Notre Dame Football: Why Loss of Michael Floyd Isn't Too Crippling for Irish
The post-Michael Floyd era has officially begun at Notre Dame. His absence may seem crippling to the Fighting Irish offense, but don't be so quick to assume.
Yes, Michael Floyd was, perhaps, the best receiver in college football last season. Yes, he will be remembered as one of the best players to ever don the blue and gold. However, the downside of Floyd's tremendous ability was making the Irish passing game a one-trick pony.
Opposing defensive coordinators did not have a difficult time figuring out how to slow Notre Dame's offense to a halt—just take away Michael Floyd.
During games in which the Irish offense was relegated to a snail's pace, Floyd was a non-factor, to say the least. For example, against USC on October 28th, Floyd was limited to 28 receiving yards on four receptions. The Irish eventually fell to the Trojans, 31-17 on a night where the offense was stuck in park from the get-go.
That's simply a microcosm of the affect Floyd had on the Irish offense last season. Things will be much different in 2012, though.
Year three of the Kelly regime will provide for a glimpse of what the spread offense truly looks like. Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin will find ways to distribute the ball to the many weapons present on the depth chart.
Running backs Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick (a former wide receiver), George Atkinson and Amir Carlisle each possess the capability to move into the slot, becoming a dual-threat option on any given play.
Also joining the mix on offense will be redshirt freshman receiver DaVaris Daniels, as well as true freshmen athletes Davonte Neal and KeiVarae Russell.
Opposing defenses will not have the luxury of keying in on one player to slow the offense this season, as the Fighting Irish have that wealth of talent at their disposal.
What gives the Irish a clear advantage is having a first-team All-American tight end to go along with the already deep stable of horses. Tyler Eifert returns for his senior season in South Bend looking to top his thoroughly impressive junior season in which he racked up 803 receiving yards on 63 receptions.
That wealth of talent, along with a veteran offensive line, should keep the Fighting Irish offense rolling, even without Michael Floyd.
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