The Irish opened their 2013 season with a quality 28-6 win versus Temple. As per usual in a season opener the Irish had some miscues but showed flashes of being an explosive offense as well as a defense that will be stout again. Most members of the Irish looked good including the talented group of freshman that saw their first action but the following players stood above the rest in the victory over the Owls and are the recipients of the inaugural Shamrock Stickers for 2013:
Tommy Rees: Notre Dame’s senior signal-caller answered his critics in his season debut exploiting the Irish’s athletic advantage by spreading the ball between playmakers to the tune of 346 yards and three touchdowns. Rees appeared to have vastly improved his arm strength and was decently accurate despite missing some easy throws. Rees also made excellent decisions at the line of scrimmage making appropriate audibles that allowed for multiple big gains.
T.J. Jones: Another senior that dominated versus Navy was captain T.J. Jones. Jones looked much faster in the open field taking multiple short throws and turning them into big gains. Jones had six receptions for 138 yards and showed potential to improve the Irish’s dreadful punt return game. Jones also was an excellent security blanket for Rees, especially after DaVaris Daniels went down with a groin injury.
Prince Shembo: Irish pass rushing sensation Prince Shembo had yet another solid outing in the 2013 opener. Shembo was solid a setting the edge and preventing any game-breaking runs from the Temple running backs. Shembo totalled four tackles and five quarterback hurries that drastically threw off the timing of Temple quarterback Connor Reilly. The relentless pressure of Shembo was a thorn in the side of Temple’s pass heavy attack as he made it very difficult for routes to develop.
DaVaris Daniels: Notre Dame’s big play threat DaVaris Daniels showed why he and Jones will be a lethal combination this season in the opener versus Temple. Daniels easily exploited the man-to-man coverage of Temple’s top corner Anthony Robey whenever he was targeted. Daniels tallied three receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns in limited action as a groin injury forced him out of the game early on.