The good news for Notre Dame's defense this year is that they have 9 starters returning. Or is that bad news? Notre Dame was just not very good on defense last year. They ranked in the bottom half of the country in all major defensive categories and gave up more yardage than 3-9 Colorado State, 2-10 Maryland and 1-11 Miami (Ohio#. Notre Dame made the long awaited change this off-season from Charlie Weiss to Brian Kelly. Kelly went 34-6 at Cincinnati #17-4 in the Big East) and has led his teams to 5 consecutive bowl appearances. Notre Dame has a tough but manageable schedule with the toughest match-ups looking to be against Boston College, Pitt, Utah and USC (they also start off with 3 Big Ten games and then Stanford that will really determine how good Notre Dame can be this year#. An interesting note is that Notre Dame is only playing 3 true road games #2 games are at "neutral locations").
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