Sports

Louisville

Louisville

Author: Grant DelVecchio

After cruising through the first three games, No. 4 Notre Dame hit its first major roadblock of the season versus Louisville. Against the backdrop of future foe Clemson’s 73-7 rout of Georgia Tech, the Irish (4-0, 3-0) survived against the Cardinals (1-4, 0-4) 12-7. The team extended the FBS-longest active winning streak to 10 games, but with a matchup against No. 1 Clemson looming on the horizon, the win was anything but far-reaching.

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Pitt: Proving their Prowess Away From Home

Pitt: Proving their Prowess Away From Home

Author: Spencer Kelly

A month and a half after their first game, with a season-threatening COVID-19 outbreak in between, the undefeated No. 3 Fighting Irish were finally forced to leave the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium and go on the road to face the Pittsburgh Panthers.

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Georgia Tech: Get Through to Get to Clemson

Georgia Tech: Get Through to Get to Clemson

Author: Spencer Kelly

Facing a mediocre 2-5 team with the Clemson matchup on the horizon, No. 4 Notre Dame’s game against Georgia Tech had the markings of a trap game. But in order to stay on track for a playoff berth, the Fighting Irish needed to handle business in Atlanta on Halloween.

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Clemson: A Victory that Will Go Down in History

Clemson: A Victory that Will Go Down in History

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Notre Dame’s 42-14 loss to Alabama in the 2013 national championship game marked the nascence of murmurs that, maybe, the Irish weren’t cut out for the big games. Those murmurs began to crescendo over the years as Notre Dame lost top-10 matchups against Florida State (2014), Ohio State (2015), Miami (2017) and Clemson (2018). Add in two close losses to Georgia (2017, 2019), two last second losses to Stanford (2015) and Clemson (2015) along the way and by the time No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 1 Clemson met inside Notre Dame Stadium in 2020 the roars were loud and clear: “Notre Dame can’t win a big game,” “Notre Dame doesn’t belong with college football’s elite.”

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Boston College: An Irish Victory in the “Holy War”

Boston College: An Irish Victory in the “Holy War”

Author: Thomas Richter

There were many factors to consider before Notre Dame’s game against Boston College: it was only Notre Dame’s third away game of the season, it was quarterback Phil Jurkovec’s opportunity for revenge against his former school, and it took place a week after Notre Dame’s thrilling double-overtime win against No. 1 Clemson. The setting felt eerily similar to the 1993 Boston College upset against the Fighting Irish only a week after Notre Dame’s win in the “Game of the Century” against No. 1 Florida State. Despite Notre Dame being projected as a 13-point favorite, these factors combined to make many Irish fans feel nervous before kickoff.

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UNC

UNC

Author: Englehart, Matthew

After a well-deserved bye week, the No. 2 Irish (8-0) traveled down to Chapel Hill for a Friday afternoon game against the No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels (6-2). Notre Dame came into the game off of two of their best wins of the year but also had given up 71 points in those two games, which was more than they had allowed in the first six games. This could’ve been a major problem, as the Tar Heels touted a strong offense led by their two star running backs: Javonte Williams and Michael Carter.

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Syracuse

Syracuse

Author: Bridget Curtis

A week before their final regular season game against a struggling Syracuse Orange team, the Irish had been notified that they would be competing in the ACC Championship regardless of the result. Nevertheless, there was plenty to play for.

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Wake Forest: The Matchup that Never Was

Wake Forest: The Matchup that Never Was

Author: Lee, Michael

It was a matchup that was supposed to happen on Sept. 26 at Wake Forest, but because of COVID-19, the game was rescheduled to Dec. 12. Unfortunately, seven Notre Dame football players tested positive for the virus several days before the originally scheduled game, which resulted in the isolation of 13 players. Furthermore, the Notre Dame football program wanted to ensure the safety of the rest of its players, so it paused all football-related activities for several days. Head coach Brian Kelly stated that “with student-athlete health and safety our primary focus, we will continue to follow our prevention protocols and ongoing testing procedures.” In the meantime, it was time for the team to redirect its attention to the upcoming game against Florida State.

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ACC Championship: Clemson’s Revenge

ACC Championship: Clemson’s Revenge

Author: Emily DeFazio

On Dec. 19, the undefeated Fighting Irish arrived at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., marking the beginning of the playoff season for the team. The ACC Championship set the stage for the highly anticipated Notre Dame-Clemson rematch, after the No. 4 Irish defeated the then-No. 1 Tigers during their regular season matchup in South Bend.

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Column: A Window Into the Future
2021 Draft Preview

2021 Draft Preview

Author: Matt Cotner

The coronavirus pandemic has made scouting and player evaluations even more difficult this year than in years past, so the upcoming NFL Draft will be filled with heightened uncertainty. After a second trip in three years to the College Football Playoff, the Fighting Irish will graduate a large swath of the talent that has sustained their success over the past few seasons.  Many of those graduating are hoping to hear their names called this spring at the NFL Draft.

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Behind the Playbook

Behind the Playbook

Author: Daphne Saloomey

The 2020 football season was one of unprecedented changes for top programs across the country, including the Fighting Irish. The season marked the beginning of Tommy Rees’ tenure as offensive coordinator as well as the departure of Clark Lea, the defensive coordinator, after Notre Dame’s Rose Bowl defeat.

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Looking Ahead: Where Do the Irish Go From Here?

Looking Ahead: Where Do the Irish Go From Here?

Author: Englehart, Matthew

Notre Dame finished the season at 10-2, marking its fourth straight season with 10 wins and its second trip to the College Football Playoff in three years. To add to that, the Irish haven’t lost at home since September 2017, yet we enter 2021 with an uncertainty of where the program will go from here. The Irish closed the season with back-to-back losses by three possessions to two of the best programs in the last decade. They also have to replace the winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history, the team’s best defensive coordinator in recent history and four of five starters on the offensive line. That’s the bad news, but there is also much to look forward to.

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Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl

Author: Caroline Pineda

If there was a search for an image to encapsulate the talent gap between Alabama and Notre Dame, it would end with the picture of Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris hurdling cornerback Nick McCloud.

After the 31-14 loss in the relocated Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, head coach Brian Kelly was adamant that the final score wasn’t an issue of talent but an issue of making plays — or failing to do so.

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USF

USF

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Given the circumstances: a new offensive coordinator, brand new offensive skill position starters across the board, and limited offseason practices, it was unrealistic to expect the Irish offense to come out firing on all cylinders in their first game. With that being said, as No. 7 Notre Dame prepared for another home contest against the University of South Florida, there were still plenty of questions to be answered.

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Duke

Duke

Author: Grant DelVecchio

For Notre Dame football, the 2020 season promised to be unlike any other in the team’s 133-year history — and not just because it was set to be played during a pandemic.

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Featured Performer: Kyren Williams

Featured Performer: Kyren Williams

Author: Emma Ferdinandi

Kyren Williams’ journey to being named the ACC Rookie of the Year didn’t come easily. Redshirted as a freshman and facing a pandemic as a sophomore made his position within the running back room an uncertainty at the start of the season.

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Guest Column: Waiting for the Perfect Storm

Guest Column: Waiting for the Perfect Storm

Author: David Korzeniowski

This time last year, during my senior year at Notre Dame, I typed away on this same keyboard following Notre Dame’s 11-2 season. I made the argument that Notre Dame fans needed to recognize the elite position the program was in and that the team could win a national championship in the next two seasons.

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Notre Dame's 2020 Season Football Recap: A Season of Many Firsts
Letter from the Editor: Football Issue

Letter from the Editor: Football Issue

Author: Caroline Pineda

A usually raucous stadium atmosphere was muted this year, as 11,000 fans sought to simulate the energy of 80,000. The limited capacity was one of many restrictions brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions that went far beyond the stands and permeated classrooms, dorms and locker rooms.

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A Race for Change: Women’s Basketball Marches for Unity
Sports Rundown

Sports Rundown

Author: Sean Lonergan

The coronavirus has radically transformed the landscape of college sports, and after initial worries, Notre Dame fans are fortunate to still enjoy a 2020-21 season. Student attendance at games, even in a limited capacity, has helped to elevate the atmosphere and maintain the feeling of excitement despite coronavirus-related adjustments. 

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Sports Feature: Volleyball

Sports Feature: Volleyball

Author: Daniel Paglia

With an impressive 6-1 record at the conclusion of the fall ACC volleyball schedule, Notre Dame is ranked No. 5 heading into their spring schedule, which will allow them to compete for a national championship.

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The Wide Receiver Room

The Wide Receiver Room

Author: Caroline Pineda

Despite COVID-19 disrupting countless aspects of a normal season, all of the pieces appear to be falling into place for the Notre Dame football team as they approach the season’s marquee matchup against Clemson.

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The Grudge Match: Notre Dame vs. Clemson 2.0
By the Numbers

By the Numbers

Author: Englehart, Matthew

100 — The percentage of Notre Dame football players who have registered to vote. One way to make change is through voting, and the Irish football players are leading by example at the moment.

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Irish Defense Is as Strong as Ever
Featured Performer: Daelin Hayes

Featured Performer: Daelin Hayes

Author: Englehart, Matthew

A graduate defensive end, Daelin Hayes has played a significant role on the stout Notre Dame defense throughout his collegiate career. Hayes was a top-300 recruit coming out of high school from Bellville, Mich., and in his freshman year, he played in all 12 games.

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Future of the Season

Future of the Season

Author: Daniel Paglia

The second week of March saw the sports world grind to a complete halt. In just one week, athletes went from preparing for tournament runs, an upcoming season or the biggest event of their lives, to sitting home waiting for what would come next. But no one knew what the future would hold for collegiate and professional athletics in the United States.

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Women’s and Men’s Soccer Update