The Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the 2020 season, their first in the Atlantic Coast Conference, ranked second in the ACC Predicted Order of Finish, while receiving two first-place votes. Senior offensive lineman Aaron Banks and senior linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah were named to the Preseason All-Conference team.
In addition, graduate student quarterback Ian Book received a vote in the predicted ACC Player of the Year poll.
Second only to Clemson, the top-ranked team in the nation (AP and Coaches), the Irish come off a 2019 season in which Notre Dame went 11-2, marking the third-consecutive season with 10 or more wins. Ranked No. 10 in both major preseason polls, the Irish have been ranked in the top 25 for 44 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak for the Irish since the 1994 season. Notre Dame is 23-7 (.767) against ACC opponents since 2014, and on average, schedules five ACC opponents per season when playing as an independent.
Banks, who has already been named to the 2020 Outland Trophy Watch List, started each game of 2019 at guard as part of an offensive line that was named to the 2019 Joe Moore Award Midseason Watch List. As a group in 2019, the line helped the Irish rank 13th nationally in scoring offense and 11th in sacks allowed.
Banks saw action in all games played in 2018 and 2019, starting 19 of the 26. He allowed just two sacks on 844 total snaps in 2019, and had his top PFF grade of the season in the Camping World Bowl victory over Iowa State (81.9 overall, 86.8 pass block).
Tying for a team-high 80 tackles in 2019, Owusu-Koramoah started all 13 games this past season, contributing a team-high 13.5 tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks, four pass break-ups, three QB hurries, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Three sacks came during the 2019 Camping World Bowl victory over Iowa State, earning him a spot on the ESPN All-Bowl Team, and he reached the nine-tackle mark three times during the season: at Louisville, at Stanford and vs. Iowa State.
Owusu-Koramoah was also named to the Bednarik, Butkus and Nagurski Award watch lists earlier this preseason.
The Irish are set to open the 2020 season on September 12, when they play host to Duke at Notre Dame Stadium.
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