Notre Dame’s 39-10 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack was a painful game to witness. It was even more painful to watch inside Notre Dame Stadium (more on that in this weeks Hangover). Regardless, every single game provides quite a bit of information to help us know what this team and program is all about.
Here are three of those things:
CJ Sanders Is Golden Tate 2.0
Sitting in the stands, I heard it uttered more than a few times that Cj Sanders reminded them of Golden Tate. I too had that same thought (although I declined to announce it to the entire section). The idea really started to take a hold in my head after reading tweets and message board posts all saying the same thing... CJ Sanders is Golden Tate 2.0.
While it may seem foolish to compare a player to a recent Notre Dame legend (well, it seems foolish to me), the similarities are quite striking. When CJ Sanders has the ball, he isn’t a wide receiver with the ball- he’s an explosive athlete more akin to a dynamic running back than a pass catcher. Whether he’s returning punts/kicks or going after that YAC, Sanders, it seems, is just one step away from making an incredible play.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are in need of playmakers after the departure of so many to the NFL after last season, and Sanders fits the bill. I guess the biggest question right now is of Brian Kelly will find more ways to get the ball in Sanders’ hands.
Josh Adams Is The Best Running Back On The Roster
This is the part that is always difficult, and we have already seen it happen this year. Josh Adams is the best running back on the team right now- just like DeShone Kizer is the best quarterback on the team. What do you do with the best? You start them and play them MORE.
Against Nevada, Josh Adams ran for 103 yards on 10 carries. Beyond the stats, however, you could just see more from Adams than Folston. This is hard because we REALLY like Tarean Folston, but you can see that he’s missing a step from how he played before the injury.
I am in no way suggesting that Folston ride the pine, but I do think Adams should get a few more carries in the games ahead. In fact, I think Dexter Williams should get a few more too. There are only so many carries on a Brian Kelly team, and against Nevada they were distributed out: Kizer 10, Folston 10, Adams 10, and Williams 8. I’m just suggesting that they aren’t so even moving forward.
Josh Adams: 103 rushing yards— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) September 10, 2016
Nevada: 64 rushing yards pic.twitter.com/8pLuiV1qLV
We Need More Jarron Jones In Our Life
In 2014, against the Florida State Seminoles, Jarron Jones was the best player on the field- period. On a night that saw a vast array of NFL talent, Jones stood out among them all. That’s how good he can be.
After two games, it’s hard to pinpoint what Notre Dame’s biggest problem is. It’s not hard to figure out that it’s on the defesnive side of the ball. While the defensive backs take a lot of heat, perhaps it is the defensive line that needs to produce more... something. Against Nevada, Jones produced a little something.
If the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hope to improve its play on the defensive side of the ball, it will need Jarron Jones to do Jarron Jones things- at least the Jarron Jones that takes over games. There is a real need for some playmakers on the defensive front, and with the Michigan State Spartans coming to town, that need for Jones is only magnified by the level of opponent.