It was known for a long while which teams Notre Dame would play in the 2023 college football season, but the Fighting Irish officially released the schedule dates today. The team's season opener against Navy will be played on Aug. 26 in Dublin, Ireland, in what also should be the Irish quarterback debut of Wake Forest transfer and Heisman candidate Sam Hartman. SportsLine oddsmakers give Notre Dame an over/under season win total of 9.
In head coach Marcus Freeman's first full season, the Irish were very inconsistent. They played extremely well in the opener at Ohio State in a close loss but had puzzling home defeats against Marshall and Stanford, which was one of the worst Power 5 programs in the country. Notre Dame won six of its final seven, capped by a 45-38 win over South Carolina in the Gator Bowl, to finish 9-4.
The Irish did lose one of the nation's top tight ends -- perhaps the best in school history -- in Michael Mayer, who caught 67 balls for 809 yards and nine scores despite skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. He should be a first-round pick and the first tight end off the board. CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson has him going No. 15 overall to Green Bay and Chris Trapasso No. 18 to Detroit.
Quarterback Drew Pyne (who started much of last year) transferred to Arizona State, but the Irish have upgraded there with Hartman, who had a record-setting career at Wake Forest and is +1600 at Caesars Sportsbook to become Notre Dame's first Heisman winner since receiver Tim Brown in 1987.
Hartman finished his Demon Deacons career with an ACC-record 110 touchdown passes, which ranks No. 18 in FBS history. His 12,967 career passing yards are No. 2 in ACC history (behind Philip Rivers) and 19th nationally. Hartman has 21 career 300-yard passing games, the most in ACC history, and he also holds single-season conference records in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, attempts, yards per game, total yards and total touchdowns.
Hartman went 27-18 as a Wake Forest starter, including a 19-8 record over the past two years and an 11-3 mark in 2021 that tied the school record for victories in a season. The Charlotte native has just one year of eligibility left and wanted to improve his NFL Draft stock instead of declaring this year. Hartman will face Wake Forest on Oct. 28 in South Bend.
The Irish should be favored in every game but their home meeting with Ohio State on Sept. 23 and their trip to Clemson on Nov. 4. The Oct. 14 matchup against reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and USC could go either way spread-wise.
Notre Dame and Navy were to play in Ireland in 2020, but COVID changed that. The Irish have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in the annual series. Tennessee State, coached by former Heisman Trophy winning running back and NFL star Eddie George, visits South Bend on Sept. 2 – the first time ND will ever face an FCS program or HBCU.
To win the national title, the Irish are +2000. Over/under win totals at sportsbooks likely won't be released for at least a few weeks.
Notre Dame 2023 football schedule (times TBA)
- Aug. 26 -- vs. Navy (Dublin, Ireland)
- Sept. 2 -- vs. Tennessee State
- Sept. 9 -- at NC State
- Sept. 16 -- vs. Central Michigan
- Sept. 23 – vs. Ohio State
- Sept. 30 -- at Duke
- Oct. 7 -- at Louisville
- Oct. 14 – vs. USC
- Oct. 21 -- Bye
- Oct. 28 – vs. Pittsburgh
- Nov. 4 -- at Clemson
- Nov. 11 -- Bye
- Nov. 18 -- vs. Wake Forest
- Nov. 25 -- at Stanford
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