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Irish Insights


Finding Eifert

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was quick to point out former Bishop Dwenger standout Tyler Eifert's role in the offense after Saturday night's 13-6 win over Michigan.

"Tyler Eifert is a tight end," Kelly said after the game. "You guys seem to think he's going to get 90 balls. He's a blocking tight end who has the unique ability at the end of the game to spread out as a wide receiver and catch a pass.

"The game was such that he was required to be inside blocking and he did a heck of a job. He just continues to open everybody's eyes about his ability to be a wide receiver and a blocking tight end."

Eifert caught only one pass against the Wolverines, but it was a big one for the No. 10 Irish (4-0).

The 6-foot-6, 251-pound senior hauled in a 38-yard pass from Tommy Rees with 2:35 to play that allowed the Irish to go to running back Theo Riddick on the next two plays to run out the clock.

Eifert's catch was his first reception since Notre Dame's 20-17 win over Purdue on Sept. 8. Eifert, who has nine receptions for 158 yards with a touchdown this season suffered a concussion in that game.

During his Sunday teleconference, Kelly backed off on Eifert needing to be primarily a blocking a tight end and a talked about getting the team captain the ball more on offense.

"I think there's been a number of opportunities where he's part of the route package, and we're not getting him the ball," Kelly said. "We've got to find him. We've also got to get him more touches and continue to build on that."

Kelly was also quick to point out that it is not always to get the preseason All-American the ball.

"Trust me, they know where he is," Kelly said. "He's getting disrupted off the line of scrimmage, he's got hands on him wherever he is, and that makes it equally more difficult. But he's still being extremely effective for us.

"He effectively closed out the game for us on a big reception (Saturday). But we need to continue to work in getting him the football."