Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 1, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 50 of 55 OCT. 1, 2018 51 IRISH IN THE PROS the San Francisco 49ers. His perfor- mance netted him the first NFC De- fensive Player of the Week award for the new campaign. "It's cool," Smith told The Pioneer Press. "Still a lot of things to correct, so just focusing on what the coaches are getting corrected and what they want us to execute." Smith, however, still wasn't com- pletely thrilled with his individual play. "You see the splash plays, which is cool," Smith told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Those change games, but some of my best games have been two-, three-tackle games where I didn't even have a pass breakup, but I was exactly where I needed to be all the time and it goes unnoticed. "Those are big plays that obviously help us win, but there [are] a lot of plays that I could have played better on, definitely." Through two games, Smith has 15 tackles, one sack and one intercep- tion. His start comes as no surprise to anyone across the league. The former Irish star is regarded as one of the best, if not the top guy at safety in the entire league. He was ranked as the No. 46 player in the NFL heading into 2018, while Pro Football Focus named him the top safety. Smith's 98.8 grade by PFF last year was the highest ever recorded at the safety position in the organiza- tion's history. "The obvious choice at number one," Gordon McGuinness of PFF wrote. "Smith was the best safety in the NFL in 2017, and in the conver- sation for best player in the league full stop. His 98.8 PFF grade was a career high, but he has produced an elite grade of 90.0 or higher in three of the past four seasons. "Smith was targeted 42 times in pri- mary coverage, allowing zero touch- downs and coming away with five interceptions and five pass breakups, resulting in an NFL passer rating al- lowed of just 22.0, the lowest of any safety who was targeted at least 15 times." In terms of Smith being at the fore- front of his position, ESPN Vikings re- porter Courtney Cronin puts it simply. "There's no reason to think he'll lose that distinction in 2018," Cronin stated. If the Vikings are to reach their dreams and capture the organization's first Super Bowl win, former Irish stars Rudolph and Smith will be vital pieces in ensuring that happens. ✦ Vintage Notre Dame Memorabilia Augie's Locker Room ND Stadium Items, Jerseys, Helmets, Autographs and One of a Kind Rockne Items. COME INTO THE STORE TO SEE OUR RARE NOTRE DAME HELMET DISPLAY, 1900 - PRESENT!! Voted Best Notre Dame Collectables in the Country! 1811 South Bend Ave. South Bend , I n 46637 574-277-NDND (6363) FACEBOOK.COM/AUGIESLOCKERROOM MEMORABILIA TICKETS NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAMES on VHS or DVD for sale, from 1928 to present. Contact Peter Rahas at 7700 Golden Filly St., Las Vegas, NV 89131 or call 1-702-395-2974 NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL BUY * SELL * TRADE 800-925-2500 Call 877-630-8768 to advertise M A R K E T P L A C E PRAYER TO THE BLESSED MOTHER - (Never known to fail) Oh, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven. Blessed Mother of the Son of God; Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this necessity. Oh, Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. Oh, Holy Mary, Moth - er of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly be- seech you from the bottom of my heart to succour me in my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. Oh, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times). Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands. (3 times). Sweet Mother I place this cause in your hands. (3 times). Thank you for your mercy to me and mine. Amen. This prayer must be said for 3 days and after 3 days your request will be granted and the prayer must be published. Thank you. R.A.M. WNBA UPDATE Final • Natalie Achonwa (Played at Notre Dame from 2010-14), F, Indiana Fever: Had a career year, notching 10.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game to set new personal bests. • Lindsay Allen (2013-17), G, Las Vegas Aces: Played in six games as a reserve, and averaged 3.1 points per contest. • Skylar Diggins-Smith (2009-13), G, Dallas Wings: Earned her fourth career WNBA All- Star appearance … Averaged 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game. • Jewell Loyd (2012-15), G, Seattle Storm: Was a key member for the WNBA champions … Averaged 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per outing. • Kayla McBride (2010-14), G, Las Vegas Aces: Recorded career highs in scoring (18.2 points per game) and assists (3.5 per contest) en route to earning her second career All-Star appearance. PERSONALS Smith continues to make the case he is the league's top safety, racking up 15 tackles, one sack and one interception in the Vikings' first two contests of 2018. PHOTO COURTESY MINNESOTA VIKINGS

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