For the second time in three years, Notre Dame football made the College Football Playoff in 2020 but losing to Alabama just went to show just how far the Irish have to go before they can win it all.
Notre Dame has come a long way and the recruiting under Brian Kelly continues to improve and there’s a good chance the Irish could make a playoff push again in 2021. Although they will be without the quarterback who got them there the previous two times, Notre Dame has restocked the position with a talented freshman in Tyler Buchner and Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan.
Returning Kyren Williams is only going to help the offense and the defense returns a solid group, led by new coordinator Marcus Freeman from Cincinnati.
The Irish are going to embarrass some folks this season.
Who could the Irish blow out this season?
Toledo may not be a pushover, by any means, but the Fighting Irish have few true “sharpie” games this season. The Rockets just so happen to be one of them in Week 2 in South Bend.
The Rockets bring back 21 starters to a team that went 4-2 in a COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, losing to Ball State and Western Michigan by just three points each. A couple of field goals stood between Toledo and a 6-0 record and they’re bringing back 11 starters to an offense that ranked 13th nationally in total yards and 21st in scoring.
Defensively, they return 10 starters to a unit that was 36th in scoring and also total yards allowed per game.
While all of this seems impressive, the Fighting Irish are going to take advantage of the fact that the Rockets are forced to find a new starter at quarterback. Carter Brantley was decent in 2020, passing for 849 yards with nine touchdowns and five picks, but this Notre Dame defense is different than anything he’s ever seen.
The Irish are going to have their way with the young quarterback and the defense isn’t good enough to contain Notre Dame’s explosive offense.