Sports

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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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: 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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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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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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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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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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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: 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: 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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Guest column: BK makes his exit

Guest column: BK makes his exit

Author: Tim Prister

No one anticipated such chaos, other than the man wearing the purple shirt under his blue blazer the day he was asked about speculation regarding the USC job. 

Brian Kelly — winner of more games (113) as the head coach of Notre Dame than Knute Rockne — led the Irish to a pair of playoff appearances in three seasons and 54 victories in the last five. He took Notre Dame to the front door of a national title before turning over the keys to Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick for a new set in Baton Rouge, La. 

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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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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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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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Featured Performer: Michael Mayer

Featured Performer: Michael Mayer

Author: Delaney Gibbons

Considered one of the best tight ends in the nation after receiving Freshman All-America honors, Michael Mayer is no stranger to play-making for the Irish, with 840 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Mayer was a strength for the Irish offense, excelling in his ability to haul in tough catches, and was the top receiver in several of Notre Dame’s games this season.

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Crunch Time
Featured Performer: Sammi Fisher
Men’s and Women’s Basketball Preview
Trey Mancini

Trey Mancini

Author: Daniel Paglia

Baseball is more than a game for former Notre Dame baseball player and Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini. It is a safe haven and source of great personal joy.

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Irish Football Position Group Breakdown: Quarterbacks
The Road to 106

The Road to 106

Author: Matt Cotner

Three different presidential administrations have come and gone, as well as three Summer Olympics. But Brian Kelly still remains. On September 4, 2010, Kelly earned his first win as head coach at the University of Notre Dame

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Crunch Time

Crunch Time

Author: Michael Lee

After a challenging year due to COVID-19, the return of a normal fall semester has brought with it the resurgence of fall sports. So far, the women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball and cross country teams have seen plenty of action. They have practiced hard and performed their best at home and on the road. These teams have been grateful for all the support from the fans and are eager to maintain the Fighting Irish spirit

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Sam Grewe: Gold Medalist By Day. Med Student By Night.
Football Position Analysis: Wide Receivers
Sports Column: The Return of Fans in the Stands
Crunch Time
By the Numbers
Baseball Season Update

Baseball Season Update

Author: Grant DelVecchio

Link Jarrett was hired as the 21st head coach in team history — after seven seasons at the helm of UNC-Greensboro — the summer before the 2020 season. Since then, the Irish have experienced a total resurgence.

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