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Scouting the ACC 2020: Notre Dame

Scouting the ACC 2020: Notre Dame

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COACH: Brian Kelly (71-36 in 10 seasons at Notre Dame, excluding 21 vacated wins; 242-93-2 in 29 seasons overall, excluding those vacated wins)

2019 RECORD: 11-2

2019 BOWL: beat Iowa State 33-9 in Camping World Bowl

RETURNING STARTERS: 7 on offense, 5 on defense

KEY PLAYERS: QB Ian Book, C Jarrett Patterson, OG Tommy Kraemer, OG Aaron Banks, OT Liam Eichenberg, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, S Kyle Hamilton, PK Jonathan Doerer

KEY LOSSES: WR Chase Claypool, TE Cole Kmet, DE Julian Okwara, DE Khalid Kareem, S Alohi Gilman, CB Troy Pride

BRIAN KELLY ON QB IAN BOOK: "His leadership has been outstanding. It was really good last year. It's even better now because he's developed a single-minded focus in terms of what he wants this team to accomplish and what he wants for him — it's a championship or bust. He's not distracted by the noise of the position. He's so much more comfortable with being in the position that he's in. He's going to have a great year."

KELLY ON THE TEAM: "Our mission is clear, is to see them graduate and win a national championship. They're not here for any other reason. It's [about] getting them focused squarely on that without the distractions of everything else that's going on."

KELLY ON TRYING TO WIN A CONFERENCE TITLE THIS YEAR: "It's never been part of our goals because this is the first time for us. So we didn't have a column on the goal chart. We'd have to go back and redo it. Our players are excited, though, quite honestly, that they get a chance to play for … an ACC championship. … They know that in a large degree, obviously, that runs through Clemson, South Carolina. But there are great challenges on our schedule."

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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