Key Notre Dame players banged up
By Mark Lazerus 648-3140 or firstname.lastname@example.org September 8, 2012 9:30PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:45AM
SOUTH BEND — It’s going to be a busy week for the Notre Dame athletic training staff.
Six key Irish players were knocked out of Saturday’s 20-17 victory over Purdue, left standing on the sidelines to watch the dramatic win.
Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore strained his calf on the first Purdue series and never returned. His replacement, freshman Sheldon Day, pressured Caleb TerBush into throwing one of two interceptions to Bennett Jackson, but sat the rest of the game with dehydration.
Safety Jamoris Slaughter hurt his shoulder making a ferocious hit on Gabe Holmes to break up a pass late in the first half. Linebacker Ishaq Williams hurt his elbow.
And on offense, star tight end Tyler Eifert suffered what Brian Kelly called a “slight concussion” after making four catches for a game-high 98 yards. Receiver DaVaris Daniels, who had four catches for 70 yards, sprained his ankle.
None of them returned to the game.
“They’ll probably be things that we’ll have to manage,” Kelly said. “The expectation would be that most of these guys are going to clear in a very short period of time.”
Kelly also said kicker Nick Tausch strained his groin during practice. Kickoff specialist Kyle Brindza handled the field goal duties, missing a 40-yarder in the first quarter, but booting the game-winning 27-yarder with seven seconds left.
“Coach Kelly’s motto is next man in, and I don’t think there’s a better example of that than today’s game,” tackle Zack Martin said. “A few years before this, this game probably wouldn’t have gone down like this. We probably wouldn’t have won.”
Noteworthy: The Irish committed just four penalties against Navy; they had eight against Purdue, including five on the offensive line, and a personal foul each to captains Martin and Manti Te’o. … Notre Dame was 11-of-19 on third downs. Purdue was 6-of-11 in the first half, but 0-of-6 in the second.
… George Atkinson III only got one carry after his 99-yard day against Navy. Kelly cited the need to pass because of Purdue’s run defense, and Theo Riddick’s superior receiving skills.