It will be a much different perspective for Arizona Cardinals rookie tight end Troy Niklas on Saturday. Last season, he was lined up for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish against Arizona State in Dallas. In the game, he had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown in the Irish’s 37-34 win.
He will be present again on Saturday once again as the Irish and Sun Devils square off at Sun Devil Stadium but this time as a spectator on the sidelines. Though he is not involved in the action this time around, he still has as good of perspective as anyone on how this one will play out seeing as he was a big part of the game plan last time out. Notre Dame comes into the game with just one loss on the season in what was a thrilling finish at Florida State. Though some games have been closer then they would like, they have still rolled through the rest of their schedule with win after win. They have one of the nation’s most electrifying offenses putting up 35.4 points per game behind quarterback Everett Golson.
“They just make plays when they need to,” Niklas explained. “You will see Golson sit back, look at the defense, look at the receivers and see there is nothing there so then he will go run. They are just scrappy and go an make plays.”
There is buzz around the valley much like there was a season ago when the Sun Devils were leading up to the Pac-12 Championship game last season and some are comparing it to the famous Nebraska game who came in the number one ranked team in the nation in 1996.
Niklas got used to this buzz surrounding him when traveling on the road while playing for Notre Dame no matter where he went. “It’s like nothing else,” stated Niklas.
“You can’t even compare it to any other NFL team. Notre Dame fans are all over the country and no matter where you go, you are really well received. It’s definitely one of the best feelings going out there with that ND on your chest.”
Niklas has a prediction and it should be a big shock to you who the Cardinal is taking in this one!
“I am going to have to go with Notre Dame,” said Niklas with a smile. “Not just because I went there but because I think they are going to win. We will see how it goes but I think they will put it together and pull it out.”
Niklas is one of four Irish players currently on the Arizona Cardinals roster. Michael Floyd, John Carlson and Robert Hughes all wore the gold helmet as well in college.They severely out-number the lone Sun Devil in the Cardinals locker room, which happens to be someone who played in this game last year as well, Marion Grice.
Sun Devils and Irish kick-off from Sun Devil Stadium Saturday at 1:30.