EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Vontez Duff returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown and Nicholas Setta tied a school record with five field goals Saturday night as Notre Dame won the first game under its new coach, routing No. 20 Maryland, 22-0.
Carlyle Holiday threw for 226 yards and cornerback Shane Walton intercepted three passes for Notre Dame, which improved to 10-0 all-time at Giants Stadium and won its opening game for the 14th time in the last 16 seasons.
Saturday marked the 20th and final Kickoff Classic, the first of the so-called "preseason" games that are being eliminated by the NCAA after this season.
The fifth sellout in Kickoff Classic history - 72,903 - watched the debut of Tyrone Willingham, who was hired as coach to restore the tarnished image at Notre Dame and who had an enjoyable opening night.
"You are excited about every game but you have to remember this was just a football game," Willingham said. "You can't get too emotionally involved. We played a good ball game but it was not quite perfect. I'm only satisfied by one thing, which is winning, so if we won by half a point, I'd be satisfied."
The 48-year-old Willingham left Stanford and came to South Bend following a bizarre sequence of events in which George O'Leary was forced to step down over discrepancies on his resume. That came after Bob Davie was fired following a 5-6 season.
Willingham brought the West Coast offense to Notre Dame and Holiday showed he has quickly adjusted to the new system, completing 17 of 27 passes without an interception.
Eight different receivers caught passes for Notre Dame with Omar Jenkins catching five for 87 yards.
Most of the scores were by Setta, who connected on field goals of 51, 32, 18, 46 and 24 yards to tie the school record of Craig Hentrich set against Miami in 1990.
Maryland was never able to get its offense in gear and looked nothing like the team that went 10-2 last season and played in the Orange Bowl, collecting just 133 yards overall compared with 356 for Notre Dame.
The Terps played without star running back Bruce Perry, who is expected to be sidelined up to eight weeks with a groin injury suffered last week. Maryland gained 16 yards on the ground on 21 carries.