Aggies vs. Notre Dame Week 1: Fighting Irish Offensive Players to Watch

The Texas A&M Aggies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will meet for just the sixth time in history to begin the college football season.
Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) who is hurt, dresses and throws some pre-game passes with fellow quarterbacks Saturday, April 20, 2024, at the annual Notre Dame Blue-Gold spring football game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.
Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) who is hurt, dresses and throws some pre-game passes with fellow quarterbacks Saturday, April 20, 2024, at the annual Notre Dame Blue-Gold spring football game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. / MANDATORY CREDIT GREG SWIERCZ / USA
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The new-look Texas A&M Aggies will get their first real test of the season as they open up the 2024 season and the Mike Elko era with a non-conference matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Kyle Field.

It's the first meeting between the two programs since 2001, a 24-3 slaughter at Kyle Field. But the Irish hold the overall series lead 3-2. The first three meetings were in Cotton Bowl matchups in 1988, 1993 and 1994.

Notre Dame's new quarterback, Riley Leonard, was Elko's quarterback last season at Duke, so there is some familiarity there, but Leonard had surgery on his injured ankle during the offseason and his status is uncertain for opening week.

The Irish made some significant moves in the transfer portal and with the coaching staff this offseason, but the offensive line is still a huge question mark.

While Week 1 poses a big litmus test for the Aggies, it does the same for the Irish.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB RILEY LEONARD

Riley Leonard was new Aggies coach Mike Elko's quarterback at Duke last season before arriving at Notre Dame via the transfer portal. Across three seasons and 27 games with the Blue Devils, Leonard has completed 382 passes for 4,450 yards with a 61.7 completion percentage while throwing 24 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions.

He played in just seven games last season due to an injury and missed the Notre Dame spring game. His status is in question for Week 1 against the Aggies.

RB JEREMIYAH LOVE

Love is expected to take over for the departed Audric Estime, who rushed for 1,341 yards last seaso and scored 18 touchdowns. Love served in a backup role and rushed for 385 yards on 71 carries and found the end zone once. He also caught fight passes for 77 yards and added another score through the air.

TE MITCHELL EVANS

Evans was second on the team in receiving yards last season with 422 on 29 catches. He also added a touchdown. His production was hampered by a foot injury last season and he was still just 62 yards behind the now-departed Chris Tyree for the team lead. Evans enters his senior season hoping to be a primary target of Leonard.


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Timm Hamm

TIMM HAMM