SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Notre Dame usually kicks off its football season in the shadow of a golden dome with the expectation that the Fighting Irish can beat any team, from any conference, anytime. The setting and the confidence remain, but they are about the only recognizable aspects of Notre Dame football in 2020.

Notre Dame is one of 77 top-tier Division 1 schools proceeding with football this fall despite health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. To get its 129th consecutive season off the ground, it has reduced the…

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