Friday, November 2, 2012
Notre Dame: Who will transform tomorrow?
By Matt Fortuna
My pick for who will transform tomorrow is T.J. Jones.
Ever-so quietly, the junior has turned into Notre Dame's go-to target, catching a team-best 26 passes for 330 yards and a pair of scores this season. Only Tyler Eifert has more receiving yards (341) for the Irish.
Notre Dame has been terrific on the ground lately, and that should continue Saturday against a Pitt team that has been just so-so in stopping the run, giving up 141 rushing yards per game. The Irish have had their way against far better rushing defenses earlier this season, and the Panthers just lost linebackers Dan Mason and Manny Williams for the year in last week's rout of Temple.
After a couple of big runs early, look for the Panthers to stack the box, opening things up vertically for the Irish. Everett Golson proved himself as a passer last week and will now try to turn his big night at Oklahoma into a consistent hot stretch.
Jones has been the guy for the Irish this year in the passing game, and coach Brian Kelly said recently that no one has taken a bigger leap from last year to this year than Jones.
Expect that to continue tomorrow for an Irish offense that is starting to hit its stride and complete the picture for this (so far) perfect team.