No. 7 Notre Dame entertains first-time foe New Mexico

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              Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) hands the ball off to running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Louisville, Ky., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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New Mexico (1-0) at No. 7 Notre Dame (1-0), Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EDT (NBC).

Line: Notre Dame by 34 1/2.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Despite a less-than-impressive 35-17 opening victory at Louisville Labor Day night, the Fighting Irish have moved up two spots in AP rankings but won’t want to be looking past Mountain West Conference member New Mexico to their Sept. 21 evening showdown at No. 3 Georgia.

KEY MATCHUP

Notre Dame running attack vs. New Mexico defensive front. Despite losing junior RB Jafar Armstrong with an injury on the first drive of the game, the Irish rushed for 230 yards, with senior Tony Jones Jr. gaining 110 yards on 15 carries. Jones ran behind a mostly veteran offensive line led by new sophomore center Jarrett Patterson. The Lobos will be without senior nose tackle and captain Aaron Blackwell, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New Mexico: QB Sheriron Jones. The senior ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns and completed 6-of-11 passes for 122 yards as the Lobos overcame starting QB Brandt Hughes‘ first-half shoulder injury to hold off FCS power Sam Houston State 39-31. Sophomore Tekava Salanoa-Tuioti and freshman Trae Hall also could see playing time.

Notre Dame: Senior defensive ends Julian Okwara, Daelin Hayes and Khalid Kareem. The trio has accounted for 23 career sacks.

FACTS & FIGURES

New Mexico offensive line coach Saga Tuitele is serving as acting head coach as Bob Davie, who was 35-25 in leading Notre Dame from 1996-2001, remains in Albuquerque recovering from a “serious medical incident” after season-opening victory. . Davie served as acting head coach at Notre Dame on Sept. 16, 1995 in a 41-0 victory over Vanderbilt as Lou Holtz recovered from neck surgery. . Notre Dame is working on an 11-game winning streak at the 77,622-seat Notre Dame Stadium, where the Irish have sold out 267 consecutive games, the second-longest FBS streak to Nebraska’s 369. . Senior RB Ahmari Davis of New Mexico had 16 carries for 107 yards and two TDs and added 58 receiving yards against Sam Houston State, which outgained New Mexico 558-485.