Sports

Transfer vs Recruiting

Transfer vs Recruiting

Author: Daniel Paglia and Matt Cotner

The new NCAA transfer portal allows players to transfer without sitting out for a year. This change has revolutionized college basketball. Countless players have already entered the portal after the conclusion of this season. It has never been easier to fill a hole in a roster. What does this mean for Notre Dame?

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Softball Recap

Softball Recap

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Since the program’s inaugural season in 1989, Notre Dame softball has been a paragon of consistency, having won 30 or more games every year except for the canceled 2020 season.

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Bertrand Story

Bertrand Story

Author: Greg McKenna

John Michael Bertrand and his brother JD head to the indoor facility for Notre Dame’s football and soccer programs about twice a week. Unlike JD, though, John Michael is not a middle linebacker.

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Alcohol at Sporting Events

Alcohol at Sporting Events

Author: Daniel Paglia

On a game day in South Bend, Notre Dame fans can likely be found drinking alcohol for hours before the game in the stadium parking lots. After the game concludes, regardless of the outcome, there is frequently a migration from Notre Dame Stadium to one of the surrounding bars — Brother’s, O’Rourke’s, The Linebacker Lounge and others.

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Womens Basketball

Womens Basketball

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Between 1996 and 2019, Notre Dame women’s basketball advanced to 24 straight NCAA tournaments, nine Final Fours and won two national championships.

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Crunch Time

Crunch Time

Author: Caroline Pineda

The 11th-seeded men’s basketball team came close to earning a Sweet 16 berth, ultimately falling 59-53 to No. 3 seed Texas Tech in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. 

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Basketball Overview
Football Coaches
Notre Dame Hockey Overview

Notre Dame Hockey Overview

Author: Matt Cotner

The 2020-2021 Notre Dame hockey season ended in the heartbreaking fashion that only a pandemic could induce: a COVID-19 outbreak that forced the team to pull out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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New faces on the coaching staff

New faces on the coaching staff

Author: Daniel Paglia and Matt Cotner

As Marcus Freeman assumes his head coaching duties at the University of Notre Dame, his first staff is beginning to take shape. With the departure of any head coach comes several changes among the position coaches, and the same holds true for the Fighting Irish after former head coach Brian Kelly took the job at LSU. Several former coaches have since departed for other opportunities or have not been retained — running backs coach Lance Taylor took the offensive coordinator position at Louisville, defensive line coach Mike Elston left for his same job at Michigan, Brian Polian followed Kelly to LSU as the special teams coordinator and Del Alexander and Jeff Quinn were relieved of their duties leading the wide receivers and offensive line, respectively. Even with these losses, Fighting Irish fans have something to look forward to as Freeman and company announce the hirings of new position coaches who will bring a renewed energy to recruiting and the development of players already on campus. 

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Game Recap: UVA

Game Recap: UVA

Author: Caroline Pineda

On the road in Charlottesville, Notre Dame continued to show marked improvement and moved to 9-1 with a 28-3 drubbing of the Cavaliers. 

The Irish rushed for 249 yards behind strong performances from Kyren Williams and Logan Diggs, while Jack Coan added 132 yards and three passing touchdowns. Defensively, Notre Dame didn’t allow a score until the fourth quarter, when a field goal gave Virginia its only points of the game. 

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Column: The Freeman Era begins

Column: The Freeman Era begins

Author: Daniel Paglia

A new era has dawned on Notre Dame football. With it comes hope and new expectations; expectations to finally win the “big game,” to reel in five-star talent, and to bring a national championship back to South Bend. While Brian Kelly completely reshaped the national perception of Notre Dame football, he was never able to win the “big game” and appease fans and alumni alike. There was great optimism that newly hired head coach Marcus Freeman would immediately expel that narrative in his first game at the helm. 

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Game Recap: Cincinnati

Game Recap: Cincinnati

Author: Meghan Cappitelli

On a rainy October afternoon, No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) and No. 7 Cincinnati (3-0) faced off aiming to maintain their undefeated seasons. Notre Dame lost not only their perfect record, but also their streak of 26 consecutive wins at home. To add to the burden, former head coach Brian Kelly spent the four years prior to his time at Notre Dame coaching the Bearcats. Newly appointed head coach Marcus Freeman also coached as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati for four years before being hired by Notre Dame. 

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Game Recap: Virginia Tech

Game Recap: Virginia Tech

Author: Greg McKenna

Lane Stadium could feel it. When Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister hit paydirt on a 19-yard touchdown run to put his team up 29-21 with just under four minutes to play, Hokies’ fans sensed they had the Irish on the ropes. 

The Irish offense had struggled all night against the Hokies, who were looking to improve to 4-1 and grab a signature upset in primetime. After a dismal first quarter, graduate transfer starter Jack Coan was pulled in favor of true freshman Tyler Buchner, whose dual-threat capabilities kept the Irish in the game. 

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The Freeman Era

The Freeman Era

Author: Emma Duffy

Notre Dame football is entering a new era. Marcus Freeman was named the Fighting Irish head coach after the sudden and controversial departure of longtime head coach Brian Kelly, who heads to LSU next year. Freeman inherits a program that is back in the national spotlight after just missing the College Football Playoff at No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. The football program is destined to see major changes, as Freeman is expected to bring a new energy to the surging Irish program. 

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Game Recap: Stanford

Game Recap: Stanford

Author: Daniel Paglia

What was once a competitive rivalry that allowed Notre Dame to add a resume-building win in late November has turned into a tune-up game against a below .500 team annually. Stanford and Notre Dame have competed for the Legends Trophy since 1989 with few exceptions (Notre Dame did not play Stanford in 2020 due to the Pac 12’s rules regarding non-conference opponents), but the last three matchups have been Irish blowouts. 

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Game Recap: USC

Game Recap: USC

Author: Martha Zaytoun and Genevieve Redsten

After the rivalry game was canceled during the 2020 season, Notre Dame once again faced USC in a battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh. The 31-16 game was Notre Dame’s second consecutive win and first at home since Cincinnati snapped the Irish’s 26-game winning streak in South Bend. 

The rivalry, generally considered to be the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football, was first played in 1926. With a victory over the Trojans, Notre Dame increased their overall series lead to 48-36-5 and extended their series winning streak to four games beginning with a 2017 victory in Notre Dame Stadium. 

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Draft Preview

Draft Preview

Author: Daniel Paglia

Notre Dame has long been associated with the NFL Draft. With nine picks in last year’s draft class, the university regained its crown as the school with the most picks in draft history and has seen at least one player drafted in all but one NFL Draft. Players come to Notre Dame with the dream of one day hearing their name called at the NFL Draft, and this year will be no different as several Irish players head to the draft with high aspirations. Whether it be bonafide stars selected in the first round or diamonds in the rough selected in the later rounds, Notre Dame will continue to be well represented in the NFL Draft come this spring. 

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Game Recap: UNC

Game Recap: UNC

Author: Matt Cotner

Atop ten matchup under the lights in South Bend — that is what the preseason rankings suggested this game would hold. However, North Carolina limped into South Bend after a disappointing 4-3 start to their season, finding themselves unranked and struggling to keep the season afloat. While North Carolina kept the game competitive, the Irish picked up their second win against the Tar Heels in as many seasons, 44-34. 

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Game Recap: Navy

Game Recap: Navy

Author: Corinne Quane

On the chilly but sunny afternoon of Nov. 6, the 10th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish faced the unranked Navy Midshipman in the 94th matchup of their long-standing rivalry. The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry commenced in 1927, and Notre Dame leads the series 79-13-1. Though rivals for quite some time, both teams have a deep respect for one another, something that is sure to continue well into the future. 

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Game Recap: Georgia Recap

Game Recap: Georgia Recap

Author: Emma Koster

It was 1975 and Notre Dame was playing Georgia Tech when Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger took the field for the final play. Almost 50 years later, Notre Dame’s matchup against Georgia Tech ended in another win for the Fighting Irish. 

The Fighting Irish dominated against the Yellow Jackets in a 55-0 win on a particularly sunny day in November. At the time of the game, Georgia Tech had a record of 3-7 while Notre Dame was ranked No. 6 with a record of 9-1. The afternoon game began with a Jonathan Doerer field goal on the tail of a 25-yard opening drive. The Fighting Irish increased their lead to 10-0 less than five minutes into the game with a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Jack Kiser. 

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Fiesta Bowl

Fiesta Bowl

Author: Matt Cotner

Between the end of the regular season and the Fiesta Bowl, the Irish had 35 days off. This over a month-long pause between games was a “pause” in name only for the Irish. Since they last played, Notre Dame flirted with a College Football Playoff berth, only to see their hopes dashed after an Alabama victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship all but guaranteed the Irish would be seeded fifth. The program endured the unexpected departure of head coach Brian Kelly, and righted the ship, hiring Marcus Freeman to take over the job. 

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Game Recap: Toledo

Game Recap: Toledo

Author: Chris Frick

After escaping by the skin of their teeth in Tallahassee, Notre Dame had their home opener against the Toledo Rockets on deck. For most fans, this seemed like an easy week, and who could blame any of them for believing as much? Sure, Notre Dame had struggled to establish a run game the week prior. Sure, they allowed too many big plays on defense. Sure, they had trouble protecting Jack Coan. But there was no way that a team from the Mid-American Conference could exploit those weaknesses. Notre Dame was poised for a huge bounce back week... until they weren’t. 

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Game Recap: Purdue

Game Recap: Purdue

Author: Matt Cotner

Question marks surrounded Notre Dame heading into their third game of the season. A scare against a non-Power Five opponent in Toledo the previous week, combined with quarterback controversy and poor offensive line play, led many to question the ceiling of this Irish team. While some of these questions remained unanswered, the Irish took care of business against the Boilermakers and clinched their 57th Shillelagh Trophy with a 27-13 win over their in-state rivals. 

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Game Recap: Wisconsin

Game Recap: Wisconsin

Author: Meghan Cappitelli

The 2021 home-away-from-home Shamrock Series took place quite close to South Bend this past September, as the Fighting Irish traveled just 90 miles to play at Soldier Field in downtown Chicago. Matching up against the Wisconsin Badgers, No. 12 Notre Dame headed into the game with an appetite to win what would be their 10th victory in the series since its inception in 2009. The Irish-Badger matchup had been long awaited after the 2020 game scheduled to be played at Lambeau Field was canceled and rescheduled for 2026. 

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Football Recap: Notre Dame’s 2021 Season

Football Recap: Notre Dame’s 2021 Season

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Things had gotten so rough for Notre Dame football after a 4-8 campaign in 2016 that a group of alumni and fans paid for a full-page ad in The Observer calling for the firings of Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick and head coach Brian Kelly. The ad cited a failure to uphold standards on and off the field and the confidence level in Kelly as “Zero.” 

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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

Author: Matt Cotner

Recency bias. It affects all of us. That’s why it is difficult to remember anything that happened in this 2021-2022 Irish football season that does not include the departure of Brian Kelly, the hiring of Marcus Freeman and the collapse witnessed at the Fiesta Bowl.

Taking a step back though, one realizes this season, like any other, was filled with twists and turns. It featured the return of fans in the stands, a game day experience that many felt relieved and excited to partake in again. It featured Irish staples, with another strong season from the likes of Kyren Williams, Michael Mayer and Kyle Hamilton. It featured new faces, such as transfer quarterback Jack Coan and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. 

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Column: Is this the year that proves the Irish should join a conference? Still no.

Column: Is this the year that proves the Irish should join a conference? Still no.

Author: Luke Thompson

Each season, as Notre Dame becomes further and further removed from the school’s last national championship in 1988 under Lou Holtz, a common argument arises about whether the Fighting Irish should follow the example of nearly all of the other historical independents in major college football and join a conference. Whether the Irish have contended for a championship all season or not, the voices are the same after the team once again comes up short: Notre Dame puts itself at a competitive disadvantage by remaining an independent in football. 

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Game Recap: FSU

Game Recap: FSU

Author: Claire Early

The season-opening matchup at Florida State forced Notre Dame fans to consider how much their nerves could take. In a game that saw huge momentum shifts and several lead changes, the Irish secured the victory with a 41-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer in overtime to cap a thrilling 41-38 road win to start the season. 

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