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Irish Insights


Irish start strong

SOUTH BEND – Former Bishop Luers standout Jaylon Smith made a tackle on his first play for No. 14 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Smith teamed up with defensive end Stephon Tuitt to bring down Temple quarterback Connor Reilly on Notre Dame's first defensive series as the Irish took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium.

Smith became the first freshman outside linebacker to start the season opener for the Irish since Kory Minor in 1995. Smith didn't have another tackle in the opening quarter.

Tommy Rees started strong as well, going 5-for-7 passing for 130 yards with two touchdowns. TJ Jones had two catches for 67 yards, and DaVaris Daniels had two catches for 64 yards with two touchdowns.

Notre Dame's first two offensive series each featured big plays to start and finished with the same touchdown combination.

Amir Carlise went 45 yards on the Irish's first play, and Rees hit Daniels for a 32-yard touchdown pass to finish the three-play drive to give the Irish a 7-0 lead with 13:34 left in the quarter.

After Temple went three-and-out, Jones opened Notre Dame's offensive series with a 51-yard reception, and Rees found Daniels again for a 32-yard scoring pass and a 14-0 lead with 10:19 left in the first.

Temple got to Notre Dame's 15-yard line on the final drive of the quarter, but Owls kicker Jim Cooper missed wide right from 32 yards as time expired.