Depth Chart: Irish Offense

A look at No. 1 Notre Dame's offensive starters and key reserves for tonight's matchup vs. USC.

The number in parenthesis represents each player's remaining eligibility entering the 2012 season.


Senior Zack Martin 6'4" 304 (2)
Sophomore Nick Martin 6'4" 290 (4)
Freshman Ronnie Stanley 6'6" 304 (4/5)

Notes: Stanley hasn't played since Game Four (Michigan). Head coach Brian Kelly explained redshirt rules in a manner suggesting any Irish player that doesn't appear from Game Six forward, and who hasn't played in more than three of his team's games previously, could be eligible for a redshirt designation from the NCAA. Stanley would fall under that category.

Redshirt-freshman Nick Martin appears to be set as the team's No. 2 left tackle at present. He appeared from scrimmage vs. Navy and Miami and has cemented a role as part of punter Ben Turk's trio of protectors on the Irish punt team.


Senior Chris Watt 6'3" 310 pounds (2)
Sophomore Conor Hanratty 6'5" 305 pounds (4)
Sophomore Nick Martin 6'4" 290 (4)

Notes: Hanratty saw extended action in the blowout of Miami and would likely be the first guard off the bench should either Watt or Mike Golic (below) go down. Martin replaced Watt in the third quarter last week and lined up to his brother, Zack, on Senior Day. He then shifted to left tackle with Hanratty entering at guard.


5th-year senior Braxston Cave 6'3" 304 pounds (1)
5th-year senior Mike Golic, Jr. 6'3" 295 pounds (1)
Junior Bruce Heggie, 6'5" 285 pounds (3)

Notes: Former third-string redshirt-freshman Matt Hegarty is out for the remainder of the regular season with an undisclosed ailment, one not suffered on the practice field according to Brian Kelly. Should Cave go down, Golic would slide over from right guard though that was the case prior to Hegarty's absence as well.


5th-year senior Mike Golic, Jr. 6'3" 295 pounds (1)
Sophomore Conor Hanratty 6'5" 305 pounds (4)

Junior Bruce Heggie, 6'5" 285 pounds (3)

Notes: As noted previously, Hanratty is likely the first guard off the bench on either side.


Junior Christian Lombard, 6'5" 309 pounds (3)
Sophomore Nick Martin 6'4" 290 (4)

Notes: Junior right tackle Tate Nichols made his college debut in the Game Five win over Miami but is now out for the season due to a knee injury. Nichols redshirted last fall due to knee and shoulder injuries. He missed the first four games of 2012 with a patella tendon injury as well. Lombard's nine starts this season represent the first competitive action of his career after previously appearing from scrimmage only in Irish blowouts in 2011.


Senior Tyler Eifert, 6'6" 251 pounds (2)
Sophomore Troy Niklas, 6'7" 260 pounds (3)
Sophomore Ben Koyack, 6'5" 253 pounds (3)

Notes: Niklas is a de facto 12th offensive starter, earning as many snaps as any receiver this season with the exception of T.J. Jones and, of course, Eifert. Koyack appears in three tight end alignments, often in the red zone. He caught his first pass since Game Two in last week's route of Wake Forest.


Senior Robby Toma, 5'9" 185 pounds (1)
Freshman Davonte' Neal, 5'9" 171 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Toma receives the lion's share of snaps with Neal playing primarily as a punt returner. Toma ranks fifth on the team with 32 pass targets (22 receptions) entering the season finale.


Junior T.J. Jones, 5'11" 190 pounds (2)
Freshman Chris Brown, 6'2" 172 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Jones ranks second on the team with 71 pass targets while tying with Tyler Eifert for the team lead in receptions (40) and touchdowns (4). With with redshirt-freshman DaVaris Daniels (39 targets, 25 receptions) lost to injury Brown stepped into a true backup role last week and was targeted for a season-high four passes with one reception and one dropped pass.


5th-year senior John Goodman, 6'3" 215 pounds (1)
Junior Daniel Smith, 6'4" 215 pounds (2)

Notes: Smith has started two straight due primarily to his blocking prowess though Goodman is listed as such on the official depth chart. The latter has secured a touchdown pass in both of the last two contests including a 50-yard score last week, his first in Notre Dame Stadium. Goodman has been targeted for just seven passes this season but has five receptions and three touchdowns to his credit. Smith was tarted for a season high three passes last week. He's earned seven receptions this season including one last week.


Senior Theo Riddick, 5'11" 200 pounds (1) OR
Senior Cierre Wood, 6'0" 215 pounds (2) OR
Sophomore George Atkinson, 6'1" 210 pounds (3)

Notes: The "OR" designations are official per Notre Dame, as Atkinson has rushed just 49 times this season including 12 in the last four weeks. Riddick leads the team in rushing attempts (160) and yards (734); is tied with Everett Golson for total touchdowns scored (5), and is third in pass targets (51) through 11 games. Wood erupted for a season-best 150 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries last week. He's averaged a remarkable 7.1 yards per carry on 102 attempts this season. Atkinson has matched that exactly, though on just 49 rushes.

Both Wood and Riddick started last week with Riddick in the slot.


Sophomore Everett Golson, 6'0" 185 pounds (4)
Junior Tommy Rees, 6'2 215 pounds (2)
Junior Andrew Hendrix, 6'2" 225 pounds (3)

Notes: Golson has accounted for a combined 906 rush/pass yards and 9 touchdowns over the last three games with two turnovers, both interceptions in the end zone.

Pass Targets

A look at the offense's pass targets through 11 games.

Tyler Eifert 68 + 6 Pass interference penalties drawn
TJ Jones 71
Theo Riddick 51
DaVaris Daniels 39
Robby Toma 32
Daniel Smith 11
Chris Brown 11
Troy Niklas 10 + 1 Pass interference drawn
John Goodman 7
Ben Koyack 6
George Atkinson 3
Cierre Wood 3
Davonte' Neal 2
Cam McDaniel 2
Justin Ferguson 1
QB Spikes 4
Intentional Throw-away: 6 Top Stories