Floyd's play shifts questions on offense


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It seemed like just yesterday everyone was wondering if Notre Dame was going to return its biggest offensive threat this season.

Would Michael Floyd be suspended after the third alcohol-related offense of his career? Would the receiver be back with the Fighting Irish at all?

A season-opening loss to South Florida has shifted the question to who will be on the other end of Floyd's march through the Notre Dame record books.

Saturday it was both Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees. And whoever it is this weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., can be thankful to have No. 3 to throw to.

Floyd dazzled in the first game of his senior season, snatching a career-high 12 receptions for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was his 14th career 100-yard receiving game, one shy of Golden Tate's school record.

Floyd finished the day with 183 career catches, surpassing Jeff Samardzija's school record of 179. He climbed up the school's receiving yards list as well, as he is now 15 yards away from taking the top spot away from Tate, who had 2,707 career receiving yards.

Rees found the most success with Floyd against the Bulls, connecting with him 10 times for 107 yards and on both scores in situations in which the defense knew he'd be gunning it.

Crist hit Floyd two times for 37 yards.

Floyd was diplomatic afterward, saying there wasn't a difference between the two quarterbacks despite a more productive second half.

"The defense gave us a certain coverage and [Rees] threw it to the coverage," Floyd said. "I was open and he made the plays."

There should be plenty of opportunities to make more plays against Michigan. Despite showing big-play capability in scoring two defensive touchdowns Saturday, the Wolverines struggled at times in pass coverage against Western Michigan, allowing Alex Carder to complete 22 of 31 passes for 183 yards in a game that lasted less than three quarters. Carder went 8-for-8 on the game's first drive.

New questions arose surrounding a key piece of Notre Dame's offense Saturday. With Floyd not missing a beat after a rocky offseason, Irish fans can be thankful the questions no longer surround him.