Monday, October 28, 2013
Can We Name Cam McDaniel The Starter Already?
With Notre Dame's recent turnaround and return to the BCS top 25 poll, the team looks to make a late season run. There has been one area that has been a bit concerning. That is the running game. More specifically two players, Amir Carlisle and George Atkinson just haven't lived up to the hype. the season was set to have those two guys be the playmakers while Cam McDaniel, the tough white boy from Texas, would be the muscle in short yardage situations.
The way Carlisle opened up with a big 40 yard gain against Temple gave us reason to believe he would be the next big runner in South Bend. But that carry accounted for about a quarter of his yards as he has only 193 for the year and no touchdowns. Atkinson has had moments particularly a 90 yard touchdown against Oklahoma, but he also hasn't put it together consistently and has just 381 yards and only two touchdowns.
The reality is that the tough white boy from Texas has outperformed both of them. He has 412 yards on 91 carries and two touchdowns. Those numbers would be better if he got even more carries.
I understand that Carlisle and Atkinson are the prototypical runners where McDaniel is built for a role. But the fact remains that McDaniel has consistently outperformed them all year. Even last Saturday when Coach Kelly made it a point to get those two going, McDaniel still outperformed them.
The situation is similar to the quarterback situation, Andrew Hendrix is the more prototypical quarterback for Kelly's system, but Tommy Rees has consistently out performed him.
Based on that, it is time to commit to McDaniel as the starter, at least for the rest of this season.