Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/19/15
After making a trip to the BCS national championship game in 2012, it is safe to say a 9-4 season was a disappointment for Notre Dame football fans in 2013. If the Irish want to make a run to the college football playoffs this season, they are going to need to make some improvements. Last season turnovers crippled the Irish offense. In their four losses the Irish had 10 turnovers, while their opponents only had three. This is something that was not typical of the 2012 Irish team that went 12-1 and made an appearance in the national championship game. That Irish team only committed 15 turnovers all season. A big reason for this increase in turnovers was the loss of starting quarterback Everett Golson for academic reasons. Without Golson under center, his replacement Tommy Rees threw 13 interceptions. Tommy Rees threw 13 interceptions last season as the Irish starting quarterback. This is more than twice as many as the six Golson threw in 2012. The good news for the Irish is that Golson is back practicing with the team and will be under center in 2014. If he can play with the efficiency that he did in 2012, the Irish will be a much more successful football team this season. Another major weakness for the Irish last season was their rush defense. The Irish gave up an average of 168 yards per game on the ground. This ranked them 70th in the country among rush defenses. In 2012 the Irish defense only gave up an average of 105.7 rush yards per game. This drastic difference was one of the reasons the Irish couldn’t live up to their 2012 success. If new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder can bring the success he had at UGA to Notre Dame look for this rush defense to improve this season. Manti Te’o was one of the leaders on the 2012 Notre Dame defense. The Irish scoring defense was a weak point for the team last season. They gave up an average of 22.4 points a game compared to the 12.8 average they gave up in 2012. This was one the main reasons they lost four games last season as they gave up an average of 32.8 points a game in their losses. If VanGorder can establish his previous defensive success, the Irish will be much stronger on the defensive side of the football this season. The Irish have the talent to make a run to the college football playoffs in 2014, but for them to make that a reality they will need to improve on being efficient with the ball, rush defense and their scoring defense. With Everett Golson coming back, Brian VanGorder being named defensive coordinator and a top 10 recruiting class coming in they can make these improvements in 2014.
PLAYERS: Everett Golson
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers


Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

Stephen A. Smith blasts Brady for missing White House visit

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Roger Goodell calls both Los Angeles stadium plans 'viable'

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

5 most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

Ovechkin jokes about taking a chair from Nassau Coliseum

Uniform colors have already been picked for Vegas NHL team

Fighting Irish News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

5 boring NFL prime time matchups

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.