Notre Dame 4 Horsemen of the Week: Georgia 2017

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.

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  1. How long has it been since ND had great bookends on the field? It used to happen every few years! We might just have a pair out there, so to speak. You all have heard of the Blues Brothers…how about the Hayes Brothers? I’ll take another great pair of bookends…they are close already – seal the deal this weekend guys – and send out some bad vibes to future enemy “O” coordinators.

  2. WR should be a strength of this team not a weakness. If we can’t get our best players out there, it’s on the coaches.

    The experiment with the grad transfers needs to be over. It’s time to let the thoroughbreds loose.

  3. That position of Rover for Tranquill is utilizing his strengths perfectly. He is very good out there in that spot and really stepped up this game. Unfortunately the play he came out on it did look like he may have pulled a hamstring or something. That is a very nagging injury and hard to get back to full speed quickly. I haven’t seen any reports of it yet but if it is a hamstring, it may end up being 3 to 4 weeks.

  4. #48 Wasn’t A Factor Again and Continued To Be Out Of Position And Missed Tackles. How much longer will Kelly and Elko allow him to continue to play and be a detriment to the team?

    1. I don’t think that Martini was stellar, but I don’t see taking him out as the big fix for the team, either. He did make a couple of good plays.

      If we lose to BC, then I’ll start second-guessing coaching decisions. If we barely win, I’ll start getting uncomfortable. Otherwise, I’m biding my time and seeing what develops over the next four games.

      1. Good to hear from you recently Bob. It looks like BC isn’t a smooth as I expected this year…but MSU looks better than my brother Dave told me they’d be. We need to scorch some earth and take no prisoners on the road early this year. No ARA coached team at ND EVER lost two regular season games in 11 seasons… (I first heard that from my “dear old dad”). Since these guys are wearing ARA on their hats I’d say it’s time to give BC the kind of treatment his teams used to give the “team after” a defeat!

        Bruce G. Curme
        La Crosse, Indiana

      2. Sorry Bob, I left a couple words out (and a letter too). ARA never lost two regular season games in a row.

        Lord, I’m still upset by the sellouts.

        Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

      3. Honestly, then. you need to watch the game more closely and focus on the linebacker play. The defensive line played a great game as a unit and Nyles Morgan responded with a solid performance. Martini is a HUGE liability and an extremely poor open field tackler.

    2. Ryan,

      You are exactly right. Coney should be the starter. Although I will say on that last TD run by GA that Coney appeared to have gone inside instead of out. Maybe that was his initial assignment but he should have adjusted much faster than he did to the outside where the play was clearly going.

  5. #7 on D’, Nick Watkins, looked like he belonged, with 7 tackles as co-leader of the team and some great pass coverage. He did limp off the field- here’s hoping that isn’t season ending! Frank gives props to him and eight others. But not one offensive, and I do mean offensive, ND player, other than K Yoon. Like the Bears taught the football world in 1985, defense pressure wins games. If Elko learned that, and adjusts to that, then something can be gained from this loss. Not to take anything away from the ND D’, but Georgia, despite a first-start Frosh QB made some great individual efforts on O’, with three outstanding RBs, and an OL that was able to hold its own opening up holes and with pass protection and some great receptions by their WRs. The game was lost as it often is at the LOS, with ND’s OL unable to run block or pass block effectively.Looks like Georgia has an elite D’, at least I hope so, or this is going to be a long loss-filled season. If I’d have known all ND needed was 21 points, I’d have predicted an ND win. Maybe the difference was Georgia played most of its elite players and ND (minus Dexter Williams and Stepherson) didn’t.

    1. Well put, Michael the Archangel, I do think Georgia has an elite D. I wish the Irish would have called some plays for Dexter Williams. Too many wasted downs and missed blocking assignments on offense. The DB’s are getting beat to much. Still, they look like a much improved team. They gave Georgia all they could handle. Now they need to take 24 hours to get over it and get back to work. They need to play all three RB’s, avoid being predictable, avoid bad penalties, and take it to Boston College.

      GO IRISH!

    2. There were any one of a number of things that could have made the difference on either team. One that sticks out to me is that if Wimbush had been a better passer than Fromm, it would have opened up the Georgia D enough to make some runs. As it was, he missed a number of open receivers, and they didn’t have to take his passing ability seriously.

      So, this is a matter of our weak spots outweighing theirs to the tune of one point. Oh well. Next!

      1. He also had some dropped on him Bob. But yes, at this point anyway, Fromm had some better touch. Who really knows what goes through the minds of any particular athlete though when they see the stands of their own stadium 1/3 filled with
        opponent fans. Bob Davie’s team played a great Nebraska team to overtime…then got burned on an option by an eventual Heisman trophy winner, if I remember right. It looked like our “D” at least was just as PO’d and played even harder maybe…keeping us in the game until the last bruising hit on Brandon. Who knows how all the red affected Brandon. It’s just another embarrassing moment for a University that seems to have lost its sense of shame.

        Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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