Notre Dame improved to 2-0 with a thrilling 32-29 come-from-behind victory over Toledo. It was touch and go for a bit, but the Fighting Irish got the job done. There were several standouts for Notre Dame, but three players stood above the rest.
OFFENSE - MICHAEL MAYER, TIGHT END
Stats: 7 catches, 81 yards, 11.6 YPC, 2 TD
Mayer started and finished the scoring for Notre Dame in the victory. He hauled in a 4-yard touchdown on a crossing route to cap off Notre Dame's first drive and he beat a Toledo defender up the seam to haul in a 18-yard score late in the fourth quarter.
Mayer hauled in a 28-yard pass on a wheel route to set up his first score and he drew a key penalty on the final drive as well. He was open throughout the game and if Coan had more time the numbers for Mayer would have been even more impressive.
The sophomore tight end was more effective in the run game against the Rockets than he was in the opener, but it was the pass game where he did his most damage.
Runner Up: Kevin Austin, Wide Receiver
DEFENSE - JD BERTRAND, LINEBACKER
Stats: 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Bertrand was all over the field for Notre Dame in the victory over Toledo. He finished with 11 tackles for the second straight game and was around the football throughout the game. Bertrand's downhill style factored into Notre Dame playing much better against the run in week two than it did in week one.
Bertrand was aggressive throughout the contest and made great reads. He had several highlight reel plays in the win. One was his sack, where Bertrand blew up the Toledo running back and bulled his way to the quarter. On another Bertrand read the run away perfectly, exploded downhill and made the stop behind the line despite starting the play on the backside of where the ball went.
Bertrand has now made 22 tackles in two games, which means he tied the total Marist Liufau had all of last season and he's already surpassed the total of last season's starter, Shayne Simon.
Runners Up: Cam Hart, Cornerback; Isaiah Foskey, Defensive End; Jayson Ademilola, Defensive Tackle
SPECIAL TEAMS - JONATHAN DOERER, PLACEKICKER
Stats: 1-2 field goals, 3-3 extra points, 3 touchbacks
I know Doerer missed a field goal, but that 55-yard attempt that he missed was a strong kick. Doerer nailed a 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that gave the Irish a lead. He nailed it right down the middle and Doerer was also perfect on his three extra point attempts. Doerer also had three touchdowns on kickoffs and also had a beautifully placed kickoff in the corner that pinned Toledo deep.
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