Notre Dame Football: 5 reasons the Irish will beat Toledo in Week 2
Notre Dame football vs. Non-Power 5 Teams under Brian Kelly
The Notre Dame football team last dropped a game to a group of five team in 2016 against Navy. The Midshipmen beat the Irish, 28-27, at a neutral site contest in Jacksonville, Florida. Before 2016, Notre Dame lost games against non-major conference teams under Brian Kelly in 2011 (South Florida) and 2010 (Tulsa).
Kelly’s total of three losses to group of five teams is more than expected. In over a quarter of his seasons at the helm of the Notre Dame football program, the Irish were defeated by an opponent considered inferior.
However, upon closer inspection, the years when the losses occurred were the worst in his tenure. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Kelly was still imprinting his stamp on the Irish. As evidenced by the undefeated season in 2012, his coaching was just beginning to take effect.
The loss to the Naval Academy occurred in his worst season as the leader of the Notre Dame football program.
As poorly as the Fighting Irish played, the games were still decided by a combined 5 points. Each contest could have easily swung in the other direction. Regardless, the Irish are in a much different position today than they were in 2010, 2011, or 2016.