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Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2017 Preview

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The 2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish look for a big rebound from last season and become a factor on the national stage.

Overview: Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish went 4-8 in 2016 but the team has the experience and the talent to bounce back if they find a way to win the close ones where they were a shocking 1-7 in games decided by a TD or less.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2017 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are hoping that Brandon Wimbush under center is in fact the blue chip player he has been labeled. If Wimbush proves to be the player the Fighting Irish hope at quarterback, he has the weapons to move the offense. Equanimeous St. Brown is an efficient and explosive number one receiver who will be joined by Kevin Stepherson, Chase Claypool, CJ Sanders and tight end Durham Smythe to give the passing attack options and some depth. Josh Adams will shoulder much of the load for Notre Dame on the ground behind an offensive line that returns four of five starters.

Defense: The Notre Dame front seven will be leading the defensive side of the football as the secondary was the weak link and played a huge rotation that the team would like to narrow down. Elijah Taylor and Jerry Tillery will look to plug the middle at tackle with Daelin Hayes manning defensive end but this is a young group and rushing the passer wasn’t their forte’. The Fighting Irish are experienced at linebacker with the trio of Drue Tranquill, Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini all returning. Notre Dame has some questions in the secondary and would like to field a reasonable rotation but that might not be happening until we see the unit perform on the field but a viable pass rush is a necessity to help this unit out.

Special Teams: Big leg punter Tyler Newsome averaged an impressive 43.5 yards per boot and PK Justin Yoon returns along with dangerous returner CJ Sanders but coverage teams have to improve as the special teams were in ranked in the bottom third nationally.

Outlook: The Fighting Irish going 4-8 with a roster packed with top flight talent defies logic and their 1-7 record in one possession games is head scratching. I have to believe we see a marked improvement and a return to the top 25 in 2017.

Schedule:

9-2 vs. Temple

9-9 vs. Georgia

9-16 @ Boston College

9-23 @ Michigan State

9-30 vs. Miami (OH)

10-7 @ North Carolina

10-21 vs. USC

10-28 vs. North Carolina State

11-4 vs. Wake Forest

11-11 @ Miami FL

11-18 vs. Navy

11-25 @ Stanford

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