At times over the last 6-7 years, we’ve had various players of the week columns here. There was the Shamrock Stickers at one point. Then we did the “Four Horsemen of the Week.” None of those names were necessarily great, but I do like the concept. So we’re bringing the idea back with a very generic name for now. The point is simple, though. Identify who the players who excelled for Notre Dame that week.
Alohi Gilman (S)
Alohi Gilman’s forced fumble is the kind of play that you expect your senior captain to make. At a time when Notre Dame needed the defense to make a play, he made it. In an ideal world, Notre Dame wouldn’t have fumbled it right back the next play, but they eventually ended up getting the ball back again anyway.
Gilman led Notre Dame with ten tackles on the night and added a TFL.
Tony Jones Jr (RB)
With Jafar Armstrong injured early, Tony Jones Jr was Notre Dame’s top back all night. He responded with his second career 100-yard game with 112 yards on 15 carries. Sure, a faster back probably takes a couple of those 15 carries the distance, but that isn’t the kind of back Jones is. He’s a plodder. And on Monday night, he plodded his way to over 100 yards.
Once Louisville adjusted its defense, Jones became less effective since there was nowhere to run, but if the offensive line is opening holes for him, he will hit them and will usually fall forward. He’s not going to have 90 yarders like Dexter Williams, but he’s going to be good for 5+ yards a carry like he was Monday night.
Chase Claypool (WR)
Get Chase Claypool the ball more. That should be Notre Dame’s game plan next week. Claypool could have had a monster game if he had more passes thrown his way. What was most encouraging of his five-catch, 94-yard performance was what he did with the ball in his hands after the catch. Claypool looked smooth running all over the field. We didn’t see him get a chance to catch any back-shoulder or 50/50 balls because he wasn’t given any opportunities to do so. That is something Notre Dame needs to incorporate moving forward.
Missed the Cut:
- Kyle Hamilton (S) – the freshmen phenom showed why everyone has been raving about him all summer. He good. It’s only a matter of time until he gets his hands on an interception or fumble recovery.
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB) – He was flying all over the field Monday night. The only problem was, sometimes he was flying around to the wrong spot. He will get better with more experience, but for a little while, Notre Dame will happily live with the bad for the good. He led Notre Dame with 2 TFL along with Drew White.
- Tommy Tremble (TE) – As a receiver, he was a player of the game. As a blocker, he was a liability. We knew this would be the case, though. The Notre Dame staff needs to be a better job of not relying on Tremble as much as a blocker until Cole Kmet is back.
- Jay Bramblett (P) – If it wasn’t for the one shank, I might have included him in the players of the week. The freshman punter was impressive considering there were concerns about him coming into the game. In an ideal world, he won’t get much more practice before Georgia (since that would mean the offense is scoring points).