Five Questions: Maryland

Game 10 places Brian Kelly's team on the road for a home game in FedEx Field against Maryland. Coming off a road win over Wake Forest and knowing the Terps have been struggling, Notre Dame nonetheless have five questions/issues for this week's game.

In only the second meeting between Notre Dame and Maryland, Brian Kelly takes his team on the road for the program's annual neutral-site game, this time at FedEx Stadium.

Randy Edsall and his team enter the contest struggling on and off the field, with the Irish primed to earn their seventh victory of the season.

On paper this looks like a Notre Dame blowout. However, the way things have gone for the Irish this season you never want to look to far ahead.

Here are our five questions/points of interest for Irish fans to consider before Saturday nights kick-off.

Question One: Will Brian Kelly lose his first game in November as Irish head coach?

Kelly and his teams have always played well in November with his last loss as a head coach coming against West Virginia when he was the head coach at Cincinnati in 2007. The Irish should blow Maryland away, however, stranger things have happened this season and the Irish will need to be ready for another hard fought battle.

Question Two: Can Notre Dame continue its hot streak in the red zone?

One of the biggest issues seen early this season was the poor performance of the offense when in the red zone. Over the last four games, Notre Dame has improved greatly, scoring 15 touchdowns in 17 red zone chances (88%). This needs to continue for the Irish offense to grow with big games still left on the schedule.

Question Three: Center Mike Golic Jr. earns the start against Maryland. Will the Irish offense have any struggles with the loss of Braxston Cave and his 22 career starts?

Brian Kelly had nothing but praise for Golic regarding his ability to snap the football. Now it is time for Golic to show the other areas he's improved upon and show he's ready to be the Irish starting center for the rest of the season.

Question Four: Has Notre Dame suffered too many injuries to be at full strength?

Brian Kelly has always proven his "Next Man In" policies work when a team needs it most. Not only is Mike Golic Jr. getting a start, so is Robby Toma at the slot. For Toma this will be his third career start so he should be ready, however, the Irish also continue to put young players at other key positions. This will be another good test of how strong the Irish bench is becoming.

Question Five: After a slow start in two of their last three games, can Notre Dame get off to a fast start?

Do not be surprised if the Irish get off to a fast start against Maryland. The Terps have given up a lot of points in the first half this season (158) and are prime for a Notre Dame offense to add to this total.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories