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Zach Pekale | | October 25, 2020

2020 Notre Dame football schedule: Dates, times, opponents, results

AP poll breakdown: Ohio State is No. 3; Penn State falls

Notre Dame cruised in its first road game of the 2020 college football season, rolling 45-3 past Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Fighting Irish have leaned heavily on its rushing attack this year. But against the Panthers, quarterback Ian Book led the way with 312 passing yards and three touchdowns. Running backs C'Bo Flemister and Kyren Williams each added a score on the ground while the defense stymied Pittsburgh, holding the Panthers to 162 yards while forcing three turnovers. 

The Irish are scheduled to remain on the road in Week 9, visiting Georgia Tech on Saturday, Oct. 31.

A year ago, Notre Dame went 5-0 against the conference it'll call home this season. If they can replicate that success on a larger scale, the Fighting Irish could return to the College Football Playoff for a second time in three years.

Here is the complete 2020 Notre Dame football schedule, including opponents, results and players to watch.

2020 Notre Dame football schedule: Dates, times, opponents, results

Here is the full, detailed schedule for Notre Dame's 2020 football season, with broadcast information and results. 

Notre Dame 2020 Football Schedule
Opponent Date Time (ET) TV Location RESULT
Duke Saturday, Sept. 12 2:30 p.m. NBC Notre Dame, IN W, 27-13
South Florida Saturday, Sept. 19 2:30 p.m. USA Notre Dame, IN W, 52-0
Florida State Saturday, Oct. 10 7:30 p.m. NBC Notre Dame, IN W, 42-26
Louisville Saturday, Oct. 17 2:30 p.m. NBC Notre Dame, IN W, 12-7
at Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct. 24 3:30 p.m. ABC Pittsburgh, PA W, 45-3
at Georgia Tech Saturday, Oct. 31 3:30 p.m.  ABC Atlanta, GA TBD
Clemson Saturday, Nov. 7 7 p.m. NBC Notre Dame, IN TBD
at Boston College Saturday, Nov. 14 TBD TBD Chestnut Hill, MA TBD
at North Carolina Friday, Nov. 27 TBD TBD Chapel Hill, NC TBD
Syracuse Saturday, Dec. 5 TBD NBC Notre Dame, IN TBD
at Wake Forest Saturday, Dec. 12 TBD TBD Winston-Salem, NC  

Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all games, dates and times are subject to change.

2019 results

The Fighting Irish went 11-2 last year, highlighted by a six-game winning streak to close the season. Notre Dame beat Iowa State 33-9 in the Camping World Bowl.

Here’s what happened in every game of Notre Dame's 2019 schedule:

Louisville Monday, Sept. 2 8:00 p.m. Louisville, KY W 35-17
New Mexico Saturday, Sept. 14 2:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 66-14
Georgia Saturday, Sept. 21 8:00 p.m. Athens, GA L 23-17
Virginia Saturday, Sept. 28 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 35-20
Bowling Green Saturday, Oct. 5 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 52-0
USC Saturday, Oct. 12 7:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 30-27
Michigan Saturday, Oct. 26 7:30 p.m. Ann Arbor, MI L 45-14
Virginia Tech Saturday, Nov. 2 2:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 21-20
Duke Saturday, Nov. 9 7:30 p.m. Durham, NC W 38-7
Navy Saturday, Nov. 16 2:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 52-20
Boston College Saturday, Nov. 23 2:30 p.m. Notre Dame, IN W 40-7
Stanford Saturday, Nov. 30 4 p.m. Stanford, CA W 45-24
Iowa State
(Camping World Bowl)
Saturday, Dec. 28 12 p.m. Orlando, FL W 33-9

MORE: Programs with the most national championships

Top returning players

Quarterback Ian Book broke out in 2019 as the full-time starter at Notre Dame. He helped the Fighting Irish reach the College Football Playoff two years ago on a team that was driven by defense. With the spotlight on Book, he threw for 3,034 yards and 34 touchdowns to six interceptions. The jump Book takes from last year to the current season could determine how far Notre Dame goes. For what it's worth, he's 11-1 against ACC teams with the only loss to Clemson in a 2019 CFP semifinal.

Book's biggest adjustment in 2020 might be establishing a top target. The Fighting Irish lost its top three receivers from a year ago as Chase Claypool and Cole Kmet were NFL Draft picks and Chris Finke graduated. Junior tight end Tommy Tremble could be the next breakout pass-catcher in South Bend. Kmet caught only 15 passes two years before hauling in 43 for 515 yards and six touchdowns. Tremble had 14 catches and four touchdowns last year. Don't be too surprised if Tremble takes a similar step forward.

You can't talk Notre Dame football without talking about the defense. The Fighting Irish allowed the third fewest passing yards per game last season. If they're going to continue to dominate opposing quarterbacks, look to sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton to lead the charge. Hamilton led the Irish with four interceptions as a freshman, bringing one back for a touchdown. He also made 41 tackles and broke up six additional passes. 

Preseason ranking

We have Notre Dame at No. 11 in our preseason Top 25. Here’s the breakdown:

11. Notre Dame

After a blowout loss to rival Michigan, the Irish quietly won out to go 11-2 one season after making the College Football Playoff. With QB Ian Book's return, Notre Dame should be potent on offense. And the defense should be strong, though the secondary is the biggest question mark there. But there's a new twist this year: Notre Dame will be eligible for the 2020 ACC title game.


2020-21 College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff era is entering its seventh season in the 2020-21 season. LSU won the national championship in its inaugural appearance. Notre Dame has been selected once — 2019— through the first six years of the CFP. Could the Fighting Irish's 2020 football affiliation with the ACC help them become one of the top four teams?

Here are the dates and sites for the 2020 College Football Playoff semifinals and CFP national championship.

MORE: Burrow, LSU dominate Clemson to win 2020 CFP championship

When are the College Football Playoff semifinals?

The CFP semifinals are set for Jan. 1, 2021. One semifinal is the Rose Bowl at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. The other semifinal is the Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

When is the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship?

The CFP national championship is a bit later in 2021. The two winners of the semifinals will meet on the second Monday of January in Miami on Jan. 11, 2020 at Hard Rock Stadium

Below is a complete history of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

2015 No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20
2016 No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40
2017 No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31
2018 No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23
2019 No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16
2020 No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25

2021-2024 CFP national championship locations and dates

2021:     Miami-South Florida (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida) - Jan. 11
2022:     Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana) - Jan. 10
2023:     Los Angeles (Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California) - Jan. 9
2024:     Houston (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas) - Jan. 8

2020 ACC football schedule: Games, dates, matchups

Here is what you need to know for the 2020 ACC football season schedule, including the matchups as part of the 10-game conference schedule. Notre Dame is eligible for the ACC title game.

Week 7 college football rankings: Notre Dame climbs into top four, while LSU, Texas drop out

Here's everything you need to know about the college football AP Top 25 poll for Week 7.

Like 2020, college football was very different during World War II

The 2020 college football season is highly unusual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's not the first one to stray from the norm. Here's what the sport looked like during World War II.

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