Saturday, August 31, 2013
It's game day at Notre Dame Stadium
By Matt Fortuna
SOUTH BEND, IND. -- Greetings from Notre Dame Stadium, where the weather has finally cleared up and we are ready to get going with some football.
A couple things to look out for today:
Yes, even though it has stopped raining, how the conditions affect today's game is worth watching, particularly as it relates to ball protection. Temple has a first-time starter at quarterback in Connor Reilly, and the Irish will likely try to get some pressure on him early to force turnovers.
Tommy Rees is the starter and Notre Dame would obviously like a smooth start from him. But depending on how much separation the Irish can gain, they could use a good look at what they have down the depth chart there. Andrew Hendrix could use the reps to stay fresh, especially in a game like this. Luke Massa is the third-string, emergency signal caller because of Malik Zaire's mononucleosis battle that is keeping him out for today's contest.
For those scoring at home (we can still say that here, right?): Freshman reserve cornerback Cole Luke has switched from No. 3 to No. 36, while junior reserve safety Eilar Hardy has switched from No. 4 to No. 16, the number formerly owned by safety Chris Badger, who transferred to BYU this week.
One other thing that caught my eye: Temple head coach Matt Rhule, wearing a T-shrit and shorts, was getting a pretty solid pregame run in on the field about two hours before the contest. This is apparently a ritual for Rhule, who begins his head-coaching career today but was a long-time Owls assistant before last year's stint with the New York Giants. We'll update the blog here with any breaking news or updates, and we'll have plenty of postgame coverage when this one goes final. Until then, follow along on Twitter (@Matt_Fortuna) and enjoy the contest.