Notre Dame 4 Horsemen of the Week: Michigan State ’16

Photo: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another tough job selecting the 4 Horsemen of the Week following another disappointing loss for Notre Dame.  The Irish offense once again carried the way as the defense surrendered 500 yards yet again.  Despite a furious comeback attempt, however, the offense couldn’t overcome the defense’s letdown or their own early mistakes to pull this one out.

Here are the four players who stood out the most in Notre Dame’s 36-28 loss to Michigan State.

4. Jerry Tillery – Might sound crazy to have a defensive linemen on the list after Michigan State ran for 260 yards, but Tillery was one of the few defenders who came to play from the get go on Saturday night.  Tillery played perhaps his best game in his young career and displayed strength we haven’t seen out of him previously.  Tillery picked up two tackles for loss and showed the kind of player that he can be for Notre Dame moving forward.  Now that he played at that level against a quality opponent the next step in his development will be to play like that week in and week out.

Sadly, Tillery is the member of the defense in this week’s 4 Horsemen and for the entire season just the third overall.

3. Torii Hunter Jr – In his first game back from the concussion suffered against Texas, Hunter had a pretty good game for the Irish and helped swing some momentum in Notre Dame’s favor with his 47 yard catch to set up Notre Dame’s second touchdown of the game.  He ended the game with 5 catches for 95 yards tying his career high in catches and setting his new career high for yards in a game. Hunter is starting to look more and more like a #1 wide receiver for the Irish.  Hunter makes his debut on the 4 Horsemen of the Week this week but if he keeps playing like he did on Saturday, he will become a regular here.

2. Equanimeous St. Brown – Brown came up shy of 100 yards again, but he is getting close to it each week. He finished up with 4 catches for 83 yards and his third touchdown of the season.  Brown also got behind the Michigan State defense in the 4th quarter and drew a crucial pass interference penalty to set up a Notre Dame score.  Brown’s 3rd quarter touchdown grab was a thing of beauty as well with the sophomore getting his foot just inside the line to get Notre Dame back on the board when the Irish were struggling.  The grab kept a Notre Dame drive alive and gave Notre Dame new life.   This is ESB’s

1. Deshone Kizer – One of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing even, Deshone Kizer racked up a career high 344 yards once Brian Kelly finally abandoned the run and let Kizer air it out.  The junior QB had an up and down first half and there were a few throws I’m sure he wished he could have back, but he still accounted for all four of Notre Dame’s touchdowns – 2 on the ground, 2 in the air.  Kizer has been on the 4 Horsemen of the week each week this season and this is the second time in three games he was 1st on the list.

Some other players cosnidered were Tyler Newsome for some big punts in the second half and Devin Studstill for his first half interception.

2016 Notre Dame 4 Horsemen of the Week Standings

Player1st2nd3rd4thTotal Points
Deshone Kizer2201150
Equanimeous St. Brown1201110
Dexter Williams100150
Nyles Morgan002040
CJ Sanders002040
James Onwualu100040
Josh Adams010030
Torii Hunter001020
Jerry Tillery000110
Shaun Crawford000110


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  1. I read a lot of people’s opinions on where Notre Dame’s talent ranks compared to the elite national title contenders. As a former teacher if I was grading I would give Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State -A’s. I would give Notre Dame a B. I would give schools like Michigan State and Stanford a b-. However, with great coaching the b and b- can beat or play an A right down to the wire. Matter of fact I bet you could take Stanford right now on a neutral field and they could take Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Houston right down to the wire. Why – Shaw.

  2. Frank,

    I’m glad you mentioned Tillery here. He was a beast out there all night. Even the plays he wasn’t involved in, he was blowing up the o-line and flying right past his man a lot of the time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an o-lineman actually get straight pancaked in a one on one where he doesn’t trip and Tillery did this to one of them Saturday night. I really hope something changed in him. Maybe he got more aggressive or something as I’ve never really seen him perform like that before. We will need him to keep this up the rest of his ND career!!!

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