Notre Dame: Rank and File

Who are Notre Dame's top 10 players through its 3-0 start? Who's been the best in a given week? Who's dropped passes or drawn interference penalties? Who's been penalized? And which players have provided the most explosive plays?

Ten on Top

Our annual breakdown of the team's top 10 players (production-based, potential and past season's output are irrelevant) makes its 2014 debut. Names at the top are of no surprise, though the list is otherwise replete with unusual suspects:

1.) Everett Golson: The straw that stirs the drink...
2.) Sheldon Day: Irreplaceable in 2014...
3.) Jaylon Smith: And he's just learning the position...
4.) Joe Schmidt: Better than we thought; and we thought he was good...
5.) Cody Riggs: Newcomer of the year, by a country mile...
6.) Will Fuller: At full speed after the second step...
7.) Jarron Jones: Playing like he gets it for the first time since his arrival...
8.) Amir Carlisle: Most improved offensive player since 2013...
9.) Matthias Farley: Most improved defensive players since 2013...
10.) Kyle Brindza: A touchback machine and the clutchest kicker this side of Vinatieri…

On the Cusp: CB Cole Luke, WR Corey Robinson, DE Romeo Okwara, RB Greg Bryant, LT Ronnie Stanley

Trending Up: Max Redfield, Elijah Shumate, Tarean Folston, Drue Tranquill, C.J. Prosise, Kolin Hill.

Game by Game

Top 10 Irish as selected following our Eye in the Sky film reviews (Players are not necessarily listed in order):

Rice: Everett Golson, Cody Riggs, Joe Schmidt, Sheldon Day, Christian Lombard, Will Fuller, Jaylon Smith, Matthias Farley
-- Honorable Mention: Ben Koyack, Jarron Jones, Amir Carlisle
-- Made A Play of Note: C.J. Prosise, Tarean Folston, Malik Zaire

Michigan: Golson, Fuller, Farley, Schmidt, Smith, Day, Jones, Amir Carlisle, Elijah Shumate, Max Redfield
-- Honorable Mention: Romeo Okwara, Kyle Brindza, Cam McDaniel, Cole Luke, Kolin Hill, Isaac Rochell
-- Made A Play of Note: Justin Utupo. Andrew Trumbetti, Drue Tranquill

Purdue: Golson, Robinson, Bryant, Folston, Day, Brindza, Jones, Smith, Okwara, Schmidt
-- Honorable Mention: Isaac Rochell, Ronnie Stanley, Tranquill (relief effort), Fuller, Prosise
-- Made A Play of Note: Devin Butler, Chris Brown (block on TD)

Targets Acquired

Who've been quarterback Everett Golson's chief targets through three games and how successful has the passing game been when Golson dials them up?

-- WIll Fuller 25 targets/19 receptions: (Includes three drops, and three TD -- each week)
-- Ben Koyack 15/10 rec.: (Includes one drop)
-- Amir Carlisle 12/11 : A pair of touchdowns included
-- C.J. Prosise 12/6: (Includes two drops, one of which was a TD)
-- Corey Robinson 11/5: (Includes two pass interferences drawn and a TD)
-- Chris Brown 11/4: (Includes one drop and two pass interferences drawn)
-- Cam McDaniel 3/3: Including two first downs
-- Greg Bryant 2/2: Both good for 17-yard gains
-- Tarean Folston 2: Both for first down yardage
-- Intentionally thrown away: 5

Penalties: Drawn and Incurred

Notre Dame has been flagged for 15 penalties, three of which were declined:

-- Center Nick Martin and Golson have combined for a pair of snap infractions (Rice)
-- Golson has been called for grounding
-- Safety Max Redfield has twice been flagged (once ejected) for personal fouls (UM, PU) for hits on the QB
-- Safety Elijah Shumate also has one unsportsmanlike conduct call against him (taunting, PU)
-- RB Greg Bryant (PU and RT Steve Elmer (UM, PU) have both incurred false start penalties
-- WR Will Fuller (PU) has been offsides and an undetermined receiver was flagged for illegal formation (PU)
-- WR Chris Brown (PU) has been called for holding
-- CB Cody Riggs was flagged for pass interference (PU) declined because of a touchdown
-- LB Jaylon Smith was flagged for lining up offsides (declined) and Will Fuller was called for holding on a bubble screen (declined).

Of note, in addition to the pass interference penalties drawn by Chris Brown (2) and Corey Robinson (1), Irish nose tackle Jarron Jones and defensive end Isaac Rochell have both drawn holding calls by opposing linemen and quarterback Everett Golson has been roughed twice, both for 15-yard penalties.

Bigger is Better

A rundown of "explosive plays" produced by the Irish to date. Explosives are defined here as receptions of 15 or more yards, rushes of 10 yards or greater, a punt return of 10 yards or more and a kickoff return of 25 yards or more. If a reception is listed, the pass was thrown by Golson.

QB Everett Golson (5 rushes + 18 passes): 11-yard rush, 14-yard TD run (Rice), 11-yard run, 15-yard TD run, 11-yard run (PU)

RB Greg Bryant (9): 13-yard run, 13-yard run, 10-yard PR, 18-yard PR, 17-yard TD run (Rice), 16-yard run, 17-yard reception, 17-yard reception, 29-yard KR (PU)

RB Tarean Folston (5): 12-yard run, 19-yard run, 10-yard run (Rice), 12-yard run, 16-yard reception (PU)

WR Amir Carlisle (5): 36-yard KR, 32-yard reception, 22-yard reception (Rice), 21-yard reception (UM), 47-yard KR (PU)

WR Corey Robinson (4): 25-yard reception (Rice), 22-yard reception (UM), 32-yard reception, 15-yard TD reception (PU)

WR C.J. Prosise (4): 53-yard TD reception (Rice), 18-yard reception (UM), 25-yard reception, 17-yard reception (PU)

WR Will Fuller (3): 75-yard touchdown (Rice), 24-yard TD (UM), 17 yards (PU)

CB Cody Riggs (3): 24-yard PR, 25-yard PR (Rice), 12-yard PR (UM)

RB Cam McDaniel (2): 23-yard run (Rice), 11-yard run (PU)

QB: Malik Zaire (2): 56-yard run (Rice), 14-yard run (UM)

TE Ben Koyack (1): 28-yard reception (Rice), Top Stories