There will be no time for the USF defense to ease into Saturday’s season opener, as the Notre Dame offense is loaded with star players in the skill positions.
Notre Dame’s most talented weapon is senior wide receiver Michael Floyd, who led the Fighting Irish last season with 1,025 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6-foot-3, Floyd’s frame could provide problems for USF’s starting cornerbacks, Kayvon Webster and Quenton Washington, who stand at 5-foot-11 and 5-foot-10, respectively.
“When you look at it, Michael Floyd is a great player, we all know that,” coach Skip Holtz said. “He’s the complete package – he’s got size, he’s got speed, he can go up and make pretty much every catch that needs to be made. He doesn’t need to be open. You can cover him and he’s still going to make the play.”
The Fighting Irish will have Dayne Crist, who threw for 2,033 yards in only nine games last season, starting at quarterback. Lining up behind Crist will be running back Cierre Wood, who did not begin last season as the starter but tallied 603 yards and three touchdowns.
As defensive coordinator Mark Snyder sees it, the Fighting Irish possess a potent offense.
“The big play ability (stands out to me), the ability to put up points on the board very fast.” Snyder said. “They’ve got a couple of weapons out wide, they’ve got a tailback that’s very elusive and a quarterback that does a great job distributing the football. They can score points in a hurry.”