Sunday, October 6, 2013
What we learned: Week 6
By Matt Fortuna
Here is what we learned about Notre Dame after its 37-34 win over Arizona State:
1. This season is far from over. The Irish got the win Saturday that they needed in the worst way and head into the bye week 4-2. As of now, Notre Dame will probably be favored in every game until the regular-season finale at Stanford. Its BCS hopes are fragile, but they are alive, as the Irish have something to shoot for when they return to the field in two weeks against USC.
2. Jones is having quite a season. Many of us scratched our heads when Brian Kelly said during camp that TJ Jones could be a first-round pick. But it's hard to imagine where the Irish would be without the captain. Jones had eight catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. He returned a punt 27 yards. And he recovered an onside kick late to seal the win. (He was also credited with a sack after the game, though something tells me that may have been Stephon Tuitt.)
3. Loss of Grace a big blow to D. Jarrett Grace was just starting to come into his own when he went down with what is likely a season-ending knee injury. The linebackers played well Saturday, but depth is increasingly becoming an issue among the front seven as the group has absorbed a number of injuries since the start of camp. Receiver Daniel Smith may be lost for the year with an ankle injury, too.