2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

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Page 147 of 163

146 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY LOU SOMOGYI T he first five years of the Brian Kelly era (2010-14) had their share of ebbs and flows. It was highlighted by the 12-1 finish in 2012, with the loss coming to Alabama (42-14) in the BCS National Championship Game. Overall, Notre Dame was 45-20 (.692) during that stretch. The second five-year stretch saw overall improvement to 47-17 (.734) despite a 4-8 meltdown in 2016. Two years later, though, the Fighting Irish were in championship contention again by earn- ing a berth into the four-team College Football Playoff. Playing a role in the recent 33-6 run was the 24-man 2015 recruiting class that was ranked at the time No. 11 by Rivals, and No. 13 by 247Sports and ESPN. Five-Year Record Overall: 47-17 ACC: 21-6 (including 2018 CFP loss to Clemson) Bowl Games: 2-2 • Top-15 Finishes: 4 Versus USC: 4-1 • Versus Stanford: 2-3 • Versus Navy: 4-1 Year-By-Year Record 2015: 10-3, Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State (L, 44-28). Final Rankings: AP No. 11, Coaches No. 12 2016: 4-8. Final Rankings: AP unranked, Coaches unranked 2017: 10-3, Citrus Bowl vs. LSU (W, 21-17). Final Rankings: AP No. 11, Coaches No. 11 2018: 12-1, College Football Playoff semifinal at Cotton Bowl vs. Clemson (L, 30-3). Final Rankings: AP No. 5, Coaches No. 5 2019: 11-2, Camping World Bowl vs. Iowa State (W, 33-9). Final Rankings: AP No. 12, Coaches No. 11 High Impact, Low Numbers The 2015 recruiting class provided numerous flashy performances, but needed more depth to balance the group Defensive lineman Jerry Tillery (99) and linebacker Te'von Coney (4) were prime figures on the teams that finished 22-4 in their final two seasons. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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