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When was the last time Notre Dame started 0-3?

The Irish are in an unfamiliar place early in the 2022 season.

California v Notre Dame Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After last week’s upset loss to Marshall, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish currently finds itself in a dogfight against the Cal Golden Bears. If they end up losing, that would drop them to 0-3 and would make Marcus Freeman’s start with the program a disaster.

The last time Notre Dame started a season 0-3 was in 2007, the turning point of the Charlie Weis era in South Bend, IN. After losing several starters from the year prior like quarterback Brady Quinn, the Fighting Irish really stumbled out of the gate. They were shredded by Georgia Tech 33-3 to open the season before being torched by Penn State 31-10 and Michigan 38-0.

The Irish ended up finishing the season 3-9, the worst mark in program history.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish dropped its home opener on Saturday, getting clipped by the Marshall Thundering Herd in a 26-21 setback. The upset came one week after their Week 1 loss to Ohio State, dropping them to 0-2 on the year.

The last time Notre Dame started the season 0-2 was in 2011, where they fell to USF 23-20 in the opener before losing at Michigan 35-31 the following week.

The USF game remains one of the most bizarre contests in Notre Dame history, a matchup that featured a calamity of turnovers on the side of the Fighting Irish and lightning delay that interrupted action for hours. It also gave the greater college football world its first glimpse of a fully purple faced Brian Kelly. The Michigan game the following week featured Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson delivering the dagger to the Irish with a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute.

That 2011 Notre Dame team would finish the regular season 8-4 and go on to lose to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.