Irish Crumble Temple in Opener
Nôtre Dame plays challenging schedules year after year, but this season opened the season with what looks to be an AAC patsy.
So, it was no surprise the Fighting Irish smashed the Owls, 28-6, under the knowing gaze of Touchdown Jesus.
Tommy Rees, taking over as the starting quarterback with Everett Golson suspended for the season, threw three touchdown passes, including two to DaVaris Davis. The Irish jumped to a quick 14-0 lead and, although they looked rusty at times, were never in trouble as they won their second straight opener.
Nôtre Dame took the opening kickoff and sped 77 yards in only three plays, culminated by Rees hitting Daniels with a 32-yard touchdown pass. Three minutes later, Rees led the Irish on another three-play, 87-yard drive that ended with a second 32-yard touchdown strike, this time to Davis.
Temple had a couple of chances to score and missed two field goals, but finally got on the board late in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Kenneth Harper, but the extra point was blocked.
It took Rees only one play to answer, as he hit Troy Niklas 66-yard bomb, putting Nôtre Dame up at the half ,21-6.
For all intents and purposes, that was it. The Irish added an exclamation mark midway through the third quarter when George Atkinson scored on a three-yard run to make the final score 28-6.
Rees finsihed 16-23 for 346 yards with three touchdowns and, more importantly, no interceptions. Amir Carlisle led Nôtre Dame on the ground with 68 yards on only seven carries, while Cam McDaniel pitched in with 65 and Atkinson had 34.
The Irish have three go-to backs and execllent receivers in Davis, Niklas, Chris Brown, and TJ Jones, who caught six passes for 138 yards. All of them will have to turn it up next week when Nôtre Dame travels to Michigan to face a Wolverine squad seeking revenge after the Irish beat them last season in South Bend.