Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

January 4, 2013

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Irish’s Farley takes long route to BCS title game

Notre Dame safety started out in South Bend as a receiver.

MIAMI — Matthias Farley’s path to the BCS title game is far from conventional.

He’ll start at safety for top-ranked Notre Dame on Monday night, when the Fighting Irish take on No. 2 Alabama to decide this season’s college football national champion.

That notion would have seemed impossible four years ago.

It didn’t even look all that likely even four months ago. Yet here he is, a rookie in terms of playing defense, set to potentially take on a huge role in the BCS title game.

“He’s a great player and he’s done a great job so far,” said Notre Dame safety Zeke Motta, who starts alongside Farley. “I wouldn’t expect anything less. His preparation and how he’s approached that transition, I think it’s been great. He’s definitely accepted the challenge.”

And that challenge was a daunting one.

To fully understand why Farley’s role has been such a key for Notre Dame this season, the calendar would have to be flipped back four years to when he decided to give up soccer and play football — for the first time. He went from the pitch to the pigskin as a high school junior, wound up catching 74 passes for more than 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns in his two seasons at that level, and was part of Brian Kelly’s first full recruiting class with the Fighting Irish.

Once he got to Notre Dame, however, he just couldn’t get on the field as a receiver.

So he switched to safety. And then starter Jamoris Slaughter was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. Farley was put in the lineup and never looked back.

“He’s not afraid of anything, any challenge,” Kelly said. “If you ask him if he’s got a tape of Portuguese, he’ll learn Portuguese. You know what I mean? There’s nothing that he looks at and says, ‘I can’t do this.’ He’s got so much pride and so much confidence in himself that any task that you ask him to do, he’s going to find a way.”

Against Alabama, Farley will need to do just that.

The Crimson Tide has thrown for 27 touchdowns this season and averages 38.5 points per game. Notre Dame’s scoring defense leads the nation, allowing only 10.3 points per game (a mere 0.4 points better than Alabama’s defense).

“Having people like Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter there to get guidance from, to get advice from, they have all been huge parts of my development,” said Farley, who also credited assistant coaches Bob Elliott and Kerry Cooks. “And then just putting in the work myself, actually wanting to go meet with coaches after and see what I can work on and all that kind of stuff. A lot of it is just having great people around me to help develop me.”

Then again, some of it is simply personal commitment as well.

Farley broke his right hand on Oct. 27 in Notre Dame’s win against Oklahoma. An injury like that could keep someone sidelined for many weeks.

Farley didn’t even miss many days.

Broke the hand on Saturday, had surgery to insert two plates and six screws on the following Tuesday, practiced the next day and played that weekend against Pittsburgh — the game in which the Irish needed three overtimes before keeping the undefeated season and national-title hopes alive with a 29-26 win.

And Kelly said Farley played a big role in that.

“The kid broke his hand, had surgery and played the same week,” Kelly said. “Now the first half, he didn’t play very well because he was still thinking about his hand. He was challenged at halftime and came back and played great football in the second half. He’s just a special kid that when you challenge him he’s going to come through for you.”

That seems to be a trend in the Notre Dame secondary.

The majority of the group seems to be converted receivers, like Farley. He had some growing pains this season — he got beaten for what should have been a long early touchdown for Miami in their game in October, but caught a break when the ball was dropped. Yet the Irish say he got better every week.

“Having been on offense, you can kind of think of how the receiver thinks,” Farley said. “But you don’t necessarily know where they’re going to go.”

Seems kind of fitting, since four years ago, Farley had no idea he’d be going to the BCS title game.

Associated Press Writer Tom Coyne in South Bend, Ind. contributed to this story.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16 BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal of doping suspicions won Stage 16 in a downhill breakaway. Riding in his 10th Tour, three-time world champion Michael Rogers of Australia won his first Tour stage behind savvy racing, well-paced riding and the absence of his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank leader Alberto Contador. The Spaniard crashed out in Stage 10, inadvertently freeing up Rogers to go after the stage win.

    July 22, 2014

  • New ACCNew ACC settles into era of stability settles into era of stability GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) â?? Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â?? sort of â?? and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts the Heisman Trophy winner, the reigning national champion and a handful of other individual award winners. And where stability finally has arrived â?? with its status as a power conference secure entering the College Football Playoff era â?? leaving its members optimistic about its future.|GREENSBORO, N.C. - Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â sort of â and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts

    July 22, 2014

  • Harness Racing - Don Eash Eash, Cross local harness winners at 4-H fair GOSHEN — Carl Putnam Jr. came away as the big winner in harness racing action on Tuesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, taking the top spot in the featured race of the day — the Maple City Trot.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cycling Tour de France.jpg Tour de France heads to Pyrenees in Stage 16

    CARCASSONNE, France — Vincenzo Nibali is in the yellow jersey as the Tour de France peloton set off on the longest stage, into the Pyrenees.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0420 harness racing Harness racing a popular attraction at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

    There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Large crowds of knowledgeable fans are on hands for the races, something the drivers are very grateful for.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexico Rodriguez Madrid.jpg James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

    MADRID — After scoring the most goals of any player at the World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bills Dareus Football_Selm.jpg Travel delays push back Dareus' return to Bills

    PITTSFORD, N.Y.  — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' return to training camp has been postponed because of travel delays.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade road run 04 Two families bring three generations to Parade 5,000 GOSHEN — Family time at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair took on a whole new meaning Sunday during the 33rd annual Parade 5,000.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Former GC basketball star signs deal in China Former Goshen College basketball player Errick McCollum II has signed a deal with Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou Bank, he confirmed to The Goshen News Sunday.The signing comes just shortly after McCollum played for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA’s Las

    July 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Cycling Tour de France [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Norway's Kristoff wins 15th stage NIMES, France — Almost at the line, Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger were exhausted but could see it coming — their first Tour de France stage victory. Those last 50 meters, however, got in the way.A bunch of sprinters leading the pack came speeding lik

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results