Rudolph's replacements show well
Tyler Eifert caught four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in a 44-20 victory over Western Michigan. Mike Ragone added one reception for 12 yards and helped clear rushing lanes for the Irish, who had 149 net yards on the ground.
"There's no question that Tyler [Eifert] and Mike Ragone did some very good things," ND coach Brian Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference. "Both those guys together give you a very good combination at tight end. Obviously you get a lot in the pass game with Tyler and you get a little bit more in the running game with Mike. That's why we think they're a great combination."
Here are more questions Kelly answered as he closed the door on the Broncos and looked ahead to Navy:
How familiar are you with Navy's triple option?
"I played Army when I was at Central Michigan, but they were not a triple-option team as they are [now]. For me, it was a long time ago, going against teams that ran the triple option. (Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco) is very familiar with it. That's why we've prepared for it during the year. Our offense can't even give them that look because of the way offensive linemen play."
How is Michael Floyd's hamstring?
"Floyd, he was a little sore today, he played through a Grade 1 hamstring (pull). So we're getting further testing done on him today to see there he is."
Who else is hobbled?
"Theo [Riddick] was in a boot today. He's going to have to probably get an MRI. The X-ray was clean and the MRI would tell us if there's any further damage there. We'll do that today. ... [Danny] Spond is improving, he's out again this week. ... [Jamoris] Slaughter, we're going to do another MRI, because he's not improving to the level we need him to. He tweaked his ankle versus Pittsburgh and as you saw he was very limited [Saturday]."
Who will start at slot receiver for Riddick if he can't play?
"That's a good question. TJ Jones would probably be the guy who would move in there. (John) Goodman would then go to X. I've always tried to put the top four guys on the field. (Robby) Toma would back up the Z, Bennett Jackson would back up the X."
What will the week be like with students on fall break?
"The one thing in particular is we can adjust our clocks a little bit. It allows us to practice around noon time to get ready for noon time start. For our players, the adjustment will be pretty beneficial, but we won't go overboard with practicing. ... It comes at a pretty good time, obviously, we play this week and one more game and we're on a bye. Two out of the next three weeks they have a lighter schedule relative to academics and athletics. As I said earlier, we won't do much more. Just because the 20-hour rule is not in effect, we're not going to be too far from that. We'll try to practice earlier and give them evenings off so they're fresh coming into Saturday."
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35