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Looking Ahead: How ND Opponents Fared in Week 1

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The Irish looked very impressive in week 1. Some of their future opponents did not.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Irish Schedule Week 1 Opponent Score Season Record
Texas Longhorns @Notre Dame Fighting Irish L 38-3 0-1
Virginia Cavilers @UCLA Bruins L 34-16 0-1
Georgia Tech Yellowjackets Alcorn State Braves W 69-9 1-0
UMass Minutemen Open Date N/A 0-0
Clemson Tigers Wofford Terriers W 49-10 1-0
Navy Midshipmen Colgate Raiders W 48-10 1-0
Southern Cal Trojans Arkansas State Red Wolves W 55-6 1-0
Temple Owls Penn State Nittany Lions W 27-10 1-0
Pittsburgh Panthers Youngstown State Penguins W 45-37 1-0
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Elon Phoenix W 41-3 1-0
Boston College Eagles Maine Black Bears W 24-3 1-0
Stanford Cardinals @Northwestern Wildcats L 16-6 0-1

Irish Opponent Week 1 Record: 8-3  Irish Opponent Cumulative Record: 8-3

While most future opponents played FCS or G5 opponents in week one, there were still some interesting things to take from various teams' week one openers. At the top, the Irish looked fantastic blowing out Texas 38-3. We'll see if Texas recovers, or if they'll be in for a long season of rebuilding. Virginia struggled at UCLA, but kept the game closer than many expected. The Cavilers trailed by just  eight points at the half, and WR Taquan Mizzell impressed with 100 yards on eight catches with a touchdown. He'll be one to watch next week. Georgia Tech and Clemson both blew out FCS opponents Of the two, GT was more impressive dropping 34 points on Alcorn State in the first quarter. The Jackets ran the ball 52 times, and only threw five passes. Clemson's Deshaun Watson looked impressive for Clemson going 18/22 with two TDs and just under 200 yards. The Tigers did lose their top WR Mike Williams to a neck injury, but it is not known how long he'll be out.

Navy and Southern Cal also blew out mediocre opponents. Cody Kessler had an impressive day for the Trojans going 19/26 for 236 and 4 TDs. The Southern Cal offensive line struggled a bit surrendering five sacks to Arkansas State. SC had some question marks on the offensive line, and their struggles in pass protection could be something to watch. Navy ran their triple option to perfection against Colgate, but there's no real conclusions to draw since they faced such a weak opponent.

Temple surprised fans across the country with their stomping of Penn State. PSU's offensive line was a disaster last season, and they managed to look even worse on Saturday. Temple sacked Christian Hackenberg ten times leading many to wonder if the former five star QB will finish the season. The Owls defense was very good last season, and they return a number of starters, but a lot of this had to do with Penn State's turnstiles up front. Despite the Nittany Lions' shortcomings, Temple may be a tough opponent than previously expected. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh was given all they could handle from Bo Pelini's Youngstown State team. Pitt's running game was exceptional racking up 325 yards at 7.6 YPC, but Their passing game left a lot to be desired. QBs Chad Voytik and Nathan Peterman combined for just 133 yards on 11/18 passing with one TD and two INTs. Star running back James Connor left with an injury, but Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said he'd be fine, and that it was just precautionary.

Update: Pitt RB James Connor has been ruled out for the season with a torn MCL

Like much of the schedule, Wake Forest and Boston College also had easy wins against FCS opponents. BC actually trailed at the end of the first quarter, but they came back to win comfortably. The Eagles defense held Maine to under 100 total yards, but their offense struggled to consistently move the ball. Wake Forest was one of the worst P5 teams last season, but they had no problem with Elon. The Deacons had over 500 yards while holding the Phoenix to fewer than 200.

Lastly, Stanford who was tipped by many to be a potential playoff team was upset by Northwestern. Stanford's defense was as advertised, but their offense struggled throughout the game. Kevin Hogan went 20/35 passing for just 155 yards. He threw one interception, and didn't throw for a TD. The Stanford running game was slightly more effective, especially Christian McCaffery who had 66 yards on 12 carries, but the team had fewer than 100 yards on the ground. Stanford's defense was excellent against the pass, and merely good against the run, but with the Cardinal offense only scoring six points, they needed to be incredible in every phase of the game.