NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH SEASON PREVIEW:
There's a new leaf to be turned in South Bend, and with a revitalized Irish team Brian Kelly believes now is the time for Notre Dame to stroke back at those teams they've lost the upper hand to.
The offense is back in almost full force, with RB Cierre Wood returning to the ND backfield. Wood rushed for over 1100 yards and nine touchdowns last season and hopes to carry most of the load at running back once again. The Irish lost Michael Floyd to the NFL, but returning WRs Theo Riddick and T.J. Jones are in line to pick up most of the workload there. Everett Golson and Tommy Rees will battle it out for the starting QB position, though five-star recruit Gunner Kiel will be strong contender to take over the job sooner rather than later.
On defense the star is linebacker Manti Te'o. The senior recorded 128 tackles and five sacks in 2011 and along with Dan Fox and Price Shembo will control the flow of the defense.
The Irish have a daunting schedule as Notre Dame tends to always have, including games against Oklahoma, Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford. They'll need to win early games against Navy and Purdue if they want to be back in the national title hunt late into the season.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH INFORMATION:
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium
Rivals: USC Trojans, Michigan Wolverines, Boston College Golden Eagles (Holy War), Michigan State Spartans, Purdue Boilermakers
National Championships: 11
Heisman Trophies: 7
Notable Alumni: Joe Montana, Jerome Betts, George Gipp, Rocket Ishmail
Notre Dame first began playing organized football in 1887. In 1918, the Irish hired legendary head coach Knute Rockne. Rockne would lead Notre Dame to 6 national titles and 5 undefeated seasons. Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Holtz have also coached the Fighting Irish to national championships, a total of 11. Notre Dame is one of only 5 schools with more than 800 wins. An Irish game is a treat for any fan of college football history.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish play their home games at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana, just north of South Bend. The stadium seats nearly 81,000 and with no modern scoreboards or JumboTrons, the stadium provides fans with a classic football experience which goes nicely with Notre Dame's rich tradition. Attend a game and you can see the landmarks of the Irish campus from the stands. The famous “Touchdown Jesus” mural on the school's library behind one end zone is particularly famous. Buy Notre Dame tickets today and watch college football's most successful team fight it's way back to the top!
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