The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is one of the most storied and successful programs in college football history. The team has won 11 national championships, produced seven Heisman Trophy winners, and sent countless players to the NFL. But what can fans expect from the Fighting Irish in 2023? Here are some of the key facts and figures about the team, its coaches, its players, and its schedule for the upcoming season.
Coaching Staff Salary
The Fighting Irish are led by Marcus Freeman, who took over as head coach in 2022 after Brian Kelly left for LSU. Freeman was previously the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame and Cincinnati, and he is known for his aggressive and innovative schemes. He is also a dynamic recruiter who has brought in some of the top talent in the country.
Freeman’s staff includes some new faces and some familiar ones. Gerad Parker is the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, replacing Tommy Rees who left for Alabama. Parker was previously the wide receivers coach at Penn State and West Virginia, and he has experience as an interim head coach at Purdue. He is expected to bring a more balanced and explosive offense to Notre Dame.
Al Golden is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, replacing Freeman who moved up to head coach. Golden was previously the head coach at Miami and Temple, where he turned around struggling programs. He also has NFL experience as a linebackers coach with the Detroit Lions. He will continue Freeman’s philosophy of attacking and creating turnovers on defense.
Other notable assistants include Joe Rudolph (offensive line), Chansi Stuckey (wide receivers), Deland McCullough (running backs), Al Washington (defensive line), Mike Mickens (cornerbacks), Chris O’Leary (safeties), and Marty Biagi (special teams).
The Fighting Irish have a talented and experienced roster for 2023, with several returning starters and some promising newcomers. Here are some of the key players to watch:
- Sam Hartman, QB: The senior transfer from Wake Forest is the projected starter at quarterback, after beating out freshman Tyler Buchner and sophomore Drew Pyne in a tight competition. Hartman is a dual-threat passer who threw for 3,291 yards and 28 touchdowns with only eight interceptions in 2022. He also ran for 563 yards and six touchdowns. He will lead a potent offense that features several weapons at his disposal.
- JD Bertrand, LB: The senior linebacker is one of the captains and leaders of the defense. He led the team with 105 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two interceptions in 2022. He is a smart and instinctive player who can play all three linebacker positions. He will anchor a stout front seven that returns most of its starters.
- Cam Hart, CB: The junior cornerback is another captain and leader of the secondary. He had a breakout season in 2022, recording 48 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 10 pass breakups. He is a physical and athletic corner who can cover any receiver. He will headline a talented group of defensive backs that includes safety Brandon Joseph and corner Clarence Lewis.
- Joe Alt, OL: The junior offensive lineman is one of the best in the nation at his position. He started all 13 games at left tackle in 2022, earning first-team All-American honors from several outlets. He is a dominant run blocker who can also protect the quarterback’s blind side. He will lead an experienced offensive line that includes center Jarrett Patterson and guard Rocco Spindler.
- Michael Mayer, TE: The junior tight end is one of the best in the nation at his position as well. He caught 68 passes for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022, earning second-team All-American honors from several outlets. He is a mismatch for any defense with his size, speed, and hands. He will be Hartman’s favorite target in the passing game.
The Fighting Irish have a challenging schedule for 2023, facing several ranked opponents and traditional rivals. Here are some of the highlights:
- Sept. 2 vs Ohio State: The season opener is a blockbuster matchup between two powerhouse programs. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2 in the preseason polls, while the Fighting Irish are ranked No. 13. Both teams have high expectations for 2023, and this game will set the tone for their seasons.
- Sept. 16 vs USC: The annual rivalry game against the Trojans is always a must-watch event. The Fighting Irish have won four of the last five meetings against USC, including a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory in 2022. The Trojans are ranked No. 15 in the preseason polls, and they have a new head coach in Lincoln Riley, who left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.
- Oct. 7 at Clemson: The Fighting Irish will face another top-ranked opponent on the road, as they travel to Death Valley to take on the Tigers. The Tigers are ranked No. 3 in the preseason polls, and they have won six straight ACC titles. The Fighting Irish have split their last two meetings with Clemson, losing 34-10 in the 2020 ACC Championship Game, but winning 47-40 in double overtime in the regular season.
- Nov. 4 vs Navy: The longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football will continue for the 97th time, as the Fighting Irish host the Midshipmen. The Fighting Irish have won nine of the last 10 meetings against Navy, including a 38-14 victory in 2022. The Midshipmen are always a tough opponent with their triple-option offense and disciplined defense.
- Nov. 25 at Stanford: The regular season finale is another rivalry game against the Cardinal. The Fighting Irish have won five of the last six meetings against Stanford, including a 45-24 victory in 2022. The Cardinal are coming off a disappointing 4-8 season, but they have a new head coach in David Shaw, who returned to his alma mater after spending six years as an NFL assistant.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is poised for another successful season in 2023, with a talented and experienced roster, a dynamic coaching staff, and a challenging schedule. The team has high hopes of competing for a national championship, and it will face several tests along the way. Fans can expect to see exciting and competitive games every week, as the Fighting Irish aim to live up to their tradition and legacy.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team:
Q: How many national championships has Notre Dame won?
A: Notre Dame has won 11 consensus national championships, which are recognized by the NCAA and major polls. The years are 1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, and 1988.
Q: Who are some of the famous alumni of Notre Dame football?
A: Notre Dame has produced many notable alumni who have excelled in football and other fields. Some of them are Joe Montana, Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Rocket Ismail, Brady Quinn, Manti Te’o, Jaylon Smith, Quenton Nelson, Rudy Ruettiger, Regis Philbin, Condoleezza Rice, Phil Donahue, and Joe Biden.
Q: What is the origin of the nickname “Fighting Irish”?
A: The nickname “Fighting Irish” dates back to the early 20th century, when Notre Dame was often referred to as the “Irish” or the “Ramblers” by sportswriters and opponents. The term was initially used as a derogatory slur against the predominantly Catholic and immigrant student body of Notre Dame. However, the team embraced the nickname as a badge of honor and pride, and it became official in 1927.
Q: What is the significance of the golden helmets?
A: The golden helmets are one of the most iconic symbols of Notre Dame football. They were introduced in 1959 by head coach Frank Leahy, who wanted to make his players stand out on the field. The helmets are painted with real gold flakes every week by student managers, and they are meant to represent the golden dome of the administration building on campus.
Q: What is the history of Notre Dame’s independence?
A: Notre Dame has been an independent program since its inception in 1887, meaning that it does not belong to any conference and can schedule its own opponents. The school has maintained its independence for various reasons, such as preserving its national identity and rivalries, maintaining its academic standards and integrity, and maximizing its revenue and exposure through its own TV deal with NBC. However, Notre Dame has also formed some affiliations with conferences over the years, such as joining the Big East for non-football sports in 1995, joining the ACC for non-football sports in 2013 (with a five-game annual agreement for football), and joining the ACC for football only in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I hope this article helps you with your blog. Please let me know if you have any feedback or questions. Thank you for using Bing! 😊