No more triple option! At least for a couple more weeks. Following the effort against Georgia Tech the Irish now turn their attention to the pass-happy UMass Minutemen. As per usual, there are a few depth chart changes to discuss for this weekend.
The safety position took another major hit as sophomore Drue Tranquill tore his ACL celebrating a pass break up last weekend. In response, the Irish will turn to redshirt junior Nicky Baratti who is coming off his 3rd shoulder surgery and has currently logged zero snaps this season. Injuries, they suck.
Does Baratti actually see the field tomorrow? We'll see about that, as well as how the nickel and dime personnel packages shake out with fewer bodies. Without Tranquill more playing time is likely to open up for Farley, or Butler, or Watkins, or Coleman. This weekend's matchup with UMass is the perfect one to see who gets more playing time against a ton of passing.
Notre Dame's answer to the problems they faced with up-tempo teams last year has been clear on the defensive line: Play less bodies.
Day, Rochell, Tillery, and Okwara are all over 100 snaps on the season while Cage is at 54 and Trumbetti (DNP last week) is at 42. Yes, basically Notre Dame has been using only a 6-man rotation, and sometimes like last week, even less bodies.
In case you didn't see Jay Hayes had some dumb tweets earlier this week which got him in the dog house with head coach Brian Kelly. The sophomore won't be staying with the team in the hotel tonight and is suspended for the UMass game.
The situation at defensive line is super curious. All indications are that the staff would like to recoup 'lost' freshman seasons from Hayes and Blakenship who were thrust into the lineup last year due to injuries--especially the former athlete from Brooklyn. As long as it's feasible these two are destined for redshirts.
Basically, the Irish don't have a legitimate backup at the 3-tech behind Day. Until we see otherwise, it's basically been a 3-man rotation at tackle (Day, Tillery, Cage) and a 3-man rotation at end (Rochell, Okwara, Trumbetti) with Rochell playing both inside and out. Bonner, Randolph, and Mokwuah saw most of their action in garbage time against Texas while Matuska is another veteran who hasn't even taken a snap yet.
We've moved McGovern up to second team guard and moved Montelus down to third team. We've done this based on Montelus being a part of the SWAG team that has been helping the 1st-team offense practice against the triple option. We'll see who trots out there at right guard if the game gets out of hand but I think most expect it to be McGovern at this point.