Posted by BrianBoru at 9/20/2009 2:27 PM EDT
The Irish will most likely be without the services of wide receiver Michael Floyd for the remainder of the season. Floyd had surgery on his broken collarbone today.
Floyd, perhaps the best receiver in all of college football, cannot be replaced by one player.
Golden Tate is a No. 1 receiver on most teams, but even he cannot replace the talent of Floyd. This season Tate has been at once brilliant and inconsistent. Entering this season, I viewed him as having the best pair of hands at Notre Dame since former All-American wide receiver Derrick Mayes.
However, he's dropped far too many passes this season, and at crucial times for the Irish.
For the offense to continue scoring points, they will need a collective effort from their receiving corps starting with enigmatic junior Duval Kamara. Look for highly-skilled freshman Shaq Evans to crack the three deep very soon. Evans has the speed to stretch the field and open things up for the running game.
Robby Parris is steady but he hasn't the foot speed to scare defensive coordinators. No other player benefited more directly from Michael Floyd's presence than Robby Parris. Line up Floyd and Tate on opposite sides of the field, and a crafty receiver like Parris will find the seams in your defense. Now, with the loss of Floyd, opposing defensive coordinators will have one fewer Irish weapon for which to be concerned.
Sooner or later, sophomore wide receiver Deion Walker will make an impact. He's too talented to remain dormant much longer.
Getting back to Floyd, it's quite possible that he is the best wide receiver in the history of Notre Dame Football. It's a devastating loss for a program not yet on solid foundation.