No. 8 Irish home streak on line vs. first-time foe Toledo
Toledo (1-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (1-0), Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EDT (Peacock).
Line: Notre Dame by 16 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Fighting Irish put their 24-game winning streak at Notre Dame Stadium on the line against first-time opponent Toledo. Coach Brian Kelly’s team, which blew a 38-20 second-half lead before surviving a41-38 OT thriller at Florida State, needs to shore up its running game and improve its tackling against coach Jason Candle’s Rockets, who returned two blocked field goals for touchdowns in a 49-10 season-opening victory over Norfolk State.
Notre Dame’s revamped offensive line vs. Toledo’s front six. The Irish offensive line, which lost four of five starters to the NFL after last season, is rebuilding around center Jarrett Patterson and grad-transfer guard Cain Madden, a pair of AP preseason All-Americans. Against the Seminoles, the Irish running attack, led by speedsters Kyren Williams (another preseason All-American) and Chris Tyree, managed just 65 yards on 35 carries. The Rockets surrendered 147 rushing yards to Norfolk State.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Toledo: QB’s Carter Bradley and Dequan Finn. Bradley threw for 183 yards and one TD while Finn carried it nine times for a team-high 82 yards and another TD against Norfolk State. New defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman’s Irish struggled against Florida State’s two-quarterback offense which produced 442 yards in total offense.
Notre Dame: QB Jack Coan. In his first start at Notre Dame where he once considered playing lacrosse, the 6-foot-3, 223-pound Coan connected on 26-of-35 passes (74.3%) for 366 yards and four touchdowns against Florida State. The 366 yards were the most by an Irish QB making his debut.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Irish are 5-0 against teams from the Mid-American Conference, last beating Bowling Green 52-0 in 2019. … Notre Dame’s last loss at home, 20-19, came against Georgia on Sept. 9, 2017. … Toledo is 9-17 against AP Top 25 teams, last beating No. 24 Temple 32-17 in 2015 Boca Raton Bowl, Candle’s first game as head coach. … Toledo has not had a losing season since going 5-7 in 2009. … Notre Dame’s last losing season was 4-8 under Kelly in 2016; the Irish are 44-8 since. … With 103 victories in 12 seasons, Kelly is two victories shy of tying Knute Rockne as Notre Dame’s winningest coach.
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