Game notes: Collinsworth questionable vs. Michigan
Mike Ginocchio | Monday, September 1, 2014
Collinsworth questionable vs. Michigan
Irish graduate student safety and captain Austin Collinsworth did not play in the first game of the season. His only on-the-field action came when he walked to the opening coin toss on crutches. Irish head coach Brian Kelly said he doubts Collinsworth will return for next week’s game against Michigan.
“He’s got a grade-two [MCL sprain],” Kelly said. “So those are usually two to four weeks, depending on how guys respond. So we don’t expect to have him this week.”
Junior safety Elijah Shumate started in place of Collinsworth.
Kelly said he plans to have Collinsworth back at the latest by the game against Syracuse on Sept. 27, the matchup after Notre Dame’s first bye week.
Return of the return men
After struggling all of last year with the punt- and kick-return game, the Irish showed a marked improvement in their special teams play against Rice. Senior receiver Amir Carlisle had two kick returns for a combined 49 yards, with a 36-yard return his highest. Meanwhile, sophomore running back Greg Bryant and graduate student cornerback Cody Riggs combined for 80 yards on punt returns, averaging 16 yards per return.
Balanced passing attack
In the midst of a strong return showing by senior quarterback Everett Golson, the Irish receiving corps had a chance to shine as well. Seven receivers snagged receptions against Rice for a combined 14 catches and 295 yards, an average of 21 yards per reception. Sophomore Will Fuller led the team with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, including a 75-yard strike from Golson.