The Notre Dame football team has talented players on both sides of the ball, but will it take a step back in Marcus Freeman’s first season?
After Brian Kelly abruptly left the Notre Dame football program after beating Stanford in the regular-season finale, Marcus Freeman was inserted as interim-head coach. However, due to an outcry from the players and fans of the team, he quickly dropped the interim label, and rightfully so, as he was the best man for the job.
In his first game at the helm, the Irish looked very good early on against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, only to see the Cowboys come back and win. Still, it was a great effort by the team, and entering 2022, they will be looking to build off their successes from a year ago.
The question, however, is if that is possible. Notre Dame football lost only one regular-season game last year and was very close to being named to the College Football Playoff. In 2022, Freeman takes the helm of a talented roster, but one with many question marks, begging the question of whether or not the team will take a step back in his first full season.
On offense, there could be depth issues at both wide receiver and running back, this after Jadarian Price was injured this past week. The defense is loaded with veteran talent and depth, so no issues there, but they will be going up against some incredible offenses all season long.
Notre Dame football to face a tough 2022 schedule
One look at the 2022 schedule for the Irish and it is clear that if they are going to have a one-loss regular season like they did last year, it will take a lot. They open the 2022 campaign against Ohio State and close it against USC, two teams that many feel could be top-5 when all is said and done this season.
In between those two games, they have some tough matchups as well, including against what should be a fired-up Clemson team.
The Notre Dame football program continues to stack talent for their 2024 recruiting class, this time landing elite TE Jack Larsen.
The truth is, the record may take a step back, as a one-loss Irish team would likely be a College Football Playoff team. However, it is full steam ahead for this program as a whole, and based on the recruiting classes coming in 2023 and 2024, the sky is the limit with Freeman at the wheel.