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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, September 02, 2017 1:50 pm

Pregame: Notre Dame (0-0) vs. Temple (0-0)

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

SOUTH BEND — The three-month journey that is a college football season kicks off today for Notre Dame. No more anticipation and anxiousness and speculation about what kind of team the Irish will be. Today, the curtain pulls back on the start of the answers.

Bit of a new opponent, as this is just the third all-time meeting with Temple. The Irish beat the Owls 24-20 on Halloween in 2015 and 28-6 in 2013 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Speaking of Notre Dame Stadium, today marks the much anticipated debut of the new video board. Its graphics and resolution are impressive and should greatly improve the fan experience.

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Here's what to watch for:

Weather conditions: It is a perfect afternoon, with temperatures in the low 70s. Winds are around the 7-9 mile-per-hour range. Skies are clear and sunny.

Been a while: Notre Dame's quarterback, Brandon Wimbush, is making his first start in nearly three years, so expect a few nerves.

"Last game I started was Dec. 4, 2014, and it was rainy," Wimbush said. "It was in the New York Giants' stadium, state championship game. You're kind of on top of the world right there, your senior year, and you're playing with some of the best all around, and then you come into college, and you're back to the bottom of the totem pole, and it's a slow rise back to the top, and hopefully toward the end of this year I'll be back at the same position."

Defensive debut: Also new is Notre Dame's defensive scheme under first-year coordinator Mike Elko. Middle linebacker Nyles Morgan said he is excited to put everything to the test.

"I wouldn't say anything in detail, but just the first time you're in a new defense it's kind of like the first time you're out there in a ballpark playing your first game in a sense because everything is new," Morgan said. "You've seen it work against your own teammates, but obviously you want to test it out against someone new. I think just looking back on (the game) Sunday, it'll be fun to see how everything played itself out."

Scouts in the house: The NFL teams in attendance: Jaguars and Dolphins. Also on hand are represenatives from the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Stat to know: This is the 129th season for Notre Dame's program, and the Irish are 106-17-5 in season openers.