Notre Dame’s dream season ended in disaster in Miami as Alabama showed the Irish what championship football looks like. The Irish were thoroughly dominated from start to finish in every facet of the game by bigger, stronger, and faster athletes. Despite being humbled by the Crimson Tide, Notre Dame had an impressive season, and the following players were the most impressive in a game in which it was very difficult to find bright spots:
Notre Dame’s young receiver showed no signs of being hindered by the broken clavicle he was returning from versus the Crimson Tide. Daniels was one of the few players wearing an Irish uniform who looked like he belonged against an SEC defense as he set a career high in receiving yards with 115 on six receptions. Daniels is a physically imposing receiver and will see his role in the Irish offense increase dramatically next season.
The Irish’s number one receiver led the team in receptions versus the Crimson Tide with seven for a total of 90 yards. Jones and the other Irish receivers were the victims of a baffling game plan in which they targeted Alabama’s all-American corner Dee Milliner. Jones and the other receivers likely would have had more success attacking the middle of the field than they did on low percentage routes such as jump balls and deep routes down the sidelines.
In his final game as a member of the Notre Dame football team the most prolific tight-end in Irish history had yet another strong performance. Eifert totalled six catches for 61 yards while being constantly double-teamed by Alabama defenders. Eifert had success breaking tackles and fighting for yards after contact against the great Alabama defense. The Irish will be in desperate need to replace his production next season.
As sad as this choice seems it is the only one to be made. While other players on the Notre Dame roster had decent games they did more bad than good for the team. No player on the Irish defense is deserving of a player of the game award and no player on the Irish offense other than those mentioned above made more good plays than they did bad plays. However, Ben Turk played one of his best games of the season, averaging 42.8 yards per punt with a long of 50 and one inside the 20. Turk did his part to make the Alabama offense have to drive the length of the field to score touchdowns, unfortunately that didn’t matter due to the dominance of Alabama’s offense.