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OSU in the Fiesta Bowl: Get to know the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
OSU in the Fiesta Bowl: Get to know the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

OSU in the Fiesta Bowl: Get to know the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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Notre Dame Coaches Football (copy)

Then-Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman watches during warmups before a Nov. 6 game against Navy in South Bend, Ind. Freeman was hired last week to replace Brian Kelly as head coach and will make his debut in the Fiesta Bowl New Year’s Day against Oklahoma State.

Dec. 5, 2021 video. The Cowboys will face Notre Dame football for the first time. Video courtesy/Playstation Fiesta Bowl

Season record: 11-1

Coach: Marcus Freeman, head coaching debut (promoted from defensive coordinator on Dec. 3 in place of Brian Kelly)

All-time series vs. OSU: First meeting

Best win: The fifth-ranked Fighting Irish earned a 28-point win over a Wisconsin team that finished 8-4 in a 41-13 victory on Sept. 25 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Notre Dame’s 31 fourth-quarter points against the Badgers set a modern program record and tied its most in a single quarter since 2019.

Worst loss: Notre Dame’s only loss came in a 24-13 home defeat to playoff-bound Cincinnati on Oct. 2. Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and powered Cincinnati in a 17-point second quarter that sank the Fighting Irish in the Week 5 defeat that likely kept Notre Dame from the College Football Playoff.

Top players

Safety Kyle Hamilton

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive back has 34 total tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups in seven games and finished as a finalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player. Hamilton has been sidelined by a knee injury since Oct. 23 and The Athletic’s Pete Sampson reported this week that Hamilton was “trending toward playing” if the Fighting Irish reached the College Football Playoff. His status for the Fiesta Bowl is unclear.

QB Jack Coan

Coan was a two-year starter at Wisconsin before heading to South Bend as a graduate transfer in 2021. The 6-foot-3 passer recorded 2,641 passing yards and threw 20 touchdowns to five interceptions during the regular season.

RB Kyren Williams

Williams leads Notre Dame with 1,002 rushing yards on 204 carries and ran in 14 touchdowns over 12 games this fall while averaging 11.6 yards per punt return. Backup running backs Chris Tyree and Logan Diggs have combined for just 404 yards across 99 carries behind the third-year rusher.

Notre Dame game-by-game

Sept. 5;at Florida State;W,41-38 OT

Sept. 11;Toledo;W,32-29

Sept. 18;Purdue;W,27-13

Sept. 25;Wisconsin;W,41-13

Oct. 2;Cincinnati;L,24-13

Oct. 9;at Virginia Tech;W,32-29

Oct. 23;USC;W,31-16

Oct. 30;North Carolina;W,44-34

Nov. 6;Navy;W,34-6

Nov. 13;at Virginia;W,28-3

Nov. 20;Georgia Tech;W,55-0

Nov. 27;at Stanford;W,45-14

— Eli Lederman, Tulsa World


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OSU Sports Writer

I cover Oklahoma State athletics for the Tulsa World. I have previously worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Emporia Gazette in Kansas and the Columbia Missourian. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2020 and am a native of Mamaroneck, NY.

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