A rugged, stingy, game-changing defense carried Notre Dame to the national championship game a year ago. There was no shortage of opining that this year's version could be as good or better. After surrendering 40-plus points for the second time in three games, though, it is clear this year is not last year. Not yet, anyway, with Irish coach Brian Kelly conceding on Sunday that there is work to do but the talent on hand to perform at a higher level.
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