Monday, November 26, 2012
Player of the Week: Notre Dame
By Matt Fortuna
There's a reason Brian Kelly handed Theo Riddick the game ball after Saturday's win -- the running back carried Notre Dame's offense through much of the night.
Now the Irish have an undefeated season and a national title game berth to show for it.
Riddick is our player of the week for his efforts in a 22-13 win over USC. The senior rushed for 146 yards on 20 carries and added three catches for 33 yards.
There's also a reason Kelly said after the win that Riddick embodies the "Fighting Irish."
Riddick returned to running back this year after entering college at that position. It's been his natural position since he began playing football, but he was moved to slot receiver his sophomore and junior years.
He was forced to split carries this year with returning 1,000-yard back Cierre Wood, his roommate and friend, and he took advantage of the extra opportunities afforded him in Weeks 1 and 2, when Wood was suspended.
Now he has 880 rushing yards this season for the nation's No. 1 team, the go-to back for a still developing offense who refuses to go down on first contact and is as capable of splitting out wide as he is of bursting up the middle for a big gain.
Riddick can't ask for much more out of his regular-season finale. Now, he'll have one more chance to shine, this time on the nation's biggest stage.