Notre Dame had CB Terrail Lambert and OG Chris Stewart back at practice on Tuesday, but were still without the services of ILB Brian Smith and WR Michael Floyd. Lambert has been out since getting injured in practice the Thursday of the Navy week while Stewart’s been out since getting injured while running onto the field against Pitt.
In Lambert’s absence, freshman Robert Blanton and sophomore Gary Gray saw most of the playing time and played well. Blanton seems to have a knack for making some big plays, but has also been inconsistent with his tackling. Gray meanwhile nearly took a pitch from Toryan Smith off a fumble recovery into the end zone. Lambert, a fifth year senior had to sit out the past two games including Senior Day this past weekend.
Stewart has missed the last four games and would be a addition to the offensive line this weekend considering the depth and talent USC brings on their defensive front.
Unfortunately both Floyd and Smith will be out again. With Smith out, junior Toryan Smith has started to emerge and should see more time again this weekend. Against Syracuse David Grimes recorded a career high 83 receiving yards, but no other Irish wide receiver was able to help Grimes fill the void left from Floyd’s adsence.