Coming off ugly win, No. 8 Notre Dame hosts Vanderbilt

September 13, 2018

Vanderbilt (2-0) at No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0), 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 14½.

Series record: Notre Dame leads, 2-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Which Notre Dame team shows up: The one that struggled offensively in its 24-16 home victory over 34½-point underdog Ball State last Saturday or the one that had an emotional 24-17 opening victory against Michigan? The Commodores have been impressive in victories against Middle Tennessee (35-7) and Nevada (41-10).

KEY MATCHUP

Vanderbilt senior QB Kyle Shurmur vs. Notre Dame defense. A four-year starter, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Shurmur, son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, has four TD passes this season and 44 for his career, second all-time to Jay Cutler at the school. Notre Dame middle linebacker Te'von Coney has a team-high 24 tackles for an Irish defense which was on the field for 97 plays against Ball State last Saturday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Vanderbilt: OLB Kenny Hebert. The 6-4, 225-pound redshirt sophomore has three of the Commodores' SEC-leading nine sacks and four of the team's 16 tackles for loss this season. Vanderbilt is allowing 8.5 points and 272 total yards (75 rushing) per game.

Notre Dame: QB Brandon Wimbush. The 6-2, 222-pound senior, who received the game ball after Michigan victory, threw for a career-high 297 yards but had three interceptions and was sacked four times, finishing with minus-7 yards rushing in 11 attempts.

FACTS & FIGURES

Notre Dame's first-year defensive coordinator Clark Lea played fullback for the Commodores from 2002-04 and grew up in Nashville, the hometown of Irish left guard Alex Bars and placekicker Justin Yoon. . Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason gave up defensive coordinator duties after 2017 to hire Jason Tarver, who was co-defensive coordinator with Mason in 2011 under Stanford coach David Shaw. . The schools last met in Nashville in the season opener of 1996, Lou Holtz's last season at Notre Dame, and the Irish prevailed 14-7 after winning 41-0 in 1995 in South Bend. . The Irish are 28-18 against current SEC teams. . There were seats available midweek for the game at renovated Notre Dame Stadium (77,622), which has been sold out for 264 straight games dating back to the 1973 season.



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