Athletics Writer | September 2, 2017
Notre Dame got just about everything it could have hoped for in an opening game coming off a disappointing 4-8 season: solid play on defense, three 100-yard rushers and first-time starter Brandon Wimbush throwing for a pair of touchdowns in a 49-16 win over Temple on Saturday.
''When you can exhibit some of the perseverance and the grit that we showed that is needed to have a successful season, that's a good day for me,'' Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
It was a different story for the Owls under first-year coach Geoff Collins as Temple struggled throughout.
''There have been a lot of fun moments and some exciting moments I was really looking forward to as a first-time head coach, and this was not one of them,'' Collins said. ''We came out slow early. At halftime, I told the kids we had a lot of rookies out there and I thought I acted like a rookie early.''
Wimbush, a junior, threw touchdown passes to Equanimeous St. Brown and Nic Weishar and completed 17 of 30 passes for 184 yards with one interception. He also ran for 106 yards on 12 carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run.
''I thought that for a guy starting for the first time, he provided some excitement and energy to the offense,'' Kelly said. ''I think everybody that watched him can see the tools that he has; the ability to run, throw the football. He's tough. He got hit today. He got back up. Again, I think when you assess the quarterback position at the end of the day, they are going to assess him on wins and losses and today was a good day for the quarterback at Notre Dame because we are 1-0.''
Wimbush said he wasn't surprised by anything he saw.
''I'll be sore tomorrow, but right now I'm great physically, mentally, emotionally,'' he said.