Buy Or Sell: The Notre Dame Football Defense Will Allow Fewer Than 20 Points Per Game For The Third Straight Season
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Buy Or Sell: Notre Dame Will Allow Fewer Than 20 Points Per Game

Notre Dame’s defense under Clark Lea has been a consistent suppressor of its opponents. In 26 games since the start of 2018, the Irish have allowed 18.1 points per game and allowed fewer than 30 points 24 times. Only Clemson and Georgia can boast more such games.

Unsurprisingly, the Irish have had seven defensive players selected in the last two NFL Drafts. Now comes the task of replacing many of them. Four starters from last year’s defense were drafted. Two more signed undrafted free agent deals, as did two major rotation players. Lea is faced with a number of important personnel questions to answer.

Secondary is among them, with four important contributors gone and a host of new or inexperienced faces. Buck linebacker, a spot normally occupied by one of the defense’s best playmakers, is a battle between some former highly touted recruits who have been hampered by injury.

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Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea
Notre Dame has allowed 18.1 points per game in two seasons under defensive coordinator Clark Lea. (Photo by Corey Bodden)

At the same time, Notre Dame has another deep defensive line group, two reliable linebackers — including potential early round draft pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — and a budding star in safety Kyle Hamilton. The starter kit for another standout unit is hardly barren.

Can Notre Dame allow fewer than 20 points per game for the third straight year, a feat it has not accomplished in more than 30 years? BlueandGold.com’s Patrick Engel and Lou Somogyi discuss.

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SELL: By Patrick Engel

The only “shutdown defense” in college football today is one that hasn’t faced an explosive offense. Defenses act more like tea strainers than boa constrictors in those games. And if one team faces a few of those in a season, it’s hard to post shutdown defense-type numbers over 13 games.

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