Brian Kelly revealed in his Sunday press conference what we all feared after Saturday night’s victory over Navy. Joe Schmidt is out for the year with a fractured/dislocated ankle.
— Darin Pritchett (@Sportsbeat960) November 2, 2014
The Notre Dame defense has already absorbed massive hits with injuries and suspensions since August. KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Austin Collinsworth are a few of the bigger names that aren’t out on the field helping the Irish defense play each Saturday. Joe Schmidt might be the most important name of all.
Despite a lot of us doubting Schmidt before the season began, he developed into a team leader and main “shot caller” on the defensive side of the ball. Brian VanGorder has praised Schmidt since spring about many facets of the seniors game, but none more than his IQ. Joe’s ability to align the defense and make the correct calls and adjustments has been tremendously valuable to a defense with so many young players.
Freshman Nyles Morgan is now “the next man in” for Joe Schmidt, and although the freshman has an enormous amount of physical ability, he is still light-years behind Schmidt mentally.
After Schmidt went out, "We went with one call the rest of the game. That’s it. One call."
— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) November 2, 2014
The big question is who might fill this void? Whether that be Jaylon Smith or not, the defense has a very tough task ahead as it heads out to Arizona to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils and their high powered offense. This next game might be the toughest test of the season. Excuse me now as I go drink the rest of this bottle of Makers Mark. Joe Schmidt can and probably will come back for a fifth year, I drink to honor him.