Tuesday's American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville will be the first career start for Zaire, a redshirt freshman, though redshirt junior Everett Golson is expected to see playing time as well.
The left-handed Zaire replaced Golson in the regular-season finale at USC, a 49-14 loss. Zaire completed 9 of 20 passes in that contest for 170 yards, adding 18 rushing yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Golson, who was the starter on the Notre Dame team that lost in the BCS title game at the end of the 2012 season, started all 12 games for the 7-5 Fighting Irish this season, his first season back since missing the 2013 campaign because of an academic suspension.
Golson completed more than 60 percent of his passes this season for 3,355 yards with 29 touchdowns while adding 277 rushing yards and eight more scores on the ground. Golson, however, turned the ball over 22 times this season (14 interceptions, eight lost fumbles), with all of the giveaways coming during the season's final nine games.
The Irish raced to a 6-0 start and a No. 5 ranking this season before dropping five of their last six games, including their final four contests.