Offensive Depth Chart: Game OnePosition battles not decided until camp's final weekend included the X receiver, left guard and backup quarterback.
- Junior Dayne Crist
- Freshman Tommy Rees
- Note: Junior Nate Montana is listed among 20 "Key Probable Non-Starters" in the media's Game Notes, distributed weekly.
- Senior Armando Allen
- Sophomore Cierre Wood
- Note: Both Jonas Gray and Robert Hughes are listed in the week's Game Notes.
- Junior Michael Floyd
- Junior John Goodman
- Note: One of the few cases in which there's a true starter and backup.
- Freshman T.J. Jones
- Senior Duval Kamara
- Note: Consider Jones 1A and Kamara 1B. Expect both to see ample playing time for the foreseeable future.
"Z" Receiver (slot):
- Sophomore Theo Riddick
- Sophomore Robby Toma
- Note: Riddick is the man, but Toma brings a necessary skill set (possession receiver) as well.
- Junior Kyle Rudolph
- Sophomore Tyler Eifert
- Note: Senior Mike Ragone is also listed in the Game Notes
- Sophomore Zack Martin
- Senior Matt Romine
- Note: Martin is one of five first-time starters on Brian Kelly's offense.
- 5th-Year Senior Chris Stewart
- Sophomore Chris Watt
- Note: Watt reportedly challenged Stewart, an assumed lock to start at left guard since early spring, through camp's final week.
- Junior Braxston Cave
- 5th Year Senior Dan Wenger
- Note: Both Chris Watt and Mike Golic (below) can serve as emergency centers this season.
- Junior Trevor Robinson
- Junior Mike Golic
- Note: Golic apparently beat out sophomore Alex Bullard with a late camp push.
- Senior Taylor Dever
- Senior Andrew Nuss
- Note: Dever and Nuss are both expected to play; either will have their hands full with Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan (13 sacks last season).
Defensive Depth Chart: Game OneThree true freshmen ascend to the two-deep for Game One.
- Junior Kapron Lewis-Moore
- Junior Hafis Williams
- Note: No other DE is listed in the Game Notes as a "Key Non-Starter"
- Senior Ian Williams
- Junior Sean Cwynar
- Note: It would help the Irish defense if sophomore Tyler Stockton could earn playing time in a No. 3 role over the 12-game set.
"CAT" Outside Linebacker:
- Junior Darius Fleming
- Freshman Prince Shembo
- Note: Shembo's ascension to No. 2 (apparently over Steve Filer) is the surprise of the Game One depth chart. Look for Filer to fill in at both Cat and Dog linebacker Saturday.
"DOG" Outside Linebacker:
- Senior Kerry Neal
- Senior Brian Smith
- Note: While we expect to see Filer, it is relevant he's not listed in the distributed Game Notes as a "Key Non-Starter." (Then again, neither is Shembo).
- Sophomore Manti Te'o
- Freshman Danny Spond
- Note: Spond's status could be the result of a knee injury suffered by senior Steve Paskorz late last week. Kelly was complimentary of the freshman's special teams skill set throughout camp.
- Sophomore Carlo Calabrese
- Junior Anthony McDonald
- Note: McDonald is likely in a true No. 2 role as he continues to recover from a hyperextension in his knee.
Free Safety (Field):
- Junior Jamoris Slaughter
- Sophomore Zeke Motta
- Note: Motta will see ample playing time in the team's Nickel defense.
Strong Safety (Boundary):
- Senior Harrison Smith
- Junior Dan McCarthy
- Note: McCarthy missed some time late in camp with a hamstring injury.
- Senior Darrin Walls
- Freshman Lo Wood
- Note: With only four scholarship cornerbacks on the roster, what you see is what you get. The staff has been complimentary of the freshman Wood's work ethic.
- Gary Gray
- Robert Blanton
- Note: Consider Blanton starting cornerback No. 3 – a necessity in today's game.
Special TeamsOne surprise: walk-on Bill Flavin won the short-snapper job over incumbent Braxston Cave:
- Placekicker: Sophomore Nick Tausch
- Kick-offs: Senior David Ruffer
- Punter: Sophomore Ben Turk
- Punt Return: Senior Armando Allen or Senior John Goodman
- Kick Return: Sophomore Cierre Wood and Sophomore Theo Riddick
- Long Snapper: Sophomore Jordan Cowart
- Short Snapper: Senior Bill Flavin
- Holder: Sophomore Ben Turk