TJ Jones

Notre Dame WR will miss spring practices due to academic concerns

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A year ago Note Dame lost their starting quarterback for the entire year due to academic reasons. Spring practices may be weeks away, but academic issues will cost another player time this spring in South Bend. Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels is not enrolled for the spring semester due to academic issues.

Daniels released a statement to Sports Illustrated confirming his status at Notre Dame and intentions to work his way back to the Irish as soon as possible.

“I understand that attending then University of Notre Dame is a privilege and with that comes a certain level of academic responsibility,” Daniels said in his statement, per SI.com. “Therefore I will not be attending Notre Dame the spring semester but fully expect to re-enroll in the summer semester to earn my degree and continue playing football for the Irish.”

Daniels was the second-leading receiver for Notre Dame in 2013. The Irish are already looking to replace senior TJ Jones, a 1,000-yard receiver last season, so the hope will be that Daniels can earn his way back on the to campus and team at the end of the spring. the Irish will welcome back quarterback Everett Golson, who worked his way back from academic problems that cost him the fall semester.

Rutgers giving Notre Dame plenty of fight but leaving some scratching heads as well

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Few gave Rutgers a puncher’s chance against the Fighting Irish in the Pinstripe Bowl, but the Scarlet Knights have more than held their own as Rutgers and Notre Dame reach halftime tied at 13-13.

The Irish and Scarlet Knights traded blows in the first quarter, first with field goals and then with touchdowns. Notre Dame’s touchdown came on a run by TJ Jones, who later had to leave the game due to a shoulder injury. His status is uncertain for the remainder of the game. The Rutgers touchdown came with Chas Dodd completing a pass to Brandon Coleman, his 20th career touchdown reception. That tied a Rutgers school record for most career touchdown receptions.

The first half had a handful of missed opportunities for both teams though. Notre Dame had their backs against the wall with Rutgers pushing for a touchdown, but Kyle Flood opted to kick a short field goal to tie the game at 13-13 rather than gamble on fourth down close to the end zone. Notre Dame was flagged for offsides on the field goal try, but Flood decided to keep the three points instead of risk it for a potential lead. Notre Dame moved down field on the ensuing drive but was unable to convert a field goal try.

Rutgers had another promising looking drive developing but a poorly executed halfback pass by Justin Goodwin was picked off by Notre Dame’s KeiVarae Russell just outside of the end zone. Rutgers had been moving the ball well and had been given a boost by an unsportsmanlike penalty against Irish defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt for 15 yards. Notre Dame was forced to punt but time ran out on Rutgers before being able to tack on any more points before halftime. Rutgers then took a knee despite having two timeouts remaining.

 

Tyler Gaffney’s career night keys Stanford win over Notre Dame

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Tyler Gaffney rushed for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries to lead No. 8 Stanford to a 27-20 win over No. 25 Notre Dame in Palo Alto on Saturday night.

With the win, the Cardinal improved to 10-2. The Irish fell to 8-4.

Stanford’s physical style on both sides of the ball was the key to the game as the Cardinal rushed for 261 yards on the ground while holding Notre Dame to just 64 net rushing yards.

With no ability to run the ball, the fate of the Irish was therefore in the hands of senior quarterback Tommy Rees, who helped his team rally back from a 21-6 third quarter deficit to make it a game. Rees threw short touchdown passes to TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels in the third quarter to offset a pair of Stanford field goals and the Irish trailed just 27-20 entering the final period. It looked like the game might come down to the wire, just like it did last year.

But the Stanford defense would have none of it. The unit held the Irish to 22 fourth quarter yards on three drives, with two of them ending in interceptions by Cardinal corner Wayne Lyons. And that was. Another cool, calm and efficient game by Stanford, which beat the Irish for the fourth time in five meetings.

Much of that credit can go to the toughness of Gaffney. Every time the Cardinal needed a big run or some key yardage, he got it. He’s now got 1,496 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year and has to go down as one of the best backs in Stanford history.

It’s toughness like Gaffney’s that has allowed the Cardinal to win at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons. If Stanford keeps it up, it might win its first back-to-back Rose Bowls since 1970-1971.

Notre Dame holding off Pittsburgh, 14-7 at half

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Pittsburgh’s best chance to pick up a win at home Saturday night against Notre Dame may have been to keep it as low scoring as possible. So far, so good for the Panthers. Notre Dame leads Pittsburgh 14-7 at the half.

Tommy Rees threw a touchdown pass to DaVaris Daniels midway through the first quarter, the only score of the opening quarter. Pittsburgh evened things up in the second quarter, but not before a bit of controversy. Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt was ejected for leading with his helmet on a hit to Pitt quarterback Tom Savage. Video review, as mandated by the targeting rule in college football, upheld the ejection to help soften the defensive line for the Irish.That helped Pittsburgh continue their best drive of the night early on as the Panthers continued on a 10-play drive covering 71 yards. Savage completed a short touchdown pass to Devin Street to finish off the drive and tie the game up.

Notre Dame then fumbled on a third down and long play for a big gain on the next possession, but Pittsburgh was held to a three-and-out. Rees quickly put the Irish back in scoring position when he completed a 38-yard pass to Ben Koyack down to the one-yard line and two plays later TJ Jones found room to get in to the end zone for the 14-7 lead.

Late touchdown gives Notre Dame halftime lead on USC

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Notre Dame drove right down field on USC on the game’s opening possession, but the Irish were unable to punch the football in from the goal line on fourth down when Cam McDaniel was stuffed for a loss of three yards. Despite leaving points on the scoreboard, Notre Dame took a lead in to halftime against the Trojans, leading 14-10.

After USC’s defense stood tall, the Trojans offense went to work. USC put together a 96-yard touchdown drive, capping it off with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Silas Redd. Redd reached halftime with 91 rushing yards n 14 carries. Notre Dame would tie it up on the final play of the first quarter when Tommy Rees completed a seven-yard pass for a touchdown to Troy Niklas. Rees again struck gold with a touchdown strike to TJ Jones late in the first half. That second touchdown pass gave Notre Dame a 14-10 lead before halftime.

While this game may not have any sort of national impact, with both teams unranked and playing in the shadows of some other notable games around the country at the same time, the pageantry that goes along with this rivalry game is still something special to watch for the nostalgic fan. The game is also pretty important for both teams to determine which way the rest of the season could unfold.