Notre Dame University kicks off their 2013 college football season today (Saturday, August 31) against the Temple Owls in South Bend. Coming off a historic season that saw Notre Dame make it to the National Championship game against Alabama, the Fighting Irish are ranked 14th in the nation. Notre Dame enjoyed their first unbeaten season last year since 1988, but ended up getting crushed by Nick Saban's Alabama squad 42-14 in the BCS title game. Oh, and there was that whole Manti Te'o fake Internet girlfriend hoax that left the team's season on a bad note. The game today will be broadcast nationally on TV on NBC starting at 3:30pm ET and will also be available via online live stream. Keep reading for a preview and prediction for today's game.
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Notre Dame comes in ranked 14th in the nation, but they have plenty of question marks. They lost their star defensive player Manti Te'o to the NFL draft along with tight end Tyler Eifert. The team will also be without quarterback Everett Golson after he was suspended due to a poor academic performance. The team also lost one of their top young players, Eddie Vanderdoes, to UCLA.
It will be interesting to see how new starting quarterback Tommy Rees does in Golson's absence. Last season the quarterback position was passed between Rees and Golson. The one issue with Rees is that he is turnover prone, throwing as many as 14 interceptions back in 2011. According to ESPN, the Irish will have eight starters returning to a strong defensive lineup from last season along with potential star linebacker Jaylon Smith.
Temple is coming in unranked and overmatched. However, Notre Dame has shown they can stumble and make costly errors. I am going to predict that Notre Dame pulls out the victory in a nail biter.
NBC is airing the game at 3:30pm, so fans can watch on TV. However, you can also watch the live stream online here on NBCSports.com.