The lingering effects of the
missed targeting hit in the end-zone against Texas keep coming for Notre Dame and Torii Hunter. Hunter, Notre Dame’s most experienced wide receiver will not play in today’s season opener versus Nevada due to the concussion he suffered on a hit the Big 12 officials laughably said shouldn’t have been targeting.
Hunter still addressed the crowd at last night’s pep rally stating the following according to WNDU’s Angelo Di Carlo.
“As you all know, I took a pretty big shot last week,” Hunter said at the pep rally. “I took a pretty good shot last week. He caught me slipping. He didn’t want to see me face-to-face. He caught me slipping. I’ll be back. I’m working on it. i’m working on coming back. Just like this team, we got knocked down last week but we are glad to be back in front of the greatest fan base in the United States.”
“We are excited to be back at home and play in front of our home fans and whoop some butt [Saturday] and take some names.”
It’s not surprising that Hunter will be out on Saturday. The concussion occurred just six days ago with Notre Dame playing on Sunday and the Irish are a 28 point favorite at home even with Hunter listed as doubtful all week. Notre Dame has what figures to be a knock down, drag out fight next weekend with Michigan State and resting Hunter, even if he had been medically cleared would have been the prudent and responsible thing to do.
With Hunter officially our, junior Corey Holmes will likely get the start. Brian Kelly didn’t say who would start at the X position earlier this week if Hunter couldn’t go, but when he inserted freshman Kevin Stepherson, the frosh speedster with great hands was clearly not ready. At one point, sophomore wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown – himself making his first career start – ran up to Stepherson and basically hit him to get him lined up properly.
Stepherson will still likely play some but Holmes, a junior slot wide receiver, has experience at the X position and should be a capable replacement this weekend. Next weekend? Well, let’s just hope Hunter is ready to go a week from today when the Spartans come to town.
Avery Sebastian also suffered a concussion against Texas and missed the final, deciding play of the game; but the 6th year senior will suit up today. Sebastian will be doing so in a reserve role this week, however, with freshman Devin Studstill taking over at free safety.