Irish set for offensive breakthrough

Running back George Atkinson III has the potential to put up big numbers for Notre Dame in 2013. Matt Cashore/US Presswire

There seems to be a good amount of confidence that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program's turnaround is not a one-year phenomenon, as the loss of eight starters from last year's 12-1 club did not prevent the Irish from ranking 10th in the latest edition of Mark Schlabach's preseason top 25.

The return of several talented defensive players from a unit that was often dominant last season clearly has a lot to do with heightened expectations, as well it should, but there are multiple metric and tape review signs indicating that the Fighting Irish offense could be ready to carry the load this season. Further, it has the potential to develop into one of the top offenses in the country.