Preview 2019: Notre Dame. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Notre Dame. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Notre Dame

Preview 2019: Notre Dame. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Schedule Analysis
– Notre Dame Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2018 Record: 12-1 overall
Head Coach: Brian Kelly, 10th year, 81-35

CFN Preview 2019: All The Team Previews

5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NOTRE DAME OFFENSE

The offense exploded like it was supposed to under offensive coordinator Chip Long, but it took a while to get there. Everything picked up and rocked once RB Dexter Williams was off an early suspension and QB Ian Book took over the starting gig full-time. Book kept the attack moving, Williams hit the home runs, and for the second year in a row and fourth time in five years, the Irish scored over 400 points. But …

Dexter Williams is done. So who’s next to take over and be the next Williams or Josh Adams in the Long offense? 6-1, 220-pound junior Jafar Armstrong will get the first look after finishing third on the team with 383 yards and seven scores, but the 227-pound Tony Jones can produce, too, finishing second on the team with 392 yards. A former wide receiver, Armstrong can bring the burst, but Jones is more of a pounder.

With Brandon Wimbush transferring to UCF, it’s all Ian Book now … sort of. He’s the unquestioned starting quarterback after completing 68% of his throws for 2,628 yards and 19 scores with seven picks.

Book can come through with his legs as well as his arm, but 6-5, 225-pound sophomore Phil Jurkovec has the next-level tools and talent to push the ball down the field a bit more. Brian Kelly isn’t afraid to change quarterbacks, but Book would have to collapse to lose his job. Even so, Jurkovec will see a little time.

– Two of the top four receivers are gone, but the cupboard is hardly bare. 6-4 senior Chase Claypool has No. 1 target ability after finishing second on the team behind Miles Boykin with 50 grabs for 639 yards and four scores. He’ll work on the outside, and 5-10 senior Chris Finke is back on the inside after making 49 grabs for 571 yards.

There’s good overall size and a few good young options to work into the receiving rotation, but losing TE Alize Mack hurts. 6-6, 255-pound junior Cole Kmet is a talent – coming up with 15 grabs behind Mack – and junior Brock Wright is another big target.

– The recruiting class went heavy on big-time talent for the offensive line, but the front five is more than good enough for the moment with four starters back. 6-6, 319-pound senior Tommy Kraemer is a next-level guard who’ll work on the right side, and 6-6, 305-pound left tackle Liam Eichenberg will play on Sundays when he’s done in South Bend.

325-pound junior Aaron Banks is back at left guard, and 6-5, 298-pound Robert Hainsey returns at right tackle, but San Mustipher is done at center. It’ll be a battle for backup jobs and the spot in the middle when the freshman class gets a full fall camp, but sophomore tackle Jarrett Patterson has the inside track.

NEXT: What You Need To Know About the Defense, Top Players, Keys to the Season, What Will Happen

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