Checking in on how Notre Dame’s other 11 opponents fared in their Week 1 games:
Virginia (Sept. 12, 0-1): Lost, 34-16, at UCLA
Virginia only lost to UCLA by eight at home a year ago, but the return trip to Los Angeles was a disaster for Mike London’s crew. Quarterback Matt Johns completed 21 of 35 passes for 238 yards with a pick and a touchdown while the Hoos combined to rush 34 times for 98 yards (2.9 YPC). But we knew Virginia’s offense would be bad — more concerning is how true freshman Josh Rosen (who’s awfully talented, but started his first collegiate game) completed 28 of 35 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns, while UCLA averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Expect Virginia to be tougher on Notre Dame in Charlottesville, but Virginia’s first game after a number of key defensive players from a salty 2014 group — including its entire starting linebacking corps — didn’t go well.
Georgia Tech (Sept. 19, 1-0): 69-6 win over Alcorn State
This was a blood-letting against a hapless FCS opponent, with Marcus Marshall (eight carries, 184 yards, 2 TDs) and Patrick Skov (12 carries, 72 yards, 3 TDs) leading a rushing attack that had to replace every important running back from last year’s Orange Bowl-winning side. Quarterback Justin Thomas is back, though, and was largely protected in this game (three carries, two yards). Expect more of the same next week when Georgia Tech welcomes Tulane to Atlanta.
Massachusetts (Sept. 26, 0-0): Bye
UMass opens its season next weekend in Boulder against a Colorado team that lost 28-20 to Hawaii in Week 1. The Buffs still likely will be heavy favorites against the Minutemen.
Clemson (Oct. 3, 1-0): 49-10 win vs. Wofford
The most notable thing about this blowout win over an FCS opponent was wide receiver Mike Williams suffering a neck injury when he collided with the field goal post behind the end zone. Williams was carted off the field but was moving his extremities after the game, and Clemson is optimistic the injury isn’t serious.
Navy (Oct. 10, 1-0): 48-10 win vs. Colgate
Another triple option blowout of an FCS team. Chris Swain ran for 126 yards on 11 carries to pace the Mids, who have a bye next week before facing East Carolina later this month.
USC (Oct. 17, 1-0) 55-5 win vs. Arkansas State
Cody Kessler threw for four touchdowns, Tre Maddon picked up 106 yards on a dozen carries and Su’a Cravens had one of USC’s two interceptions in this clobbering of Arkansas State in Los Angeles. Cornerback/wide receiver/punt returner/kick returner Adoree Jackson was removed due to a hip injury that USC doesn’t seem to think is serious, but in a blowout, there was no need to risk it. The top-10 Trojans play Idaho next week and could very well win by more than seven touchdowns.
Temple (Oct. 31, 1-0): 27-10 win over Penn State
This isn’t a typo: Temple sacked Christian Hackenberg 10 times. That’s ridiculous. Penn State’s offensive line may not be very good, but ten times? Matt Rhule will be coaching a Power Five program sooner rather than later, and his defense is no joke (we knew that even before Saturday). Hackenberg, unsurprisingly, had a miserable day as the NFL Draft dreamboat completed 11 of 25 passes for 103 yards with an interception. Even Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard think that’s bad.
Pitt (Nov. 7, 1-0): 45-37 win over Youngstown State
Pat Narduzzi’s debut didn’t involve much defense, as Youngstown State ripped off touchdown plays of 75 and 77 yards in the fourth quarter to make things a little closer than they should’ve been. Still, Pitt wasn’t in any real danger of losing this game, and star running back James Conner was banged up and gave way to Qadree Ollison, who rushed for 207 yards on 16 carries.
Wake Forest (Nov. 14, 1-0): 41-3 win over Elon
Dave Clawson’s second year got off to a cracking start, albeit against an FCS program. Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford completed 20 of 27 passers for 323 yards and a rushing attack that was putrid last year picked up 203 yards on 42 carries. We’ll learn more about Wake Forest when they travel to Syracuse next weekend.
Boston College (Nov. 21, 1-0): 24-3 win over Maine
Five of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents opened the season with a game against an FCS program, the last of which is here. First-year starter Darius Wade completed 14 of 25 passes for 155 yards while the Eagles averaged only 4.2 yards per carry in what wasn’t exactly a dominant offensive showing.
Stanford (Nov. 28, 0-1): 16-6 loss at Northwestern
The upset of the weekend happened Saturday afternoon in Evanston, with Northwestern emerging from a turgid offensive game with a 10-point win. Kevin Hogan was ineffective (20/35, 155 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) and the Cardinal gained just 85 yards on 27 carries (3.1 YPC). Stanford’s loss was sealed when Hogan was picked off in the end zone.