Coming into the 2016 Notre Dame football season Irish fans have high expectations on their team. Last year the Irish just missed the playoffs but did make it to the Fiesta Bowl and lost to Ohio State. I would for this trend to continue. Although the Fighting Irish have a great football team this year If they continue to play their opponents level and don’t set their own standard throughout the season They will continue to fall short to top teams in the major bowls. Don’t get me wrong I love Notre Dame football more than anything in the world except my daughter but let’s take a couple minutes and look at the schedule and give it some honest thought.

They will kick off the year at Texas playing the Longhorns who had an amazing recruiting year. So they have some young talent. Add that with the way they played at times last year they could be a team to watch in 2016. The Irish handled Texas pretty easily last year but that will not be the case this year. Teaxs is looking to make a statement and what a better way to do that than to beat the Irish on a &special& Sunday night game.

This game will be a great test for the Irish. It will be the first chance we get to see Notre Dame utilize a two quarterback system and also the first time in several years they haven’t had a stand out linbacker to run the defense. First I am a fan of the split quarterback’s. Brian Kelly has the perfect situation with these qb’s. Keizer, and Zaire can run and both have a cannon. Zaire I think is the better runner and passer but he hasn’t been able to prove himself over a season. Keizer on the other hand has been able to win games and make comebacks. Is he the better qb? Who knows? But he is a proven winner and that’s all I care about as a fan.

With Josh Adams and Tarean Folston in the back field the Irish will have a good running game and then you throw in a qb that can run and it could turn into a nightmare for defensive coordinators. The receiving core has some players returning but CJ Sanders may be the top guy in them group. And of course the O line controls everything. If they dont play well then the team is going to have a tough time moving the ball.

As far as the defensive side of the ball we will final see if Nyles Morgan can run that side of the ball. He came in with  all of the hyoe in the world and has quite panned out yet. The good thing about last years was all of the injuries. Why is that good you may ask?  It’s  simple  younger players got to play which means younger players have experience. That is a good thing playing at a school like Notre Dame. Brian VanGorder needs to get his defense to play together and make real tackles. The past couple of years I have seen players trying to &blow up& the guy with the ball and end up missing the tackle. I would rather see them wrap you the ball carrier and make the tackle than take the chance of missing a big hit and the ball advancing another three or four yards.

I hope you understand as an Irish fan it is hard for me to say some of this stuff. I tried to stay positive and will continue to be optimistic, but look at the evidence on the field game to game. The reality is if they continue to play at their opponents level then they will never make it over the hump and start winning major bowls. Unless of course they play better twam through out the season. Why play Nevada when you can tey and play a team like Ohio State or Alabama? I think a few good whippin’s may help raise the program standard and help get the type of players we all want to see on the fieldwhen it comes to recruiting. Just my opinion though.

Long story short is when will see just what kind of team we have after the Texas game. I hope for the best and think the Irish will be very good this year maybe even 10-2. They aren’t going ro make the playoffs and probably won’t win a major bowl game. One thing is for sure this will be an interesting season and I hope you continue to follow it with me. Go Irish

-Zach Heim-

RTE

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