Bend when the Irish will start the season against the Duke Blue Devils. The teams do have some familiarity with one another. They met in Durham last season with the Irish winning 38-7. Duke has had success in South Bend, Indiana, however, winning the last time it made the trek north in 2016. The Blue Devils won that game 38-35.
Notre Dame: I don’t want to harp on the potential of Notre Dame winning the ACC too much, but it is somewhat funny to me that the Irish joined a Power Five conference this year and you can make a strong argument their schedule got easier in the process. While the Irish aren’t a team that’s on Clemson’s level — very few are — it enters the ACC as the second-best team in the conference. That doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns, though. This is a team that lost a lot of production from its 2019 squad, though that is offset quite a bit by having Ian Book back at quarterback. Having an experienced QB might be more important than ever before during the 2020 season due to a lack of preparation time for all. Of course, Notre Dame also has a new play-caller on offense in former QB Tommy Rees.
Notre Dame vs Duke Live Streaming
Duke: While Duke doesn’t get a whole lot of attention as a football powerhouse, you can be sure that plenty of NFL scouts will have their eyes on the Duke defensive line this season. That’s where you’ll find Chris Rumph, one of the best defensive linemen in the country. This will be an outstanding test for him against what should be a strong Notre Dame offensive line. Elsewhere, eyes will be on transfer QB Chase Brice. Brice transferred in from Clemson, and the team is hoping he can give the offense more from the QB spot in 2020 than it got last year. Duke finished 12th in the ACC in both passing yards per game and passing efficiency, and has to improve on that if it’s hoping to put together a winning season in 2020.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 12 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Notre Dame Stadium — South Bend, Indiana
TV: NBC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Game prediction, picks
Picking games will be harder than ever before this year because we might not find out players are missing until just before kickoff. Still, given what we know about both of these teams heading into Saturday, I have a hard time not taking the Irish. As mentioned above, the Irish beat Duke 38-7 last season in Durham, North Carolina, and I don’t think enough has changed for either team to expect this year’s contest to go much differently. I feel comfortable taking the Irish at anything better than three touchdowns. Pick: Notre Dame (-20.5)
Duke and Notre Dame will open their 2020 college football seasons in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday. The game was originally set to take place on Halloween, but the ACC announced an amended schedule in late July that moved the Fighting Irish up to the season opener as part of the ten-game conference slate, plus one non-conference opponent, that the Blue Devils will play.
Notre Dame owns a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series between these two schools, including a 38-7 win in Durham last season. However, Duke beat the Fighting Irish back in 2016 the last time the game was in Indiana.
There was turnover on the the Blue Devils’ coaching staff coming into this season. The job of offensive coordinator has been taken over by head coach David Cutcliffe, Greg Frey was named the offensive line coach and Chirs Hampton was named the new cornerbacks coach.
The Irish should be one of the top teams in the ACC this season, behind Clemson but in the same class as North Carolina, Louisville and others. It looks like a potential rebuilding year for Duke, but with Clemson transfer Chase Brice starting at quarterback, the Blue Devils might surprise some teams.
Saturday night’s game will air on NBC via your TV provider. If you don’t have cable or a similar TV service, you can also watch the game for free from fuboTV, which has a free trial that runs for seven days.
Notre Dame vs. Duke
Start time: Saturday, 9/12, 2:30 PM ET
TV channel: NBC (Channel finder: Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Xfinity, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling.)