Preston Rowe’s Way Too Early Notre Dame Outlook

Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; NNotre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) leaves the field following the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Notre Dame 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame had a great 2015 season, they finished 10-3 and got a Fiesta Bowl berth. The Fighting Irish were able to rally around their backup QB DeShone Kizer when their starting QB Malik Zaire got injured for the season on the road against UVA.

Kizer threw a game-winning TD on the last drive to get out of UVA with a win. He then led them to win 8 of their next 10 games with a heartbreaking road loss at Clemson 24-22 and another 2 point loss at Stanford 38-36. Notre Dame will return both Zaire and Kizer at QB, which should make for a very intriguing QB battle in the summer and fall camp.

Nov 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Will Fuller (7) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Notre Dame won 42-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Will Fuller (7) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Notre Dame won 42-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Irish have arguably the toughest schedule in the country, with home games against Michigan State, Duke, Miami and Virginia Tech as well as road games at Texas and USC. Notre Dame will have some big holes to fill with the NFL departures of WR Will Fuller and OLB Jaylon Smith as well as the graduation of versatile RB C.J. Prosise.

Fuller had 1,258 receiving yards and 14 TDs, and Prosise had 1,100 rushing yards with 11 TDs. Smith led the team with 114 total tackles. Notre Dame will return some young, unproven talent on both sides of the ball but with a brutal schedule, they will have to grow up quickly.

The season is still a long way away, and spring ball has not even started yet, but Notre Dame’s ceiling right now could be winning 7-8 games with the amount of unproven talent around the QB position and perhaps the toughest schedule in college football.

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