2015 was supposed to be Notre Dame’s best shot at a national championship since their last big one in 1988 in the days of Lou Holtz. 1988 was a long time ago for the Fighting Irish and their fans.
Returning this season, they have an excellent Offensive Line led by outstanding Left Tackle Ronnie Stanley. The Wide Receivers are deep, talented and fast especially Will Fuller. But, Amir Carlisle, Chris Brown, Corey Robinson and Torii Hunter Jr are all excellent receivers as well.
At Running Back, Tarean Folston ran for around 900 yards in 2014 and returned in 2015. Tight End lost Ben Koyack, but Durham Smythe returned and what is Notre Dame without talented Tight Ends?
Best yet, Malik Zaire was back at Quarterback and looked like an up and coming star.
The defense was almost as good in expectations led by All American Linebacker Jaylon Smith.
This Fighting Irish team was deep and it was talented. Notre Dame is often over hyped and overrated going into the season, but this one could be the real deal.
In their first game, the Irish came out and looked really impressive and they blew out the Texas Longhorns. Granted, this was not the Texas Longhorns of the Vince Young, and Colt McCoy years. They are a really young and struggling team. But, the Irish jumped on them early and often.
Tarean Folston was injured against Texas and lost for the season. No big deal, maybe, they had some other Running Backs that could step up and take the slack. It’s never a good thing to lose top talent and it’s especially hard on the player, but it was not the end of the year for them.
Malik Zaire was incredible against Texas hitting 19 out of 22 passes for 313 yards and 3
Against Virginia, in game two, he was not doing quite as well. It was on the road, and maybe the Virginia defense was a bit better than the young Texas defense.
Zaire had completed only 7 passes out of 18 attempts for 115 yards and a Touchdown. However, to make up for his lack of passing success, Zaire had run for 87 yards on 10 carries.
Tragically, in the Virginia game Malik Zaire’s, and maybe Notre Dame’s, season took a huge hit with a serious injury to the star Quarterback’s right ankle.
Malik Zaire is out for the season.
Luckily for the Irish, back up Quarterback DeShone Kizer came in and played well. . He completed 8 passes in 12 attempts for 92 yards and 2 Touchdowns.
Kizer’s best moment came with 12 seconds left on the clock when he hooked up with star Wide Receiver Will Fuller on a 39 yard Touchdown pass that will place Kizer forever in Notre Dame football lore.
DeShone Kizer is a sophomore and backed up by freshman Brandon Wimbush.
A lot of things could happen at this point. But, one possibility is that Kizer could turn out to be this year’s JT Barrett and lead the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the national championship.
Stranger things have happened. But, if history were to really repeat itself as people love to talk about so often, Brandon Wimbush had better be ready to go like Cardale Jones was in 2014.
Ohio State won last year’s national championship with their 3rd string Quarterback in Cardale Jones.
Could DeShone Kizer be this year’s JT Barrett? Or, could Brandon Wimbush be this year’s Cardale Jones?
Tune in and find out and Notre Dame will be challenged by the talented Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this next week.