Notre Dame Football: 5 Reasons for the Irish to Be Excited About 2012

Dr. SECAnalyst IINovember 26, 2011

Notre Dame Football: 5 Reasons for the Irish to Be Excited About 2012

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    The emergence of Cierre Wood in the rushing game is going to go a long way in the success of the Fighting Irish. Wood has 1,176 total yards this season and nine touchdowns.

    The 6’0'' tall and 215-pound running back has rushed for 87 or more yards in eight of the Irish's 11 games.

    The emergence of both Wood and quarterback Tommy Rees gives the Irish the needed balance on offense to make them one of the nation’s best in 2012.

    The Irish will have a young offensive line, but the best way to counteract the young line is a balanced offense. 

Year No. 3 Under Brian Kelly

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    Brian Kelly will be in his third season as head coach of Notre Dame. Great coaches tend to turn the corner in their third season. His first season at Central Michigan the Chippewa’s were 4-7 but improved to 9-4 in season three. At Cincinnati the Bearcats were 10-3 in his first season but 12-0 in season three under Kelly. They did lose their bowl game, but Kelly had already left for Notre Dame.

    The Fighting Irish were 8-5 in season one. They are currently 8-3 and one win away from an improved record from last season. Will they take the next step in season three? I believe that it will.

Tommy Rees Is Developing into a Fine Quarterback

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    Brian Kelly came to Notre Dame with a reputation of developing solid quarterbacks. There was a time it seemed that there was not a quarterback to develop. However, Tommy Rees is becoming a solid quarterback.

    Rees has completed 247-of-371 for 2,648 yards and 19 touchdowns. With a month of bowl preparation and a full off season, Rees should take the next step as a quarterback.

    There is a great chance that Irish star receiver Michael Floyd will go pro after this season, but the improvement of Rees will allow him to see his other receivers better. 

Cierra Wood Will Bring Great Balance to the Offense

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    The emergence of Cierre Wood in the rushing game is going to go a long way in the success of the Fighting Irish. Wood has 1,176 total yards this season and nine touchdowns.

    The 6’0'' tall and 215-pound running back has rushed for 87 or more yards in eight of the Irish's 11 games.

    The emergence of both Wood and quarterback Tommy Rees gives the Irish the needed balance on offense to make them one of the nation’s best in 2012.

    The Irish will have a young offensive line, but the best way to counteract the young line is a balanced offense. 

The Fighting Irish Are Learning How to Win

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    One of the hardest things to do when taking over a football team that hasn’t won a lot of games in the last few seasons is teach them how to win. However, the Fighting Irish are learning how to win football games again.

    After starting the season 0-2, the Irish have won eight of their last nine games. They are starting to believe in themselves.

    Tonight’s game against Stanford is not a must-win. However, if Notre Dame can win this game, they will have gone a long way to becoming a top-tier program again. 

Notre Dame Has a Schedule for the Ages

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    Notre Dame always has a tough schedule, and next season will be no different. However, this is a schedule that will prove how good they are.

    Along with their usual Big 10 stretch they have Miami, Stanford, Oklahoma and USC. The NFL draft might hurt those teams, but they will still be worthy opponents. This is the kind of schedule that a team can lose one or two games and still get in the national championship game.

    In a time where most colleges avoid any real schedule, the Irish should be commended for their boldness.