Eye in the Sky: Wide Receivers

Our full film review of the Irish wide receivers in Saturday's contest vs. the Golden Hurricane.

Wide Receiver Michael Floyd

Missed a block on the second series and Wood was limited to two yards on the outside…a bit sloppy on the second run to his side, a six-yard gain by Wood though Floyd opened the initial lane for the Irish ‘back…Gathered an out from Rees, spun away from contact and spun again upfield through defenders, turning a 9-yard gain into a 16-yard push down to the Tulsa 14-yard line…Caught a near-side comeback for a 10-yard score on a strike from Rees…Completely dominated his man 15 yards downfield on a 9-yard swing pass to Wood, who would have run forever had Eifert done the same…Reached out to snare a high slant vs. zone coverage for 14 yards on the following snap.

Caught a 5-yard stop outside, then barreled for 6 more for his fifth catch in the first 18 game minutes…Ran a quality dig route in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown of the contest, a 4-yard strike from Rees on 2nd and Goal…Grabbed another 9-yard stop on the ensuing series, his seventh grab of the first half.

2nd Half: Caught a quick look from Rees then burst down the sideline with a stiff arm for an 11-yard gain.

Final Drive: Incredible one-handed grab on a high throw to the far side; Floyd's 10th catch, a gain of 6 yards on 1st and 10 at the ND 42-yard line…Open over the middle but Rees missed him high on the next pass…Caught a 3rd and 4 out from the slot with his back to the defense, then spun and turned upfield for a 26-yard gain down to the Tulsa 32-yard line with just under two minutes remaining…Unable to wrest a poorly thrown pass from the cornerback's grasp as John Flanders played the role of hero, intercepting an ill-advised throw to end the contest. Floyd probably should have interfered with Flanders to avoid the interception. Then again…that's not the biggest mistake involved on the play, is it?

Wide Receiver Tai-ler Jones

Settled nicely at the second level for a gain of 17 yards but the play was called back due to the team's first procedure penalty of the day (illegal shift on Jones)…Covered on a short out that Crist was forced to throw away. I point it out because the route tree illustrates my play-calling pet peeve: double outs to the right (and a corner behind it)…Nice high catch and subsequent pitch to Cierre Wood (the hook and lateral) for an Irish touchdown. Great call by Kelly to spark the offense – sad that it was necessary vs. Tulsa, but I digress.

Got just enough of a block in space to help Wood gain five yards over the left side.

2nd half: Strong block on the sideline helped Robby Toma gain 14 yards on the first series…Great block five plays later to seal his man on the sideline, aiding Toma on a 16-yard bubble screen…Caught a 4-yard stop-route, then fought and spun for 5 yards (taking two hits)…Another short pass on a long throw from Rees, this time for 8 yards on 1st and 10.

A little less certain after a 7-yard catch on the far side; Jones danced a bit rather than breaking upfield (as he usually does) and the Irish were faced with 3rd and 3 (ensuing pass dropped).

Final Drive: Facing 1st and 10 at the Tulsa 32-yard line, Jones made a nice adjustment on a hook route throw behind him, securing the pass and falling forward for 8 yards to the 24-yard line…On the team's final snap, ran right by a charging safety for what would have been an easy game-winning touchdown pass but Rees threw short (intercepted) to Floyd to end the contest.

Wide Receiver Robby Toma

Caught his first of a career high four passes late in the first half, a career-best 26-yard catch-and-run over the middle from Rees. A quick cut at the end and run through arm tackles afforded 10 yards after the catch…Had a chance to tackle Shawn Jackson two plays later but Toma slid down the defensive end's leg en route to a 66-yard INT return TD to draw the Golden Hurricane within two at 20-18.

2nd half: Adjusted well to a bubble screen thrown behind him then burst upfield for a 14-yard gain. Benefitted from a great downfield block from Tyler Eifert and a solid effort from T.J. Jones… Five snaps later, caught another bubble, again behind him, for 16 yards and a first down at the Tulsa 22-yard line. Ran directly through the first arm tackle…Ran through another tackle on another bubble screen, this time for 11 yards. Toma's curiously difficult to tackle.

Easily the best game of the sophomore's career. Toma could develop into a slot weapon over his final two seasons.

Wide Receiver John Goodman

Sat down inside the red zone to catch a 9-yard bullet from Rees to the Tulsa 5-yard line…First of two drops (juggled and then smacked out) to end Rees' 8 for 8 streak to start the contest…Muffed (almost completely whiffed, actually) on a fair catch attempt. Tulsa recovered the fumble to take possession at the ND 15-yard line (the defense held the Golden Hurricane to a missed field goal). Goodman can't afford a fumbled punt since he's proven ineffectual as a returner…Caught an out/comeback for four yards from Rees on a strong-armed toss from the far hash…Let a 3rd and 1 slant bounce off his chest. That catch has to be made by Goodman who's at present a borderline No. 4 receiver with Duval Kamara still available on the bench.

2nd half: Far less involved in the second half.

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