- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IND. (AP) - Michael Floyd insists he’s not counting even as he gets ready to break more receiving records at Notre Dame.

Floyd made 12 catches last week in a 23-20 loss to South Florida, giving him 183 for his career and allowing him to pass Jeff Samardzija (179) _ now a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs _ at the top of the total catches list.

Floyd also caught a pair of TD passes, giving him 30 for his career and padding the record he already owned.

Headed into Saturday night’s game at Michigan, Floyd is 15 yards shy of passing former teammate Golden Tate for the most receiving yards in school history. Floyd also needs one more 100-yard receiving game to tie Tate, who had 15 of them during his three-year tenure with the Irish.


Floyd returned to the team last month following his suspension by coach Brian Kelly for a drunken driving arrest in March _ his third alcohol-related brush with the law in two years. Kelly said he was convinced Floyd has cleaned up his act off the field.

And on the field, he’s the most formidable weapon the Irish have.

Floyd had 11 catches from Tommy Rees in a victory at Southern California to close last season and grabbed six more from Rees_ two for scores _ in a Sun Bowl victory over Miami.

The Irish made a quick switch at quarterback at halftime Saturday, turning to Rees after Dayne Crist struggled in the first half against South Florida. Floyd had 10 of his 12 catches in the second half as he and Rees clicked again.

“We’re friends. And I think he knows what I’m capable of doing,” Floyd said of Rees. “And I guess the coverage that they give us is, he sees it open, so he throws it. There’s nothing too big about that. What they give us is what we take.”

Having Floyd on the field helps a young quarterback like sophomore Rees, especially if a play seems to be breaking down.

He knows right away where to look.

“Having him out there is a definite plus. Maybe I throw to him sometimes when I shouldn’t,” Rees said. “He’s such a good player and our offense is trying to get the ball in playmaker’s hands.”

The Irish will have to eliminate the mistakes they had in their opener _ five turnovers and eight penalties. One of those infractions, a holding call against Floyd, wiped out a second-quarter TD run by Cierre Wood.

Rees and Floyd hope to play pitch-and-catch Saturday night where the largest crowd in college football could be watching the first night game at the Big House. Floyd, who bypassed the NFL draft to return to Notre Dame, doesn’t seem fazed by the atmosphere surrounding a matchup that will feature retro uniforms.

“Not too much, it’s just a regular game, just the sky’s dark,” he said. “There’s nothing too big. And it’s on a different channel.”

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