Tate: Game-by-Game

Part II of Golden Tate's Pre-Camp Assessment – below is the sophomore's game-by-game contribution in 2008.

Click here for Part I of Tate's Pre-Camp Assessment.

Tate Game-By-Game 2008

(The down/distance, pre-snap alignment, pass route, and end result for every reception and rushing attempt for Tate last season).

San Diego State:

  • 1st and 10, wide left – out route for a gain of 11 yards early in the 2nd Quarter.
  • Three plays later, wide right, sideline comeback route for a gain of nine yards, just short of the first down.
  • 1st and 10, wide right, Tate made a nice adjustment and diving catch in front of the would-be-interceptor for a gain of 10 yards and a first down on a (designed) Clausen roll-out, midway through the 3rd Quarter.
  • Three catches on go-ahead touchdown drive in the 4th Quarter: 1st and 10, wide left, Tate caught a quick slant for a gain of 12 and Irish first down. Then, lined up near left (solo), Tate and Clausen connect on another quick slant in stride for again of 15 and another first down. Finally, lined up wide left, Tate beats press coverage with a go-route for a 35-yard touchdown and 14-13 Irish lead, their first of the season.

Michigan:

  • 1st and 10, and following a pass interference call (drawn by Floyd), Tate lined up slot left (solo) and ran a perfect slant-and-go to the post for a 48-yard touchdown and 21-0 advantage. Tate (as pointed out to me by a friend), was the only Irish player to leave the line of scrimmage (max protection including fullback, halfback, and both tight ends.
  • 2nd and 13, Tate lined up slot left and caught a quick out which he fumbled and recovered) for a five-yard gain.
  • 2nd and 8, wide left, Tate ran a quick slant (caught in stride) and ran through the cornerback's arm tackle, came to a complete stop to break another tackle using his off arm, and weaved through the Wolverines secondary for 50 extra yards on the 60-yard play.
  • 2nd and 10, wide right, Tate caught a well-covered hook route (all hands catch in heavy rain) for a gain of 11 and a first down.

Michigan State:

  • 1st and 10, slot right, Tate runs an end around for a 24-yard gain and Notre Dame's initial first down of the contest midway through the 1st Quarter. Had Tate cut outside (rather than into the last defender) he'd have scored easily after a fine downfield block by Duval Kamara to seal the safety inside.
  • Two plays later on 3rd and 8, slot left, Tate ran a corner route and simply out-jumped his defender on the lofted pass for a 30-yard gain.
  • 2nd and 6, wide right, Tate, reading a same side blitz, ran a quick slant for 11 yards and an Irish first down. Good communication with Clausen.
  • 1st and 10, wide left, Tate caught a 16-yard square-in for an Irish first down. His pivot after the catch eluded the cornerback but help defense corralled him.
  • 1st and 10, wide left, Tate gained four yards on a hook route (immediate tackle).
  • Trailing 16-7 and facing a 3rd and 17, Tate, on one of the best individual efforts of the season, caught an 8-yard comeback route well short of the first down marker but broke the first (wrap-up) tackle, spun away, cut back inside and spun through traffic for an additional 14 yards and gain of 22 for an Irish first down.

Purdue:

  • 2nd and Goal at the 6-yard line, wide left: Tate runs fade route (quick inside fake) and beats single coverage with athletic ability to tie the score at 14.
  • 2nd play of 2nd Quarter, 2nd and 10, wide left, Tate catches a quick look from Clausen and runs into a 10-yard cushion for a gain of 12 yards and an Irish first down.
  • 1st and 10 gain, wide left, quick look pass again is stopped immediately by two defenders for a gain of three yards.
  • 2nd and 7, wide left, Tate ran a comeback route after being initially covered, gaining five yards.
  • 3rd and 7, wide left, Tate runs a go-route to the outside for 38 yards on a fantastic sideline catch vs. solid man coverage.

Stanford:

  • 1st and 10, solo left, Tate ran a (lazy and rounded) out-route but makes a nice pluck of a pass thrown slightly away from him for a gain of 10 yards and first down.
  • 1st and 10, Tate is knocked out of bounds after a gain of 19 and an Irish first down.
  • 2nd and 12, a quick look to Tate gains one yard.

North Carolina:

  • 3rd and 4 on the first drive of the game, wide left (empty backfield), Tate runs a dig (in) route for a gain of 13 yards including three after the catch.
  • 3rd and 10, wide left (empty backfield), Tate runs a go route (slight hesitation) for a 19-yard touchdown. Clausen's subtle pump baited Tate's defender (who had originally read the pattern correctly and "bailed" on the snap) just enough to allow a throwing window to the back pylon for the score.
  • 2nd and 9, wide left, Tate ran a straight go route and simply wanted the ball more than his defender, gaining 47 yards on the slightly overthrown pass. The cornerback, in perfect bail coverage again, waited for the ball…Tate went after it and came down with it.
  • On the game's final drive: 1st and 10, wide left (empty backfield), Tate sat in deep zone coverage for a 12-yard sideline catch. He then split two sets of two defenders for 18 yards after the initial grab and a 30-yard gain.
  • 1st and 10, wide left, Tate ran a 12-yard out route and stepped out of bounds after an Irish first down.

Washington:

  • Wide right, Tate ran a well blocked end-around (after a fake hand-off to Armando Allen for a 21-yard (untouched) touchdown with right tackle Sam Young clearing a path to the end zone.
  • On the first play of the 2nd Quarter, the Irish (with Tate lined up wide left and with a slot receiver on his side) go back to the well but the Huskies stuff Tate on another end-around for a 9-yard loss (this, run to the short side of the field, unlike Tate's earlier touchdown).
  • 2nd and 6, wide left, Tate catches a quick look from Clausen, makes one defender miss, breaks the second tackler's attempt and gains 7 yards for an Irish first down.
  • 1st and 10, wide left (empty backfield), Tate gains 33 yards against press coverage despite (additional) pass interference on the play.
  • 2nd and 5, wide left (empty backfield), Tate catches a quick out for a gain of 7 yards and an Irish first down.

Pittsburgh:

  • 1st and 15 (after a Tate false start), wide left, Tate gained 13 yards on a sideline comeback route.
  • 3rd and 12, wide left, Tate ran a go-route, beating two defenders for a juggling, twice tipped pass and a 47-yard gain.
  • On the game's fourth quarter go-ahead drive, facing a 3rd and 6, Tate ran a quick slant (line up solo left) for a gain of 9 and an Irish first down.
  • 1st and 10 gain, wide left, Tate ran a 5-yard square-in but was given too much room by the coverage. He pivoted and gained 26 more yards down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain to the Pittsburgh 9.
  • 3rd and Goal, solo left, Tate caught a simple 6-yard fade-route touchdown with the defender slipping at the snap.
  • 2nd and 12 in the game's second overtime, Tate gained 5 on a quick look to the sideline.

Boston College:

  • With under 2:00 remaining in the first half, Tate, lined up wide left, caught his first pass of the evening on a 3rd and 4 sideline hook route for a gain of six yards and an Irish first down.
  • Two plays later facing 2nd and 10, Tate lined up wide left and caught a 16-yard crossing route in the middle of the field vs. zone coverage, shielding the ball from the defense and taking a shot to the back.
  • After the Irish forced a punt on the Eagles first second-half possession, Tate muffed a BC punt at midfield (likely trying to decide whether to fair catch the offering) that led to an Eagles touchdown and insurmountable (that night) 17-0 disadvantage.
  • 1st and 10 gain, wide left, Tate caught a deep sideline comeback for a gain of 15 yards including 4-5 yards after initial contact.
  • Tate returned a late-third quarter punt 42-yards to the BC 45-yard line, hitting the crease at his own 15, beating a defender to the sideline and evading the Eagles punter before being corralled out of bounds by a hustling Mark Herzlich (who was unblocked by Leonard Gordon on the play). Tate would have scored easily with a simple shield block on the trailing Herzlich.
  • Later on 1st and 10, Tate lined up wide left and caught a short out for a gain of six yards.
  • Tate added a late game, 1st and 10 reception on a hook route for a gain of 11 yards (making the cornerback miss and carrying a second defender for five more yards and an Irish first down (out of bounds).

Navy: No catches. Tate ran for a loss of three on 3rd and 5 and returned a punt 24 yards on ND's first possession of the second half. Clausen was 0-2 with an interception throwing to an often double-covered Tate.

Syracuse:

  • 1st and 10, wide left, Clausen hit Tate with a quick look for a three-yard gain after a nice cut inside
  • 1st and 10, Tate took an end-around for a 5-yard run (the same formation was used vs. Michgan State for a 21-yard run in September, though Tate lined up to the left vs. the Orange).
  • 2nd and 4, wide left, Tate ran a slant and caught a pass slightly behind him (and low) for a gain of five yards and an Irish first down. Tate maintained possession with the trailing cornerback's hand on the ball and while taking a hit from the second defender.
  • Three plays in under 25 seconds to set up a touchdown at the end of the half: 1st and 10, solo right, Tate ran a sideline comeback for 8 yards and then stepped out of bounds to stop the clock with 18 seconds remaining. On 2nd and 2, solo right, Tate ran a deep comeback for a gain of 19 (at least five yards after the catch) and an Irish first down. Finally, 2nd and 10, solo left, Tate beat the defense for a 35-yard touchdown (and obvious push-off) to give the Irish a 10-6 halftime advantage.
  • Leading 13-10, Tate lined up wide left on 1st and 10 for a 36-yard touchdown on yet another go route, briefly giving the Irish a 20-10 late third-quarter lead.
  • On 4th and 1 gain with under 15 seconds remaining, Tate caught a 40-yard jump ball from Clausen at the Orange 37-yard line with seven seconds remaining. The Irish spiked the ball to stop the clock (at 0:05) but Brandon Walker's 54-yard field goal attempt fell short at the gun.

USC: Tate caught a bubble screen (as the inside left slot receiver) on the first play of the game for a gain of eight and then was uninvolved until the contest's final drive, catching a 7-yard sideline pass on 3rd and 7 vs. a disinterested Trojan's defense.

Hawaii:

  • 2nd and 12, wide left (solo), a gain of 27 yards on a square-in to set up Notre Dame's first touchdown. After the catch (for a gain of about 14) Tate pivoted, spun back to his original direction, broke two tackles, and added 13 yards down the sideline before diving out of bounds inside the 5-yard line.
  • 2nd and 4, wide left (solo), Tate ran through the defender for a gain of 5 yards on a quick look to the sideline for an Irish first down.
  • 2nd and 10, wide left, Tate caught a square in for 18 yards (including 7-9 after the catch) for an Irish first down. Not a great route by Tate but a perfect throw from Clausen and Tate's strength and body control after the catch helped make the play.
  • 1st and 10, wide left (solo), Tate ran a slight slant-and-go, this time to the sideline for a 69-yard touchdown vs. a badly over-matched cornerback.
  • 3rd and Goal from the Hawaii 18-yard line, Tate lined up slot left (solo) and ran a corner route, beating two defenders in (poor) zone coverage. Clausen dropped the ball into a tight window (one of the best throws of the season) for an 18-yard back-corner touchdown pass to end the half and give the Irish a 28-7 advantage.
  • 3rd and 20, wide right (solo), Tate ran a simple go-route for a 40-yard touchdown, his third of the contest.

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