During the preseason, there was a lot of talk about the expectations of Notre Dame's talented and experienced defensive line. However, through the first two games, the d-line's performance left much to be desired.
Notre Dame and Iowa State each had three players selected to The Associated Press preseason All-America team, led by Fighting Irish defensive back Kyle Hamilton and Cyclones running back Breece Hall.
“The good news is we’re 95% vaccinated,” Kelly said. “Look, we’re prepared because we went through it last year, to wear masks, social distance, do all the things because we unfortunately had to go through that.”
The Irish have adopted many of the precautions they took following a three-week pause in late September and early October last season after a team outbreak following a 52-0 victory over South Florida.
Freeman, who turns 35 on Sunday, had spent the last three seasons as Cincinnati’s linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ian Book had Notre Dame moving with a chance to get within a touchdown of No. 1 Alabama when his interception shifted the momentum in the second half of their playoff semifinal.
The most recent time Alabama and Notre Dame played each other, it was a BCS championship blowout won by the Crimson Tide.
"I never want to be a cocky person, but when I'm on the field, I want people to know like, 'JoJo makes a difference.'"
Nine Notre Dame players were voted to either the first or second all-ACC teams by the Associated Press.
“His ability to run really stresses your coverage calls,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
"That was one of the things he was worried about as he was getting ready for surgery like, 'What about my scholarship?' (Ball State) taking that (doubt) off his plate was huge."
“It’s not going to disrupt what he does in his preparation for the game and hopefully moving forward," Kelly said. "I’m not concerned (and) I know our players aren’t as well.”
“It’s hard doing any 24 things consecutively — I have trouble doing two in a row.," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly joked after his team provided him with his 102nd victory in South Bend, three behind all-time Irish leader Knute Rockne.
“I think the most important thing for us is to carry on the play that we exhibited in the second half of the game against North Carolina,” Kelly said of last week's 31-17 victory in Chapel Hill.
“I thought that the plan was outstanding,” Kelly said, “and the players executed it extremely well.”
Times sports writers James Boyd and Mike Clark discuss the latest Region sports news, including Merrillville star JoJo Johnson's verbal commitment to Notre Dame and Hobart breaking through to the Class 4A state final.
"I haven't really won a big championship before. I've won some little championships when I was younger but nothing like state. So going into college, I really want to win a national championship, especially being at Notre Dame."
“They’re an extremely talented team,” Kelly said. “We’ve played similar teams — Clemson comes to mind. (The Tar Heels) don’t go away – they have come back in fourth quarters and won football games. They keep playing.”
“You can see him just continue to grow each and every week,” Kelly said.
Notre Dame’s overtime victory against Clemson put the No. 2 Fighting Irish atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and gave the league two teams in the top four of the Top 25.
“We’re 29-3 in our last 32 games,” Kelly told reporters. “We’ve won 22 consecutive games at home. We’ve won 12 in a row. I don’t know … you guys decide.”
There you have it. So far, the Hoosier State (10-0) is having a better season than all of the football-obsessed places that make up the SEC, every Big Ten state save one, plus California, Texas and Oklahoma.
“These kids see a lot now and are well prepared. DJ will be well prepared for a number of things that we’ll show him,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said.
“You know what they say about stats,” Kelly said, making a reference to the “stats are for losers” line when a question was posed about why the Irish don’t have any defensive players on the individual leaderboards.
“We’re ascending at the right time,” Book said. “I feel like my game is starting to ascend and I need to keep doing the same things.”
“Going into my junior year, I realized I had to make a lot of technical advancements in my game if I wanted to play at the level that I wanted to and needed to,” Doerer said.
Clemson easily held off Alabama on Sunday to retain the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press college football poll, extending its longest run atop the poll to seven weeks.
“I'm definitely hard on myself, but my job at the end of the day is to get the ‘W’,” Book said.
SOUTH BEND — Even somebody with vision as compromised as left tackle Liam Eichenberg wound up having against Florida State can see No. 4 Notre Dame is riding one of the nation's top offensive lines.
SOUTH BEND — Brian Kelly knows if No. 4 Notre Dame expects to play for championships in December and January, it will need to improve defensively, starting with Saturday’s visit from Atlantic Coast Conference foe Louisville.