Notre Dame’s Biggest Strength: Possibly Defensive Front 7

In last season’s wins over Utah, Army and USC, the Notre Dame defense allowed an average of just 233.3 yards per game. In the first nine games of the season, the Fighting Irish allowed 393.1 yards per game. After surrendering 20+ points in six of the first nine contests in 2010, the Irish rebounded from their 4-5 start to go 4-0 down the stretch (including the Sun Bowl win over Miami). In that undefeated stretch, they averaged less than 10 ppg against.

The growth and development of the defense is one reason many college football pundits are very high on the Irish this season; and it starts with their fearsome front seven.

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Best Defensive End in College Football? Notre Dame, Michigan Have Candidates

Notre Dame senior defensive end tandem of Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ethan Johnson were named preseason candidates for the 2011 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Lewis-Moore and Johnson are one of three sets of teammates to appear on the list of 35 players. The other two are North Carolina’s Quinton Coples and Donte Paige-Moss; and USC’s Wes Horton and Nick Perry.

University of Michigan football senior defensive end Ryan Van Bergen was also named to the list; which honors the nation’s top defensive end.

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Notre Dame Spring Blue/Gold Game Filled with Storylines

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The University of Notre Dame football team has a big weekend ahead with the 82nd-Annual Blue-Gold Game on Saturday at 2 p.m ET. The spring college football intra-squad game will be broadcast live nationally on Versus and available via live video stream at und.com.

And this year’s spring scrimmage is extremely intriguing as it poses a ton of questions; let’s get to it.

By Paul M. Banks

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