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Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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42 PRESEASON 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED GAME PREVIEW: OHIO STATE far off with 4,435 yards and 44 scores. What aided in both of their efforts was no shortage of star power sur- rounding them. Stroud, now in his third year with the program, might be the fa- vorite because his supporting cast could be even better than Young's this fall. Running back TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 1,248 yards and 15 touch- downs with 312 receiving yards and 4 more scores as a true freshman. Wide receiver Jaxon-Smith Njigba caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and 9 touch- downs as a sophomore. That duo plus Stroud might make up the most lethal offensive trio in the country. Notre Dame has an array of veteran, athletic, savvy defenders. But it'll still be much to ask of defensive coordinator Al Golden's unit to shut down what was the No. 1 offense in college football last year (561.2 yards per game) and could be even better, somehow, a year later. Golden said Notre Dame has the tal- ent. It has the depth. It just needs the execution. Whether or not it comes on the road in week one against the best offensive team in the sport remains to be determined. "The thing I'm most excited about is it's a group that wants to be empowered and wants to do it on the field," Golden said. "Great things can happen when you have that kind of group." THE BRIGHT LIGHTS Golden's group has always been mo- tivated. In July, the Notre Dame football veri- fied Twitter account tweeted some pho- tos of offseason workouts. In one of them, Irish players pushed a weighted sled with a photo of Stroud taped to the front of it. Senior defensive end Isaiah Foskey, he of 11 sacks a season ago, did the heavy lifting. Some student-athletes are outwardly motivated like that. Some aren't. Place Stroud in that camp. He was asked about the ordeal during Big Ten Media Days in late July. He didn't give Notre Junior wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and 9 touchdowns last year, with 347 of those yards and 3 of the scores coming in a Rose Bowl win against Utah. PHOTO COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETICS 2022 NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Sept. 3 at Ohio State (ABC) 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 Marshall (NBC) 2:30 p.m. Sept. 17 California (NBC) 2:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at North Carolina TBD Oct. 8 vs. BYU* (NBC) 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 Stanford (NBC) 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 UNLV (Peacock) 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Syracuse TBD Nov. 5 Clemson (NBC) 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 vs. Navy^ (ABC/ESPN) 12 p.m. Nov. 19 Boston College (NBC) 2:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at USC TBD * at Las Vegas; ^ at Baltimore 2022 OHIO STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Sept. 3 Notre Dame (ABC) 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 Arkansas State (BTN) 12 p.m. Sept. 17 Toledo (FOX) 7 p.m. Sept. 24 Wisconsin (ABC) TBA Oct. 1 Rutgers 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Michigan State TBA Oct. 22 Iowa TBA Oct. 29 at Penn State TBA Nov. 5 at Northwestern TBA Nov. 12 Indiana TBA Nov. 19 at Maryland TBA Nov. 26 Michigan (FOX) 12 p.m.

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