ESPN’s Bill Connelly has some questions about Notre Dame’s offense in 2023.

Specifically: Can the Fighting Irish create more big plays than they did a year ago?

Last season, Notre Dame averaged 5.92 yards per play, which ranked a solid 45th nationally. But there was a lack of explosive plays, especially when targeting anyone besides NFL-bound tight end Michael Mayer. The Irish ranked No. 69 nationally in plays of 30 yards or more. They were tied for 118th in plays of 40 yards per more, generating just 6 such plays all season.

Here’s an excerpt of analysis from Connelly on Notre Dame’s offensive outlook for this season:

New offensive coordinator Gerad Parker can probably get away with leaning on power looks quite a bit this year, too. But he will be crafting a new passing game around former Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, slot receivers Jayden Thomas and Chris Tyree (a converted running back) and whichever blue-chip wideouts — junior Deion Colzie? Sophomore Tobias Merriweather? Freshman Braylon James? — manages to live up to the hype.

The addition of Hartman should certainly help Notre Dame generate more big plays. Hartman’s Wake Forest offense routinely took advantage of the deep passing game. Hartman finished 2nd in the ACC last season at 8.6 yards per attempt.

Notre Dame will need to figure out its receiver situation. With Mayer gone, there’s a large gap in Notre Dame’s returning production. Lorenzo Styles and Kaleb Smith have both exited the program this offseason as well.

In the running game, Notre Dame’s offensive line is expected to be a strength once again. A once-crowded running back room is now expected to feature Audric Estime as its primary option. He rushed for 920 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago.