Toma steps up – literally
It wasn't over until the last possible moment. Wide receiver Robby Toma cradled a Boston College onside kick attempt, Notre Dame
subsequently ran out the clock, and the home team escaped with a 16-14 victory on a blustery Saturday night.
As for the final play, Toma said that he was ready as a member of the hands team, but his teammates on the sideline made sure he was extra-ready.
"Initially the kicker was facing the other direction," Toma said. "He turned. I heard some of the guys on the sideline saying ‘Step up, Toma,' so I took a step up, and the ball came right to me."
Toma made key contributions in the passing game as well, with five receptions for 65 yards. Among those was an amazing juggling, twisting on-the-ground catch for 19 yards in the first half.
A senior among seniors
. We've all seen what he can do. We've compared him to the all-time greats, reflected on how much he's accomplished, raved about his blocking. Here's what he had to say about Saturday's victory over Boston College.
"We're strong. We come together as a team. When there's stuff going wrong for us, somehow, the defense picks us up. When something's going wrong for the defense, the offense picks them up," Floyd said.
Floyd reflected on Jonas Gray
's injury, and what he told the team late Saturday.
"He just said ‘Stay strong.' Obviously he's in a bad situation right now," Floyd said.
It's been a long and sometimes bumpy road for the record-breaking wide receiver, who went out a winner in his final home contest.
"It feels great," Floyd said. "I don't think the emotions will hit you until you leave this place. I don't really feel very emotional right now, but I guarantee, once you leave this university, it's all going to hit you."
Among the best
Those of us who have seen Notre Dame live this year were asking ourselves in the press box: Who is the best player we've seen?
You could argue on behalf of Michael Floyd, Manti Te'o, Jonas Gray, or Cierre Wood
. But take those guys out of the equation: the best individual opponents we've seen are Denard Robinson
, Ray Graham
, Matt Barkley
, Robert Woods
– and Luke Kuechly
The last guy listed, Boston College's inside linebacker extraordinaire, recorded seven solo tackles, seven assists, and one tackle for loss. He made plays sideline-to-sideline, including one memorable takedown of Floyd on a wide screen where he seemed to appear out of nowhere.
"I think he's the best football player in the country," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said. "He's just a great football player. I know he's up for a lot of awards, and I think he deserves all of them."