Notre Dame is on the cusp of being great. They proved that after wrapping up an undefeated regular season. But there were also glaring issues that need to be fixed if Notre Dame wants to take the next step.
Recruiting has become a hot topic to point to for the Notre Dame failures. The Fighting Irish simple don’t have the five star recruits that teams like Clemson and Alabama have. But even for the lack of recruits, Notre Dame consistently has an elite defense.
When Notre Dame had their defensive starters on the field, they gave up 10 points to Clemson. The same Clemson team that blew the doors off of Alabama. Julian Love getting hurt was the downfall of the defense. Now whether that falls solely on his backup, the coaching staff or the game plan is a different debate.
But somehow Notre Dame continues to roll out talented defenses but the offense somehow falls behind. That is what Kelly needs to figure out how to fix if Notre Dame is to take the next step.
Fixing The Offense is Key
Brian Kelly probably deserves some blame for this one. As much as I defend him, he cannot develop a QB. Kiser could have become that QB Notre Dame has been looking for but he decided to try the NFL.
Tommy Rees, Everett Golson, Ian Book, Brandon Wimbush, they come in with praise and promise only to never meet the hype. Now there are a new heap of QB’s coming into Notre Dame but there needs to be proof they can grow and develop. Tommy Rees seemed like he was bringing Ian Book along until Clemson. The story isn’t finished with Book and he can become a high end guy but I will continue to be skeptical until change happens.
QB has been an issue but even the offense as a whole is a problem. Since 2012, the best Notre Dame offense was in 2015. They averaged 34 points per game which is above average for a Brian Kelly team. Clemson in 2018 averaged 44 and Alabama in 2018 averages 45.
Those two teams both averaged 10 more points per game and that was with Notre Dame. Notre Dame also played a weaker then anticipated schedule so the argument of schedule doesn’t really work. Notre Dame needs to improve on the offensive side of the ball to get to the next level.
Better recruits and more speed obviously help, but why can’t the offense figure it out? The defense continues to be shut down every year and they aren’t loaded with five stars either.
Brian Kelly has shown a lot of growth as a coach since his 4-8 season. He needs to continue that growth and figure out what it will take to get the offense up to speed with the defense. Hopefully with the growth of Coach Kelly and better assistants around him, the offense can get the points they need. The defense is almost there but the offense is still miles away and the college football world isn’t slowing down.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.