Notre Dame Football: Irish To Duel Ducks for Champion Defensive Tackle? – One Foot Down

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team has a desperate need for a defensive tackle, especially now that reserve Elijah Taylor has undergone surgery for a foot injury. Their prospects got a bit brighter Monday when Clemson Tigers transfer Scott Pagano reportedly told the Arkansas Razorbacks and Oklahoma Sooners that he would no longer be taking an official visit to their school.

Pagano moved up his Notre Dame visit three weeks — and the university remains the only one he’s visited officially since announcing his transfer. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Pagano hoped to spend his graduate year closer to his native Hawaii, which means the Oregon Ducks are still very much in play. He takes an official visit there April 21.

Pagano eliminated the Texas Longhorns from contention soon after his Notre Dame visit March 3. The California Golden Bears and Nebraska Cornhuskers also made his final seven, but he never set up official visits for those two schools.

POLL WATCH

Men’s Hockey

The men (23-11-5) have advanced to the Frozen Four and will play Denver on April 8. With wins over top-seeded Minnesota and the Irish’s nemesis, UMass-Lowell, Notre Dame jumped from No. 12 to No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey poll released Monday. There’s a certain logic to this, right? If you’re one of the final four teams — and the only non-No. 1 seed — you should be ranked fourth in the country.

The Pioneers (31-7-4) remained the top ranked team in the country.

Men’s Lacrosse

After handing Ohio State its first loss of the season Saturday, the Irish men have recaptured the No. 1 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse poll for the second time in three weeks. Notre Dame also sits atop the USILA coaches poll and the NCAA RPI rankings, which was released for the first time this season. The RPI is part of the criteria used by the selection committee to determine seedings in the NCAA tournament in May.

The Buckeyes fell from No. 4 to No. 5 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and were slotted seventh in the RPI. The Irish next play Syracuse (6-1) on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. The Orange moved up from No. 6 to No. 4 in this week’s Inside Lacrosse poll and open the RPI rankings at No. 3.

There is a third poll — also released Monday — that denied the Irish the right to brag they were a unanimous No. 1 selection. The USILA coaches poll has Notre Dame at No. 2 behind undefeated Penn State (9-0).

Women’s Lacrosse

Fresh off their 16-7 dismantling of No. 4 Syracuse, the women’s lacrosse team jumped three spots in the IWLCA coaches’ poll from No. 15 to No. 12. The Orange tumbled to 10th.

It’s a similar story in the Inside Lacrosse poll, which was also released Monday. Notre Dame jumped from No. 16 to No. 13, while Syracuse fell from No. 8 to No. 11. The Irish’s next opponent, 9-1 North Carolina, remained No. 2 in both polls.

Women’s Tennis

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association releases its rankings on Tuesday. The women made a big jump — from No. 34 to No. 26 — in last Tuesday’s poll. They subsequently lost to North Carolina State on Friday, but beat Miami-Florida decisively on Sunday.

Men’s Tennis

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association releases its rankings on Tuesday. The men dropped from No. 37 to No. 38 last week and then defeated ACC foe, Virginia Tech, on Friday. Senior Josh Hagar is the university’s top singles player. He’s ranked No. 45. Hagar and fellow senior Eddy Covalschi jumped one spot in the doubles rankings. They are now at No. 11.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

The Notre Dame baseball team (7-15) will host the Chicago State Cougars (6-14) at 6:05 p.m. at Frank Eck Stadium. The first 25 fans receive a free corndog! The Irish dropped three straight to Florida State this past weekend.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

You can meet the 2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team — and help raise funds for the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley — on April 10. Tickets for the silent auction, autograph session and team awards are $40 for adults and $15 for children. More information here.

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