The wide receiver position has been a problem area for Notre Dame for much of the 2020 season. For at least one week, the Fighting Irish pass catchers stepped up and played quite well, despite some adversity.
Prior to the game it was announced that junior Kevin Austin was out and would miss the rest of the 2020 season. In the fourth quarter, fellow junior Braden Lenzy pulled up with an obviously bad hamstring injury.
In between, the Irish wideouts made a lot of plays, and Kelly talked about their performance.
Kelly praised the play of grad transfer Ben Skowronek, who hauled in two passes for 107 yards, and both of his catches went for scores.
With Austin out and Lenzy potentially out again, Kelly addressed what the rotation will look like moving forward.
Obviously this isn't something fans who are looking for talented freshmen Jordan Johnson, Xavier Watts and Jay Brunelle wanted to hear.
It's quite puzzling to hear a head coach all but say less than halfway through the season that his talented freshmen have no chance at working into the rotation despite two injuries and the overall poor play from the position group this season.
Irish Breakdown sources say that Watts, Johnson and Brunelle are currently scout team players, which puts them even further behind from a development standpoint. If what I've been told in the past about scout team players not meeting with their position coaches and being involved in game plan install during the week is true, it would put the young players even further behind the deeper we get into the season.
If Skowronek builds on this performance, Javon McKinley finally finds some consistency, Avery Davis continues making more plays and Lawrence Keys III finally starts getting some targets and performs then it will come back as a move that didn't hurt the Irish offense. If the wideouts continue to play up-and-down football this kind of stubbornness from Kelly will result in even more criticism.
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