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Player of the week: Notre Dame

Well, no, my pick of George Atkinson III to break out this past weekend was not exactly wrong. The sophomore certainly got on more people's radars with his 99-yard day, and he will get a chance to replicate that Saturday against Purdue.

But one simply can't overlook the efforts put forth by Theo Riddick, who had a monster day in Notre Dame's 50-10 win over Navy in Dublin. In his return to the backfield, the senior rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, adding two catches for 25 yards.

A running back, then a receiver, then a running back again for the final two games last season, Riddick has slid comfortably into the hybrid role required of the Irish's offense this season, and he has looked and sounded more at home in playing the position he has loved since he was eight years old.

That became all the more important following the two-game suspension of starter Cierre Wood, a returning 1,000-yard back, and Riddick made sure there wasn't a drop-off by hitting fast and early against the Midshipmen, accounting for 45 yards on the game's first drive, which ended with his 11-yard touchdown run and, unlike last year, helped the Irish get off to a strong start.

Wood will have to sit another week while Notre Dame hosts Purdue. If Riddick's performance is anything like it was in Week 1, getting everyone enough carries may be a difficult task in a few weeks, and that's a good problem for the Irish to have.