They say if you scared, say you scared. Well, I’m scared.
This week I’m scared that when I wake up before 9am on a Saturday — really, what the fuck? Whoever schedules these games isn’t keeping the West Coast (and more importantly, me) in mind — to watch the Irish take on Wake Forest, we’re going to give up more than 20 points for the first time this season. And I’m scared that our offense might not be able to keep up.
The reason I’m scared is because the Demon Deacons have one particularly scary man on their roster — Sophomore receiver Greg Dortch. He’s real good.
Get Dortched!!!!! At 5’9, Dortch isn’t the kind of imposing receiver that causes heart palpitations in opposing fans through size alone. But what he lacks in pure physicality he makes up for in speed, shiftiness, and the ability to make stupid one-handed catches.
Lucky for the 2017 Irish iteration, the Virginia native missed nearly half of his Freshman campaign with an injury, but he’s back healthy and is the most dangerous weapon in a talented Wake receiving corps. He gets about a third of the team’s total targets, racking up 28 catches for 336 yards already (both rank in the top-15 nationally three games in) and has been a major contributor on special teams (he’s tops in the nation in punt return yards and TDs).
The dude breaks ankles for a living. He banishes defenders to the shadow realm. He leaves men twice his size grasping at air and embarrassed to line up for another snap.
Even with a low quality clip, you can tell how scary this is:
That’s going to happen at least once this weekend and it won’t feel good. And this is just a workout, but it’s scary as hell!
This is the kind of receiver that goes on to make an impact on Sundays.
Dortch will likely spend his Saturday going to work in the middle of the field against us, and it’s scary. His skillset makes him almost unguardable in the slot — and lining up there gets him away from Troy Pride Jr. and Julian Love. Te’von Coney and Drue Tranquill are personal heroes, living legends, but it looks like their unsustainable snap counts are catching up to them. Against Ball State and especially Vanderbilt, contests where they should have earned late-game breathers, they’ve looked a step slower in coverage.
And with the Shaun Crawford injury and the mysterious disappearance of Nick Coleman, it’s likely on Houston Griffith to step up against Dortch. He hasn’t caught up to top-tier college game speed yet, and Dortch might be his biggest test all season. Oof.
While everyone’s freaking out about the 2018 edition of the Brian Kelly Quarterback Carousel (just learn to love it already), you can catch me up at 3 a.m. worried about this dude catching 15 balls for 150 yards and a score. Unless we double or triple the practice time dedicated to special teams, throw in a punt return TD too. With so much uncertainty on offense, there’s a chance we can’t keep up. I’m scared. Someone please hold me, I’m Irish.