Notre Dame: Receivers' Big Plays Give Irish Winning Boost

By Anthony Murphy
DaVaris Daniels
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were in search of a spark, anything, to awaken them from their first-half slumber. They found themselves down 10-3 after an awful first half offensively and defensively. They awoke, however, to the sounds of T.J. Jones and DaVaris Daniels making play after play.

Jones only ended up with four catches and 57 yards, but made several big first-down conversions, including a 27-yard sideline catch that set up Cam McDaniel‘s rushing touchdown. Jones has been huge all year and now has 19 catches in three games this season.

After a breakout performance in the National Championship game, Daniels seemed poised to explode his Junior year. So far, he hasn’t disappointed.

Daniels’ first two grabs this year were for touchdowns (both 33-yard receptions). Daniels injured himself in the opener and did not play the rest of the game. The injury lingered with the young player through the Michigan game, where he still caught six passes but did not have the same jump to his step.

Unfortunately for Purdue Boilermakers, he was 100 percent for their matchup. Daniels gashed the Boilermakers’ secondary for a tune of eight catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown was of the tip-toe 82-yard variety, showing once again his big play capability.

Having Jones and Daniels on your team certainly makes up for having a quarterback with a limited throwing ability that Tommy Rees possesses. They have gelled so well this season in the differences they bring to the table. Daniels is Rees’ obvious go-to guy down the field as the way Michael Floyd was to Jimmy Clausen.

Daniels brings that kind of big play ability to the table. Jones is the reliable go-to guy when the team has a third down they have to convert. That’s not saying they aren’t capable of switching role, as as evident by Jones’ big catch, and Daniels catching a big third-down conversion.

Head coach Brian Kelly has sworn that T.J. Jones has the potential to be a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. He might not reach that high, but his steady hands, especially on third down, will make him an asset to any team playing on Sundays. As for Daniels, the son of a former NFL player, the sky seems to be the limit.

Anthony Murphy is a contributing writer for You can follow him on Twitter, like his Facebook page, or add him to your network on Google.

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