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Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2023 season preview

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

This summer, there has been a little extra shine in the sky. Notre Dame has been regilding the famous Golden Dome. Fighting Irish fans hope this is a precursor of what will happen inside 'The House That Rockne Built'. Coach Freeman looks to regild the shine of Notre Dame football in what many fans are hoping is a breakthrough season for the young coach. After starting out slow with losses against Ohio State and Marshall last season, Coach Freeman was able to guide the team to a strong finish with key wins against Clemson and a red-hot South Carolina team in its bowl game. Notre Dame has high expectations with bringing in the most prolific passer in ACC history Sam Heisman, excuse me, Sam Hartman.

The Notre Dame Defense

Rumblings from practice have stated that this may be the most physical team since the Holtz era. The defense looks to make another jump forward this season after allowing 21 ppg last season. Eight starters are back, including possibly the best cornerback room this century with Morrison, Hart, and Mickey all returning.

If there is a weakness on the defense this season, it may come at pass rush, as Notre Dame lost their career sack leader in Isaiah Foskey. However, hopes are high on the edge as Botelho had a breakout bowl game and Jean-Baptiste transfers in from Ohio State.

Notre Dame's Offense

The offensive side of the ball is full of bruisers on the offensive line, as there are possibly three first-round picks in the trenches. One could argue Notre Dame has the best running game in the nation this season with a top 5 offensive line and a talented backfield in Estime, Price, Ford, Love, and Payne.

The glaring hole on this team is pass-catchers, as the leading receiver last year was All-American TE Michael Mayer, who is now a Las Vegas Raider. The tight end room is planning on replacing Mayer with a few worthy players in Evans, Staes, and Raridon who should all see a good amount of playing time this fall.

The receiving room needs to have one or two players make the jump into being "the guy" this season to help Sam Hartman and this offense, led by new OC Girard Parker. There are several names being thrown around as the potential guy that steps up: Marriweather, Colzie, Thomas, and true freshman Jaden Greathouse who had a great spring.

After less-than-stellar quarterback play last season, Notre Dame was able to land the top transfer in the country in Sam Hartman. Hartman has the opportunity to be the best quarterback for the Irish since Brady Quinn was under center.

Schedule and Predictions

If the defense is able to pick up where it left off and Hartman proves to be the difference maker on the offense the sky is the limit for the Irish. Barring any major upsets, Notre Dame should have at least eight wins this season. The year will boil down to three games against OSU, USC, and Clemson.

Notre Dame took OSU down to the wire last season without much of a passing game. This season the game is in South Bend. I believe Notre Dame will spoil OSU's season early and get a much-needed Top 5 win to boost the program.

Notre Dame and USC will both go into their matchup undefeated as Top 5 teams. This will be a shootout. The difference in this matchup is Hartman will be able to keep up with Caleb Williams and company in scoring points. I trust Notre Dame to get one more stop than USC as Notre Dame topples USC in a game that sees fans storm the field.

Going into November, I believe Notre Dame will get yet another matchup with a Top 10 team. However, it is in enemy territory this time. I believe Clemson will be a national championship contender by season's end and will end Notre Dame's undefeated season. Notre Dame will end the season 11-1 and will be a jolt into the Freeman era moving forward.


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