Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Notre Dame Schedule Announcement

August 6, 2020

Who and where were already done. Now we know the when for Notre Dame’s 2020 schedule. And they have to be pretty happy with how things worked out.

Here’s the big thing: Clemson stays in November.

That means they are going to be visiting South Bend when it’s not exactly warm outside. Notre Dame won’t have the benefit of a large home crowd, but getting southern boys playing in an uncomfortable environment is a win for the Irish.

The other big part of it is that Notre Dame’s projected top receiver, Kevin Austin, should be back in the lineup at that time. As I mentioned in 6 Thoughts, they need all the playmakers they can get to win that game. They should have him available if his rehab goes as planned.

The next toughest matchup for Notre Dame is also in November with the Irish visiting North Carolina. That’s a Black Friday match up and it could very well be a situation where the winner gets a chance to play Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

Notre Dame will also have a bye before that game and finishing up with the weakest ACC opponent can’t hurt them if they qualify for the ACC Championship. They have Syracuse after UNC and they are 95th in the preseason SP+ rankings.

Brian Kelly has to be happy with how things worked out with the first month of the season. Notre Dame gets Duke (69th in SP+), Western Michigan (97th), and Wake Forest (81st) before getting their first big test against Florida State at home (26th). Having FSU, Louisville, and Pitt in three consecutive weeks in October is not ideal, but not having UNC or Clemson during that stretch is another win for Notre Dame.

It has to be said, put down another “W” for the Irish coaching staff not having Navy included in this schedule. I realize traditionalists will want to continue the series with Navy, but not having to prepare for a triple option offense in a season when there are so many other things to worry about is a nice break for Clark Lea and the defensive coaches.

I don’t know if this could have worked out much better for Notre Dame. It almost shockingly broke their way considering the circumstances that could have made this schedule look much different and much more difficult.

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