Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 29. 2014 Issue

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

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Page 26 of 112

BY DOUGLAS FARMER E very year of Brian Kelly's four- year tenure, Notre Dame has featured one go-to receiving threat, yet one has not emerged this season. In 2010 and 2011, the Irish head coach turned to Michael Floyd, who caught 79 and 100 passes, respectively. In 2012, tight end Tyler Eifert simulta- neously served as a safety blanket and a big-play threat, catching 50 passes. For good measure, TJ Jones kept de- fenses honest in the run to the BCS National Championship Game with 50 catches of his own, but it wasn't until 2013 that he established himself as the No. 1 target by snagging 70 passes. Entering 2014, many assumed DaVa- ris Daniels would naturally step into that void, but the ongoing academic fraud investigation has prevented the senior from having that chance. Each week it appears more likely the Irish will remain without a sole threat, instead relying on a balanced attack. Sophomore Will Fuller led Notre Dame in each of the first two games, with four and nine catches, but in both contests another threat has been just behind him — senior tight end Ben Koyack with three catches in the season opener and senior Amir Carlisle with seven against Michigan. The spread attack, both in alignment and in distribution, has only helped senior quarterback Everett Gol- son. "That helps us as an offense," Gol- son said following the 48-17 season- opening victory over Rice. "It allows us to be more diverse in what we do. … It allows us to be very diverse and play any type of way we want to play. We Receiver-By- Committee Notre Dame does not have a clear No. 1 pass catcher, but the equal distribution has only helped the Irish "WE ARE ALL A BUNCH OF GUYS WITH A LOT TO PROVE, A BUNCH OF GUYS WITH TALENT. IT'S A FUN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL OF US TO GO OUT THERE TO MAKE PLAYS FOR THE TEAM." SENIOR AMIR CARLISLE

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