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August 5, 2013

Uniformly positive

When Brian Kelly decided to take Notre Dame's training camp on the road, the Irish head coach hoped the substance of the move would give his program a bonding experience during four days at remote Shiloh Park.

On Monday morning adidas revealed something the program can bond about by unveiling the style of this year's Shamrock Series uniforms.

Notre Dame will go all white for its game on Oct. 5 against Arizona State in Cowboys Stadium with a metallic gold helmet that has a green outline of a shamrock on the side. Notre Dame will wear a green base layer under the uniform with "Fightin' Irish" on the chest.

Unlike last year's half-blue, half-gold helmets that were immediately panned on social media, this year's iteration met an overwhelmingly positive response from fans and media. One Irish Illustrated reader on the Four Horseman Lounge suggested Notre Dame wear the jerseys more than once this season, a stark change from last season's reveal when many wanted the jerseys immediately stuffed back in the box.

Notre Dame is unbeaten and relatively unchallenged in the Shamrock Series, blowing out Miami at Soldier Field last year, routing Maryland at FedEx Field the season prior and beating Army at Yankee Stadium in Kelly's first season in South Bend. The travelling road show began with a win over Washington State in San Antonio in what proved to be Charlie Weis' final victory at Notre Dame.

This season's match-up with Arizona State figures to be the toughest test in the series with the Sun Devils coming off an 8-5 season and returning the most accomplished quarterback on the Irish schedule in Taylor Kelly. The Arizona State quarterback ranked ninth nationally in passing efficiency last season while throwing for 3,039 yards and 29 touchdowns.

The Sun Devils were lumped into the Others Receiving Votes category of the first USA Today Coaches Poll, an effective ranking of No. 32 and falling between other Irish opponents Michigan State and BYU.

Game day at Cowboys Stadium is still two months away for Notre Dame, but the Irish already have their outfits picked out.

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