Notre Dame lost an old fashioned defensive slugfest last night to the Georgia Bulldogs. The Irish’s highly touted offensive line got dominated by the Georgia front seven while Notre Dame’s much maligned defensive line shined. As such, our weekly Four Horsemen post here is pretty light on offensive players but is full of some defenders who played well enough for Notre Dame to win this game.
1. Drue Tranquill
That was one of the best games of football we’ve seen from Drue Tranquill. He is clearly taking to the new ROVER position very well and he was in on another turnover this week with his 3rd quarter interception of Jake Fromm. Tranquill finished the game with 5 tackles and 1.5 TFL on top of his pick. I was skeptical of Tranquill at the ROVER at first but he is really playing good football right now and should only get better with more time at the position. Expect Tranqiill to be all over the field again next weekend against Boston College.
2. Justin Yoon
What a bounceback game for the junior kicker. A week after missing both of his field goal attempts, Justin Yoon came up big by hitting all four field goals and the only extra point he attempted. In my weekly preview of the Georgia game, I listed Yoon under the “Thing’s I’m Not Worried About” section and am glad to see that there wasn’t anything to be worried about with him. His misses against Temple were both good kicks that were just a bit off. It wasn’t like he was knuckle balling them. Still, kicking is very mental so to see Yoon come out and make all of his field goals against a good team bodes well for him the rest of the season. If only the offense would have been able to give Yoon a chance to win it at the end. The way he was kicking yesterday, I have no doubt that ball would have been right through the uprights as well.
3. Nick Coleman
This week’s 4 Horsemen is really turning into a bit of a redemption post isn’t it? Nick Coleman, like Tranquill, just played one of his best games of football for Notre Dame. I was really worried this week that the safeties would overcommit to the run at times and turn a Georgia wide receiver loose. That didn’t happen. What did happen was Coleman providing great run support including a huge third down tackle. Coleman was only credited with 4 tackles in the stat sheet but he was all over the field last night. Safety was – and still is to an extent – one of the biggest concerns for Notre Dame this year. If Coleman keeps playing like he did last night, he will help the Irish shore up the backend of the defense.
4. Jay Hayes
Jay Hayes was all over the field for the second week in a row. Hayes tied with Nick Watkins to lead the team in tackles with 7. He just edged out Jonathan Bonner here who also had a hell of a game including a big sack. Hayes get the nod though because was just an animal again this week. If this is the type of production that we can expect from Jay Hayes every week, Notre Dame just might have a half decent defensive line on its hands. Who would have thought that coming out of this game it would be the defensive line that we were feeling better about than the offensive line?
Others who deserve some props this week.
- Nyles Morgan – Picked up his first sack of the season and played really well in the second half specifically.
- Myron Tagovailoa Amosa – This kid is going to be an animal for Notre Dame in the near future. He is playing about as good as anyone could have hoped for from a true freshman.
- Daelin Hayes – While Fromm gifted that fumble, Notre Dame doesn’t end up with the ball without a hell of a play from Hayes to rip it out as Fromm looked about ready to secure it.
- Kurt Hinish – He is really holding his own for a frosh DT too.