The Fighting Irish are primed to be a force on the National College football scene this season. Expectations are high that the side can improve upon a disappointing 6-6 season in 2009. They have a new coach in Brian Kelly, prized recruits, and proven receiving and rushing corps that are expected to lift the spirits of the Fighting Irish and renew the winning ways of their beleaguered football side.
The Irish wide receivers provided consistent scoring output last season. They are led by star player Michael Floyd who will have his work cut out for him after the departure of Golden Tate, who was last season’s top receiver but has since joined the Seattle Seahawks. Floyd’s 44 receptions, 795 receiving yards run, and 9 touchdowns in 2009 make him a deep threat for opposition sides. He will be aided this season by tight-end Kyle Rudolph.
Running back Armando Allen Jr. is set to build upon a solid campaign last year (697 yds, 4.9 ypc). The featured back would have amassed more yards behind a less porous offensive line. This need has been addressed with the addition this season of recruits Conor Hanratty and Jordan Prestwood. Red-shirted freshman Cierre Woods will also be in the mix and will also hopefully live up to the hype.
The coaching has also undergone a major upgrade this season. The Charlie Weis years were very disappointing, marred by a 16-21 record over the last three years. His lack of defensive aptitude showed as the Irish ranked 88th in the country in that department last year. In spite of all his offensive weapons, including QB Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, and Michael Floyd, he failed to deliver the goods when needed. Coach Kelly comes in with a winning attitude and record and is reported to have a better rapport with his players than Weis did.
Nothing less than a BCS berth will be expected from the Fighting Irish in 2010.