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Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Good news, bad news in light of Saturday

By Matt Fortuna

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Mike Golic Jr. and Robby Toma just took on bigger jobs this week, as they will both start Saturday against Maryland in light of injuries to Braxston Cave and Theo Riddick.

Cave will be out for the season with a foot injury, while Riddick (hamstring) is expected to return after Saturday's game.

Golic Jr. filled in for the majority of the final three quarters Saturday and played well, having no issues with snapping to Tommy Rees while the offensive line went its fifth straight game without surrendering a sack.

"Mike came in, played very well for us," coach Brian Kelly said. "You know, I think when you look at the center position, there's always a great concern because, you know, that guy is put in a very difficult situation, shotgun snaps, changing up the cadence, calling out some of the defensive fronts and structures, but Mike has done a nice job and we have a great deal of confidence, and that's a next-man-in situation for us with Mike going in there."

Toma, meanwhile, gets a chance that many felt was long overdue. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder filled in for Riddick at times last season because of injury and had 14 catches for 187 yards, including four catches of at least 20 yards.

Toma, a junior, has just three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown this season.

The good news for Notre Dame is that Manti Te'o and Aaron Lynch are not expected to miss any time because of ankle injuries suffered Saturday. Kelly said Ethan Johnson should return from his ankle injury as well, six weeks after spraining it on the first snap Oct. 1 at Purdue.

Kelly said the Irish will have to be smart with Te'o as it relates to practice. The junior linebacker played through an ankle injury early in October.

"He won't do a lot of individual work, we won't have him in run support, he won't be doing things like that," Kelly said, "but he'll be involved in most of our team stuff."