As Notre Dame’s season continues tumbling into oblivion, and as they look to maintain some hope of bowl eligibility, the Irish won’t have one of their top targets in the passing game to help break the fall.
Prior to this afternoon’s game against Army, Notre Dame announced that Torii Hunter Jr. will not play in the game against the service academy. The wide receiver has been dealing with a knee injury that ultimately forced him to the sidelines this weekend.
Hunter suffered the injury in the loss to Navy in week 10, but ultimately returned to that game.
The senior is currently second on the team in receptions (38), receiving yards (521). He’s also third yards per reception (13.7) and tied for second in receiving touchdowns (three).
With Hunter sidelined, Kevin Stepherson (16-335-3) is expected to take on an expanded role in the passing game.
Notre Dame and Navy have traded blows on the scoreboard in the first half in Jacksonville, with the Irish holding the edge at halftime with a 17-14 lead.
Notre Dame had a bit of a health scare for wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr., who was assisted off the field with an apparent left knee injury, but he was later returned to the field and provided a key block on Notre Dame’s late first-half touchdown to take the lead.
Notre Dame opened the game with a well-executed offensive drive spanning 83 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. The drive included a fourth down conversion with DeShone Kizer completing a 23-yard pass to Hunter to move into the reds zone. Two false start penalties later, Kizer completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Hunter for an early touchdown lead. Kizer’s two touchdown passes in the half have gone to Hunter and Durham Smythe. Kizer has also contributed on the ground with 46 rushing yards, and Josh Adams leads the team with 47 rushing yards.
Notre Dame has committed four penalties for 30 yards so far, while Navy has yet to be flagged. Navy quarterback Will Worth leads all players with 101 rushing yards, which is pretty typical for Navy’s offense.
DeShone Kizer has thrown two touchdowns in the first half to help give Notre Dame a 20-7 advantage on visiting Miami. The defense of the Irish has played one of the best halves of the season against Brad Kaaya and the Hurricanes, holding Miami to just three rushing yards.
Notre Dame started off as well as they could have dreamed, with a touchdown drive to open the game for an early lead. Kizer connected with Torii Hunter Jr. from the five-yard line for the score. Miami’s offense then lost eight yards on a three-and-out on their first drive, setting Notre Dame up with a great chance to do some more early damage. Notre Dame was held to a field goal, but the defense then picked off Kaaya on Miami’s third down on the ensuing possession. This time, Notre Dame cashed in with a touchdown with Kaaya finding Equanimeous St. Brown from 14 yards out.
Miami did catch one break in the first half on special teams by recovering a fumble by Hunter Jr. that led to a Miami touchdown a few plays later (Kaaya completing a pass to David Njoku for the score). But that has been just about all Miami has managed to do against Notre Dame so far. Miami has been flagged six times for 55 yards too.
Notre Dame rising redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr.‘s status with Brian Kelly’s football team won’t change after he signed with the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
Hunter is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns last year. But even though he now has a professional baseball contract, his focus will remain on football and the beginning of preseason camp in August.
Hunter, the son of former Minnesota Twins, Angels and Detroit Tigers All-Star/Gold Glover Torii Hunter Sr., was a 23rd-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft.
Hunter, an outfielder, was primarily used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement for Mik Aoki’s Irish baseball team this spring. He worked a crazy schedule (“what is sleep?” he asked) to split time between baseball, spring football and classwork in March and April and hit .182/.308/.182 in 11 at-bats.
Hunter’s baseball highlight came at Florida State, though, a few days after he made a spectacular catch reeling in a Malik Zaire deep ball in Notre Dame’s Blue and Gold Game.
Notre Dame football announced Wednesday the career of Corey Robinson is over.
In a statement tweeted by the athletics department, the senior wide receiver cited multiple concussions as the reason he will give up his final year of eligibility for the Fighting Irish.
Robinson, the son of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame center David Robinson, caught 16 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown last season for Notre Dame.
He finishes his career with 65 catches for 896 yards and seven touchdowns.
The San Antonio native will remain part of the team as a student assistant this fall, but that won’t be the only thing occupying his time: In February, he was elected Notre Dame student body president.
Although Robinson did not have a major impact on the Fighting Irish last season, his exit further thins a receiving corps that already lots its top three players from 2015 in Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle.
The team’s leading returning receiver is Torii Hunter Jr., who caught 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns in 2015.